Great Windows Apps is a Windows Store alternative

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 4, 2012
Updated • Dec 5, 2012
Apps, Windows

I already mentioned yesterday that Microsoft's decision to offer Windows Store only as a program on the Windows 8 operating system and not the Internet a failure. While you will find individual app store pages listed on a Microsoft website if you use the right searches, there is no store front that you can open to search and browse applications listed in store.

MetroStore Scanner offers a solution as it is making available all store apps sorted by change or update date on its website. You can use the service to browse all the apps in Windows Store, and if you want, filter the results by country, category or phrase.

I stumbled upon Great Windows Apps last week as I was preparing the week's best Windows 8 apps article over at Betanews. It is a web service that provides you with information that Microsoft is currently not offering in its store.

The official store rates apps for instance by their average rating. What it fails to do though is take into account the number of votes an app received. An application with one five star vote, the highest possible rating, is placed in front of an app with hundreds of votes but only a 4.8 star rating. Does not really make sense, and that's where Great Windows Apps comes into play. You can visit the website of the service to browse the apps listing there, or, if you are using Windows 8, install the Windows Store app that provides you with the same functionality.

great windows apps

First thing that you may notice is the new releases listing which has the slogan "releases that are actually new". This of course refers to Windows Store's release listing where the new releases category does not list the newest releases but a selection of popular releases that are kinda new. You can browse all new releases available in the store, or select a category instead that you want to look through.

The second option displays top rated apps in each category available in store. This again differs from Microsoft's approach were an app with a single review may be listed before an app with 100. What you also do not see are ratings from other countries. Say you browse the store in the UK and find an application with zero ratings. The US app however, the very same application has been released before and has already twenty or so ratings.

The site combines ratings from various English speaking countries, to be precise the UK, US and Canada to come up with an adverage rating.

Great Windows Apps features a top developer list, something that is also not available in Windows Store. Here you find developers who have created three or more apps and have received consistent high ratings for all of them.

The site features an undiscovered application section as well which lists apps that have not yet received any ratings. It may be interesting to take a peak, but if you are browsing by newest regularly it is likely that you won't find anything of interest in here that you have not discovered before.

The application profile pages on the site display screenshots and descriptions, as well as a link to Microsoft's official store page for the application.

The web service and application improves Microsoft's Windows Store significantly. It is likely that Microsoft will eventually implement some of the features in the store and on the Internet, but until that is the case, this is another great option to browse and discover Windows 8 apps.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

  14. TelV said on October 4, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    The only “Hot” aspect about this discussion is that all the users are psychic and have discovered a way to comment on a particular topic a couple of weeks before it actually appears i.e. the article is dated 3 October while the comments date from August 18.

    Is this an example of how the super intelligent AI is going about its business?

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