I think we were pretty sure this day was coming ever since Microsoft announced the new Windows Store late last year.
According to the official Windows Phone blog in a post today they have started a transition of the Windows Phone Marketplace to be called the Windows Store.
Graphically it is not much of a change however, the site is brining in some nice improvements over the current implementation of the marketplace for Windows Phone such as improved search which is now powered by Bing.
- Find apps even if you make spelling mistakes or typos—for example, “Facebok” instead of “Facebook”.
- Find similar apps more easily. For example, type “guitar” and you’ll see relevant apps even if they don’t have “guitar” in the title.
- Finds apps in same genre. Type “health” to see apps related to dieting, exercise, and more.
The Windows Store on your phone will now line up to be consistent with what we are seeing in Windows 8 with categories such as Top Free and Top Paid. They are also adding a category called New+Rising to highlight apps that are being downloaded a lot. There will also be Best Rated to show you the popular apps based on their ratings which is personally my favorite and a much better indicator of an apps functionality and popularity.
I like the steps they will take concerning racy apps as well to protect young users as well as apps that concern you and may need reporting:
We’re also committed to stocking a range of apps and ensuring Store appeals to as many phone buyers as possible. To strike a balance, we’ve decided to make racier apps a little less visible. We’ll continue to carry apps in this genre that meet our certification criteria and display them in search results. They’ll just be less front and center to casual browsers, a group that can include younger family members.
By popular request, we’re also adding a mechanism for reporting apps that concern you. We work hard to ensure quality and peace of mind, testing all apps thoroughly before accepting them. But we’re not perfect and want you to let us know if you encounter an app or game that you find offensive, has technical problems, or doesn’t work as advertised. Just tell us using the new “Report concern” link located on every app’s download page.
As usual they are continuing their work on the platform and will add improvements and tweaks to the system as it matures.
As of this posting the US version of the site has not made the transition but I have read on Twitter where the United Kingdom already has the new update.