I’ve been using Windows 10 on my Lumia 640 for nearly a month now (no I’m not crazy) and one of the most used Apps on my device is the Windows store.
Now the Windows and Windows Phone stores both share a reputation for having bad apps, spammy apps , awful curation and whatnot. This is most obvious in the Windows 8.1 store- which despite having more users that the Windows Phone store – still has less apps than the latter.
Microsoft announced a set of initiatives to clean up the Windows stores earlier this year and the results have been muted on the 8.1 stores. Now, when using Windows 10 and the new unified Windows store for an extended period of tine, I can see more of what Microsoft plans to do to fix the stores and their reputation.
Both the Windows Phone store and the Windows store have a new + rising section which surfaces new and interesting apps. The key difference here is that the Windows Phone store shows a lot of junky, spammy apps that may be of interest to some people but not to the general public. The new Windows store is much better in this regard. The apps in new + rising actually appear to be curated to some extent.
The spammy apps I sae in 8.1? Banished to the shadows. What’s more, the app reccomendation engine is much improved. On Windows Phone 8.1(and Windows 8.1 ) to some extent, the Windows Phone store would suggest related apps to an app you were looking at in the store.
What I found was that often, the related apps section was quite irrelevant to anything I would want with junk apps also making an appearance. Now in Windows 10, the store is more intelligent. Suggesting better suited apps to users and surfacing interesting apps. This is most likely due to the algorithm changes Microsoft has implemented into the store, burying irrelevant apps and pulling up good ones.
I’ve long since complained about the Windows store having being plagued with issues, especially regarding discoverability. With over 670,000 apps in the Windows store, users are going to need a convenient way to find apps they’ll need, and with Windows 10, Microsoft makes this possible. Its not perfect yet – no app stores are – but its much better than what came before in terms of discoverability.
The Windows Stores still lacks some features like seeing version number, last updates and the ability to remotely install apps on other devices. But as it is now a universal store app, Microsoft can now update the app and add new features to it on the fly like they did with the old Windows 8.1 store. It’ll hopefully get better, and come September and Windows 1o Mobile and TH2 – the Windows store should be a whole different beast.