Microsoft Adds New Features to Windows Store Apps

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 8 is less than three weeks away but as of last week there were just two thousand applications in Microsoft's Windows Store, the company's new digital media distribution system that's similar to app stores from Google and Apple.

However, with the clock ticking down Microsoft is working furiously to improve its Windows Store offerings.

First off, the company recently announced how apps will be updated.

"The Store tile will notify you when updates are available, and you can open it and click the updates link in the top right corner to see the list and install the ones you want," noted Gabriel Aul, who works for Microsoft's project management team. (Source:

Bing, SkyDrive Apps Receive Overhauls

The firm has also offered major updates to several popular programs, including search application Bing and cloud storage app SkyDrive.

According to Microsoft, the Bing application (not to be confused with the website) now offers better search results for local content and pictures. It will also offer a special zoom tool that allows users to view related search results. (Source:

SkyDrive, Microsoft's impressive cloud storage service, is also receiving improvements. The firm has now added search functionality to the tool and the ability to rename and move files and folders. The arrangement of files can also be fully customized.

Microsoft is also giving a boost to its Maps app, adding a Bird Eye View feature. The tool will also now offer drivers special tips on how to reach destinations and an improved navigation interface. There's also integration with Bing and a Travel app.

Are "Thousands" of Apps Enough?

The real challenge will be adding new apps, not updating existing ones. Aul insisted there were already "thousands" of apps in the Windows Store, though of course that means two thousand, not the hundreds of thousands of apps available through Apple and Android stores.

Still, it's good to hear that, according to Aul, Microsoft is "working with developers from around the world to bring more [apps] in every day." (Source:

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