Confirmed: Windows 8 to Get App Store

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 will include support for a smartphone-like "app store". But it's not yet clear what the implications will be for app developers.

The app store is simply a central marketplace through which users can purchase software and then have it automatically installed on a device like a PC. The term app store was made popular on smartphones, most notably the Apple iPhone. (Source:

Although leaked screenshots of Windows 8 suggested such a feature was on the way, Microsoft has now all but made that certain. It's published a list of the teams it has working on the new operating system (OS) and their specific areas of work, which include App Compatibility and Device Compatibility, App Store, Applications and Media Experience and App Experience. (Source:

Smoother Installation a Possibility

The most interesting element of a Microsoft app store will be how it affects the way software is installed and uninstalled.

One of the main benefits of the app store model on mobile devices is that it's simple to add an application to the phone or tablet, then delete it later if it's not to your taste, without any lasting effects on performance.

With traditional Windows installations, things aren't always so smooth. Because developers have few restrictions, it's common for a program to leave traces of itself behind on a machine even after being "uninstalled," hence the need for a Windows Registry Cleaner.

Microsoft App Store Could Represent Major Changes

A Microsoft app store may require developers to follow much tighter restrictions about the way the software interacts with Windows. That could mean more work for app makers, but a less troublesome experience for users.

If the app feature proves successful, it could represent major changes to the way customers choose and use software.

At the moment there are numerous sources of both free and paid applications, but it can be tricky deciding which sources are reliable. If an official app store makes people more confident about trying new software, it could be a major boost to developers, particularly those without marketing budgets.

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