Windows 8 Store Needs To Be Fixed Before Launch

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 15, 2012
Updated • Apr 15, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

If you have followed the development of Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 8 up to this point you know that the OS will ship with a store for Metro apps. That's significant in a number of ways. A store for one means that Windows users will be able to install first and third party apps right from within the operating system without having to use a third party program to do so. While it does not cover desktop applications at all, it is a step that is both beneficial to Microsoft and the customers.

Microsoft benefits from the control that they have over the store, and the extra revenue that its generates. Customers benefit from the review process that makes sure that malicious or harmful apps are rejected right away, and ease of access.

Windows 8 Store Issues

windows store

The store as it stands now has several issues which I'd like to discuss in the following paragraphs.

  1. Navigation - The only way to navigate the store is to scroll horizontally. While this may make sense on touch enabled devices, it does not offer the best user experience on desktop PCs. But even if there was an option to change the page layout and thus the scrolling direction, it would not really address the core issue: Lack of overview. How many app groups are available? You do not see that on the start page. Only after scrolling all the way to the right, and remembering the group positions. An option to jump to a specific category is missing, and Microsoft should consider adding a table of contents options to the store.
  2. Filters - While it is possible to display only free apps (there are no paid apps yet in the store), there is no option yet to filter by app type. If you never want to buy apps, you'd probably want an option to hide all trial and paid apps automatically from the store.
  3. New apps - This is one of the things that Google's Chrome Web Store lacks of as well. There is no indication of new apps in the store. If you want to find out what's new, you need to browse to the category that you are interested in, and click through to see if you can identify the new apps among the old. Why is there no new group or category, or a new filter available? Microsoft, look at the Mozilla Add-ons store to see how this is implemented well. The same goes for app versions and updates. Is there a way to see if an app has been updated if you have not installed it? Maybe you have installed it once, noticed that it has an error, removed it again and decided to try it later again when it has received an update?Update: Each category listing has a sort by newest option, but there is no option to sort all apps by newest.
  4. Language filter - The store in its current form displays apps that are written in a language that is not the system's default language. While you see lots of English apps in the store, you will also spot French, Chinese or German apps in the store with no apparent option to filter those out.
  5. Confusing top lists - When you open a top list of apps, you will see them all lumped together on the screen with no apparent ordering system behind it. Apps are not sorted by rating which would be an obvious choice. Maybe they are sorted by number of downloads, but it is not clear if that's the case. It is also not clear if top apps are listed by row, or column, or another order.
  6. Colors - Apps are displayed in their dominating colors, which does not really make that much sense as this is not something that users consider when selecting apps. It would make more sense to give every app category its own distinct color, and use these colors instead.
  7. Scrolling - Hiding the scroll bar after some time may make the page look prettier, but it also remove a visual indicator on the page. The user needs to move the mouse cursor or touch the screen to display the scrollbar again. Also, why is there no automatic scrolling when you move the mouse cursor to the right end of the screen.
  8. Search - Why is there no search in the store? While you can search for apps using the Metro search functionality, you can't select search in the store directly (or if you can, I have not found the switch or option to do just that). An option to just start typing like on the Metro start page would resolve the issue right away.
  9. Lots of whitespace - I get it. If you are working with touch, you need reasonably large icons to tap on to activate. But desktop PCs do not have those requirements. Why are there only eight and a half icons visible on a 1366x768 screen? It does not really make that much sense to me, as it means more scrolling to see all the available apps and categories.

Closing Words

The Consumer Preview is not the final version of the operating system, and as thus, the store is not final as well. It is likely that we will see changes being made to the store in the next release (release candidate or RTM). I personally would love to see a layout that is more suitable for desktop PCs. Maybe offer app listings instead of those bright colorful boxes, just like you can change the icon view mode in Explorer to list view.

Microsoft needs to work on the Windows store layout, as it simple does not work well. It is in many regards similar to Chrome's Web Store, which for me personally, does not work at all as well. The store simply does not give me the sorting options that I want, and while that is great for the top apps and first apps listed in each category, it means that a lot of apps won't get the visibility that they deserve.

I'd also like to see an app of the day group which highlights a great app or day prominently in the store.

Have you tested the store yet? If so, what's your take on it?


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.