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Microsoft offers sneak peek at Windows 8's Store for apps [Video]

December 7, 2011 |  9:20 am

Microsoft has released new details on its Windows Store for Windows 8 -- no it's not called App Store a la Apple -- which will be its online storefront selling applications to run on Windows 8 laptops, desktops and tablets.

The Windows Store will sell "Metro-style" apps. Microsoft Metro is the design language of flat, actively updating "live tile" icons for apps that debuted last year on the Windows Phone 7 operating system, and is making its way over to the Xbox 360 video game system this week in a software update.

Most Windows 8 Metro apps available in the Windows Store should adhere to touch, stylus or keyboard and mouse input, since they'll have to run on traditional PCs and tablets as well.

Windows StoreMicrosoft will also have a tiered system of what its cut of an apps revenue will be. Apple famously takes a 30% cut of revenue for all apps sold in its iOS App Store (for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch) and Mac App Store (for Mac computers).

Microsoft will take a similar 30% share of revenue for each app sold in its Windows Store, but once an app passes $25,000 in total revenue, the tech giant will drop its share down to 20% for the remainder of time that the app is sold, the company said in a statement.

To access the new Windows Store, the masses will have to wait until Windows 8 officially launches sometime next year. But developers will be able to access the Windows Store, in a beta release, if they've installed the Windows 8 Developer Preview version of the new OS, which is a free download available to all.

Microsoft is now taking Windows 8 app submissions and has launched a "First Apps Contest," which the tech giant will use to choose the first eight apps available in the Windows Store when it officially opens.

The new Windows Store isn't the first time that Microsoft is taking a stab at replicating the success Apple has had with its App Stores. The much-maligned Windows Vista had an app store called the Windows Marketplace, though both the operating system and the Marketplace never found much popularity.

Still, Windows is the most widely used PC operating system in the world. Microsoft says it has sold more than 500 million Windows 7 licenses worldwide to date and the company is hoping that Windows 8 will continue dominating PCs as well as give the company a significant stake in the growing tablet market that it lacks.

Microsoft also said that the Windows Store will launch globally in 231 markets and more than 100 languages, with the ability to accept payments in 58 currencies.

Follow the jump to see screen shots of the Windows Store in action.

  • Microsoft's Windows Store on Windows 8. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
  • The Windows Store in Chinese. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
  • An example of in-app payments with PayPal in the Windows 8 eBay app. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
  • An example of in-app purchases in the Windows 8 Animoto app. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
  • An example of third-party transactions for in-app purchases in the Daily Telegraph Windows 8 app. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
  • Windows 8 Apps, such as the game Cut The Rope, can be used on a trail basis. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
  • The Windows 8 home screen, with Metro style tiles, including a tile for the Windows Store. (Credit: Microsoft Corp.)


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Image: A screen shot of the Windows Store in Windows 8. Credit: Microsoft