Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Posted by Saad Hashmi at 3:28 PM —
Microsoft has made a slew of announcements today, and they all revolve around the Windows Phone Marketplace. Actually, after today it's not longer the Marketplace anymore — say hello to the Windows Phone Store.
The rebranded app storefront isn't just a name change, as the Windows Phone Blog has informed us how the underlying service is also getting tweaked. One such new features is the improved app search engine, which is now powered by the Bing algorithm. That means users will be able to find apps even if they've misspelled something (like "Facebok" instead of "Facebook"), finding similar apps based on the query, and finding apps in the same category. Another note from the team is that the Bing algorithm is actually designed to improve over time based on people's searches, which means search results will be changing dynamically for the better.
Next up is all-new app lists in the Store. While the same three broad lists — New, Free and Top — will continue to exist in a similar fashion, they are going to be slightly altered (and thus more useful). The new app lists are: Featured, Best Rated, New+Rising, Top Free, Top Paid, and Xbox. The New+Rising list in particular seems to be the most beneficial to discover hot new apps, and the Windows Phone team says the list even measures the rate of downloads for each app. A similarly unique take is being applied to the new Best Rated list, which not only ranks the most highly-reviewed apps but also determines their spot on the list based on usage patterns. Neat!
There's also a new Spotlight page found in the online Windows Phone Store (pictured above), which is a curated list of recently published apps worth checking out in an attractive mosaic layout. Finally, the new Store is also coming with a much needed new feature: a true app reporting function. Now if users spot a scam app or one that violates the Store's publishing rules, they can click on the new 'Report concern' link that will appear on an app's download page.
Check out one more image, showing off the new WindowsPhone.com home page, after the break.
Source: Windows Phone Blog