Windows Store is an application store for Microsoft Windows, starting with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. The platform can be used to provide listings for desktop applications certified to run on Windows, but is also the primary distribution platform for a new type of Mobile app called "Metro-style apps" (common name) or "Windows Store apps" (official name).

Free and paid applications can be distributed through Windows Store, with paid apps ranging in cost from US$1.49 to $999.99. Windows Store was first made available with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on February 29, 2012.[1]

As with other similar platforms, such as the Mac App Store and Google Play, Windows Store is curated and apps must be certified for compatibility and content. Microsoft takes 30% of the sale price of Windows Store apps until the vendor's sales reach $25,000; from that point onward, the cut is reduced to 20%.

As of December 2013 there are approximately 142,000 apps available on the Windows Store.[2]



Microsoft previously maintained a similar digital distribution system for software known as Windows Marketplace, which allowed customers to purchase software online and download it to their computer. Product keys and licenses were tracked by the platform, allowing users to retrieve their purchases when switching computers.[3] Windows Marketplace was discontinued in November 2008.[4]

Windows 8Edit

Microsoft first announced a digital distribution service for Windows at its presentation during Build on September 13, 2011.[5] Further details announced during the conference revealed that the store would be able to hold listings for both certified traditional Windows applications, as well as what was called "Metro-style apps" at the time: Tightly sandboxed software based on Microsoft design guidelines that are constantly monitored for quality and compliance. For consumers, Windows Store is intended to be the only way to obtain Metro-style apps.[6][7] While announced alongside the "Developer Preview" release of Windows 8, the Windows Store itself was not yet available in a usable form until the "Consumer Preview", released in February 2012.[8][9]

Windows Store is not the only digital distribution service introduced with Windows 8; others include Xbox Music and Xbox Video, which sell digital entertainment media instead of software.

Windows 8.1Edit

An updated version of Windows Store is introduced by the Windows 8.1 update. Its home page was remodeled to display apps in focused categories (such as popular, recommended, top free and paid, and special offers) with expanded details, while the ability for apps to automatically update was also added.[10]

App count Edit

This table gives the app count according to MetroStoreScanner.[11]

As of date Total app count Month over month
November 30, 2012 24,358 N/A
December 31, 2012 35,973 11,615
January 31, 2013 40,666 4,693
February 28, 2013 44,309 3,643
March 31, 2013 52,751 8,442
April 30, 2013 65,891 13,140
May 31, 2013 80,302 14,411 [12]
June 30, 2013 99,401 19,099
July 31, 2013 110,299 10,898
August 31, 2013 114,624 4,325
September 30, 2013 118,551 3,927
October 31, 2013 124,437 5,886
November 30, 2013 130,892 6,455
December 31, 2013 142,005 11,113 [2]


Windows Store is the primary means of distributing Windows Store apps to users; the official reason is to allow Microsoft to scan apps for security flaws and malware.[13]Template:Unreliable source Although sideloading apps from outside the store is supported, not all computers running Windows 8 can do it. Out-of-box sideloading support is only available for Windows 8 Enterprise computers that have joined a Windows domain. Sideloading on Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro computers as well as Windows 8 Enterprise computers without a domain affiliation requires purchase of additional licenses through Microsoft volume licensing outlet.[14]

Microsoft takes a 30% cut of application sales until it reaches $25,000 USD in revenue, after which the cut drops to 20%. Third-party transactions are also allowed, of which Microsoft does not take a cut.[15] Individual developers are able to register for $19 USD and companies for $99 USD.[16]

Developers from 120 countries can submit applications to Windows Store.[17] The application now can support any of 109 languages, as long as it supports one of 12 application certification languages.[18][19][20]


Similarly to Windows Phone Store, Windows Store is regulated by Microsoft. Applicants must obtain Microsoft's approval before their application becomes available on the store. Prohibited apps include those that:[21]

  1. Contain any adult content (i.e. content warranting the ESRB's "Adults Only" rating, or equivalents)
  2. Advocate discrimination, hatred or violence based on membership in a particular racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, religious, or other social group, or based on a person’s gender, age, or sexual orientation
  3. Contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes illegal activity
  4. Contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider to be obscene
  5. Are defamatory, libelous or slanderous, or threatening
  6. Encourage, facilitate or glamorize excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons
  7. Encourage, facilitate or glamorize extreme or gratuitous violence, human rights violations or the creation or use of weapons against a person or animal in the real world
  8. Contain excessive or gratuitous profanity

Microsoft has indicated that it does have the ability to remotely disable and/or remove apps from users' systems for security or legal reasons; in the case of paid apps, refunds may be issued if this were to occur.[22]

The company initially faced criticism for incorrectly banning PEGI "18"-rated content from Windows Store in Europe, as critics noted that a number of "18"-rated games were rated "Mature" by ESRB (making the rule stricter than intended). The guidelines were amended in December 2012 to correct this abnormality.[23]

Developer toolsEdit

Windows Store provides developer tools for tracking apps in the store. One can track downloads, financials, crashes, adoption and ratings.[24]

See alsoEdit


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  2. 2.0 2.1 Script error
  3. Script error
  4. Script error
  5. Script error
  6. Script error
  7. Script error
  8. Script error
  9. Script error
  10. Script error
  11. MetroStoreScanner
  12. Script error
  13. Script error
  14. Script error
  15. Script error
  16. Script error
  17. Script error
  18. Script error
  19. Script error
  20. Script error
  21. Script error
  22. Script error
  23. Script error
  24. Script error

External linksEdit

Template:Microsoft Windows components Template:Package management systems Template:Digital distribution platforms

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