Microsoft has the Windows Store for Windows 8 apps and the Windows Phone Store for Windows Phone apps. However, Microsofts plans to offer a way for app makers to sell third party apps for Microsofts Office 2013 and Office 365 are not as well known. The company revealed those plans a couple of months ago.
During the BUILD 2012 developer conference today, we chatted with Office team members about their plans for the Office Store. They showed us an example app, made internally, that was made for the new version of Excel. Its a 2012 Election Tracker app which takes polling data from a third party service and creates an animated map of the US.
The app shows which US Presidential candidate individual states are currently leaning towards voting for next week. As an example, early polls showed Mitt Romney leading in Florida so the state was pictured in red. Later in the year, Florida turned blue as its residents seemed to lean towards Barack Obama. Now Florida seems to going Romneys way again as it is very red.
Creating apps like this for Office can be a whole new frontier for app developers. Microsoft thinks that the mobile app market is currently pretty crowded but making apps to sell on the Office Store could be a new way for app developers to make some money.
At the moment, Microsoft says there are "hundreds" of app developers making apps for the Office Store. Its currently in a free preview version for the current version of Office, as well as for Office on Windows RT devices. The final version of the Office Store, which will feature paid apps as well as free ones, will launch alongside the final version of Office 2013 in early 2013.