Windows Phone Marketplace now officially a Store
Microsoft's mobile shop gets a name change ahead of WP8 release
Published: 14 September, 2012
There were signs that it was going to happen but now it's official - in future the Windows Phone Marketplace is going to be known as the Windows Phone Store. The news comes from Microsoft's Windows Phone blog in an entry which highlights a number of improvements made to the Windows Phone website which will make shopping there a more friendly (and family friendly) experience.
Aside from the name the biggest change which has been made to the store is the search function. Now it's going to rely on Bing to deliver search results which will compensate for spelling mistakes and return related apps as well as apps in the same genre. It's also said that the search will get smarter over time, learning from a user's previous searches. App lists have also been tweaked with new categories including Top Free, Top Paid and Best Rated.
Other tweaks to app visibility include a revamped new & rising list which is refreshed more frequently while the showcase areas will display a mosaic of recently published apps chosen by "in-house experts".
There seems to have been some concern over how readily adult content was displayed in the store and this is changing too. While Microsoft is going to continue selling these kind of apps they'll be less visible in the store. There's also going to be a "report concern" link on the download page of each application allowing users to report any content which might be offensive or not work properly.
Australia and New Zealand are going to be the first ones to see the changes but they'll gradually make their way around the world over the coming weeks. Apparently the changes are "just the beginning" and Microsoft seems to be listening to its feedback so hopefully there's better and more exciting things to come for the ecosystem.