The Windows 8 Consumer Preview release included the first public look at the Windows Store feature, which allow its users to download a small selection of free Metro apps. Today, the official Windows Store blog updated with some information about the future plans for Windows Store.
Currently, there are only five countries (France, Germany, India, Japan and the US) that can access the Windows Store with their own dedicated app catalog. People who use the Windows 8 Consumer Preview see a "Rest of the World" selection of apps when they visit the app store. In addition, app makers in China can submit apps to Windows Store, but don't have their own dedicated store front. Today's blog post states:
In the next significant preview release of the Windows Store service, we will significantly expand our global coverage. We will add 33 additional app submission locales for developers, bringing our total to 38 supported markets for submitting Metro style apps for Windows 8. We will also expand the number of market-specific app catalogs, from 5 to 26.
The blog post adds that seven more languages will be supported for Windows 8 Metro apps in the next preview release, bringing the total number of supported languages to 109.
Microsoft's post was vague in terms of the numbers of app downloads it has recorded from the Windows Store since the launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, saying only, "We’ve seen millions of Consumer Preview app downloads, by people in more than 200 markets." It added that it has received a lot of feedback about the Windows Store and will be making some design changes based on some of that feedback.
Finally, it stated that as of April 16, Microsoft is no longer accepting Metro apps to the Consumer Preview version of Windows Store.