If you have read my take on why the Windows App store is not popular right now, you know my opinion on the current state of the apps store of the Windows 8 operating system.
It has lots of issues. A lack of applications, no appeal to desktop users at all, issues with fake and copy cat apps, and a navigation that works on tablets but not so well on the desktop.
My conclusion was that Microsoft had to work hard to change things around. Among the suggestions was to acquire popular game and app companies, cooperate with others, and to provide incentives to developers to developer for Windows 8.
Probably the most important suggestion of them all was to merge the Windows Phone and Windows for PC store into a single store.
While Windows 8 store apps may not run on Windows Phone devices, Windows Phone apps may very well scale to the larger screens of Windows PCs and tablets. That's exactly how Apple handles this in the company store, and according to The Verge, that's what Microsoft plans to do come early 2014.
I file this in the rumor department right now, as Microsoft has not officially commented on the plan yet, and likely won't do so for the foreseeable future.
The news post does not mention how a unified app store for Windows Phone and Windows would work. While it is likely that users will be able to use - some, most or all - Windows Phone apps on Windows 8.1 when the store launches, it has not been confirmed yet that this will be the case.
A unified store without that option on the other hand would not really bring anything new to the table, at least not for the user in front of the computer.
It is therefore likely that Microsoft plans to boost apps on Windows 8 by merging the two stores.
The move makes sense in a lot of ways and will take care of one of the core issues that the Windows 8 operating system is currently facing: a lack of apps.
It may also increase the appeal of Windows 8 for Windows Phone users, as they may now use the apps that they use on their phones also on the desktop operating system.
Developers too may benefit from this in the long run. Instead of maintaining two different code bases for an app that they have published to Windows Store and for Windows Phone, they may be able to maintain one that takes care of everything (different layouts for example).
Unifying the platform makes sense for Microsoft and while it is not clear if you will be able to run Windows Phone apps right away on Windows PCs or Windows RT, it is likely that this is going to happen eventually.