Microsoft detailed the fine points of its Windows Store for Windows 8 today. The store, due to enter beta in late February, was previously revealed in December, and allows developers to submit apps starting at $1.49 and charge up to $999, with free and demo apps also available. Applications will be presented in a variety of categories, designed to surface apps to users in a single tap. There doesn't appear to be any restrictions on the amount of installable apps, but Windows Store apps will be restricted to five Windows 8 PCs, and users will be prompted to remove a device to make way for an additional one.
The install experience of Windows 8 apps is designed to be simple, with minimal download details, rather like Microsoft's Metro design. "We don’t believe you should have to stare at a progress bar and count every second as it goes by," said Microsoft's Jonathan Wang. Microsoft is using the built-in notification system of Windows 8 to notify users once downloads are complete, allowing them to multitask while they wait. App updates will also be downloaded in the background, but not installed, making it quicker to install them when required.
Overall there appears to be a lot of thought and work around Windows 8 from Microsoft's engineers. The Windows Store will be the sole source of Microsoft's new Metro Style apps, and Microsoft is simplifying the experience to make discovering, installing and updating apps an easy process. Some desktop apps will also be advertised in the store, if they meet Microsoft's Desktop App certification requirements, but the majority will be Windows 8 Metro Style. The first apps will be available in beta form next month, so we'll get a better idea of developer interest and Microsoft's Metro efforts very soon.