The Windows 8 Store has been speculated, rumoured and much talked about, amongst all others. As previewed a couple of months ago, at Microsoft's Build 2011 conference, this store will be a portal where everyday users of touch devices or desktop system can enter and manually pick their next favourite application. Gone will be the days when a user purchased programs by entering a dozen of websites, looking for reviews or maybe, for lower prices. The Windows App Store will unite all developers under one roof, although they will have to respect some agreements before being featured online.
Similar to other well-known concepts like Android's Market and Apple's App Store, the Windows 8 Store (we shall call it this way because an official name hasn't been set yet) will be the host of applications of all sorts. Of course, it will be touch-input optimized and the general look will be designed in a Metro style, where live tiles make up for icons. Several categories will exist, like Games, Finance and Productivity, each of them being displayed using several attributes. You can choose to order these categories in a list, based on the Top Paid, Top Free and Top rated criteria.
Once you navigate through to your desired category, every application will be listed in a tile that contains its name and, of course, the price. You will also find here that some developers offer trial testing periods, ranging from 24 hours up to 30 days. A fixed threshold has yet to be mentioned by Microsoft and we hope this will be left at the developer's wish in the final build.
Those wondering what kind of programs the Windows 8 store will contain must know that Microsoft is not going towards a selfish view. Whether you own a tablet or a regular PC, the Store will offer applications for every device. Casual programs will also be listed here, alongside Metro compatible apps, so developers won't be forced to adopt the new-age style unless they want to (not like Apple did). Microsoft likes to release products a bit later and learn from other's mistakes.
Most certainly, Microsoft will set a standard that must be respected by every application within the Store and towards that developers will have to adapt. These rules may be a step towards keeping regular users out of malware circles and most of all will keep them protected.
In previous months we've come across a series of leaked images, showing the Windows 8 Store named as the Windows App Store, a trademark currently owned by Apple. We are yet to ascertain if these images are counterfeit or not, because the interface used is in plain, Windows 7 style. Microsoft has announced that at launch, Windows 7 will not be supported but, who knows what will happen in the future?
Speaking of the launch, it wasn't announced yet if the Windows 8 Store will be available in the same day as the new OS but, we hope to see it soon. Currently, the store tile can be seen in the developer preview version but it's not functional.