Finally, Microsoft to build unified app store for Windows Phone and desktop Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 27, 2013
Windows, Windows 8

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).

Closing Words

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.


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  1. anon said on September 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    People are waiting for this? really?

  2. Andrew said on September 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    You know… I always thought this was the original point of windows blue at the start, to merge windows phone and windows 8

  3. Coyote said on September 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Knowing Microsoft they will only offer ‘desktop’ versions of the app at a premium price and then only if the dev jumps through tons of hoops and pays a large cut. Plus, likely no discount if you already own the mobile version.

  4. Nguyen Van Minh said on September 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

    ”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.”

    No, just no, as a desktop user I’ve had no trouble whatsoever with it, it doesn’t lack applications compared to other P.C.’s like Apple’s Macintosh, which has ¼ the amount of apps, and the fake and copycat apps are half-of-time really good (the other half they’re scams, but you can always report that to Microsoft), the navigation is really, really easy, there are green-boxes and you can use the charms bar to search for your favourite apps, which is just brining your mouse to a corner on the right and going into the opposite direction really fast, no trouble whatsoever.

    1. JohnMWhite said on September 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      So not really “no, just no” but “my personal, subjective experience has been somewhat different”?

      My personal, subjective experience has been different, too. I can’t stand the App Store, I’ve found it tremendously clunky and difficult to sort through. I swiftly stopped bothering, because there are far fewer Apps than applications available on a regular desktop. That’s kind of natural since the Windows desktop has been around for so long, but the problem isn’t really quantity, it’s that there is nothing of sufficient quality to really attract a desktop user like myself to start using Apps and the Modern interface. Why would I install an App that will eat the entire screen and make switching between programs more awkward if it doesn’t even offer me functionality I can’t get already with a simple, standard program?

  5. Abdur Rehman said on September 27, 2013 at 9:19 am

    good to know but it’s not confirmed i think as for officially

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