Windows Store Updates and Changes in Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013

Introduction

Today I will talk about the exciting new features to expect in Windows 8.1 and VS 2013 specific to the Windows Store.

New Features in Windows 8.1 and VS 2013

  1. Automatic App Updates
  2. Bing Analytics
  3. Redeemable Credit
  4. Proxy authentication for enterprise scenarios

Automatic App Updates

You can let users automatically update their apps with Windows 8.1. This ensures that the user always get the most up to date content and that bug-fixes will always be dealt with more quickly. With no user assistance needed, your apps can be updated automatically and efficiently. Although it is turned on by default, the user can also enable it by : Going to the Store app / swiping to the left / selecting Settings / App updates / and turning  "Automatically update my apps" to "On."

Bing Analytics

Searching in the Windows Store and other means of app discovery inside the Windows Store will now, since Windows 8.1 be handled with Bing analytics. This brings the following enhancements when looking for an app inside the Windows Store :

  1. Finding apps from an app's ( that you have liked ) publisher is much easier. It is also easier to find related apps with the same functionalities and features
  2. Best-selling apps are much easier and quicker to find
  3. Your apps will be more discoverable when searched for by feature, content or name

Redeemable Credit

By offering redeemable credit inside the Windows 8.1 Store, paid apps and in-app purchases are made more accessible to more customers. Some of the benefits include :

  1. Purchase as redeemable codes from third-party sites
  2. Purchase as cards with redeemable codes from third-party sites
  3. Give Windows Store credits as gift(s)
  4. Store credit for later use

Proxy Authentication for Enterprise Scenarios

Authentication over Web Proxy Auto-Discovery ( WPAD ) and Privilege Attribute Certificate ( PAC ) are now supported in the Windows Store. This allows people to use their tablets at work or at home whilst maintaining security policies.

Changed Features in Windows 8.1 and VS 2013

  1. Large In-App Purchase Catalogs
  2. Store Pages

Large In-App Purchase Catalogs

In earlier Windows Store versions there used to be a limitation of product entries. This limitation was set at 200. The problem was that developers had to find other more difficult ways to offer in-app purchase catalogs that had more than 200 entries. This has changed with Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 allows you to create a small (not too small, but quite enough) list of product entries for specific price tiers. Each of these items in this list can represent hundreds of offers with the same price range. A nice example can be found here.

Store Pages

The look and feel of the Windows Store and Pages has been revamped quite a bit. This will improve how your apps are displayed to potential customers. Apps that are shown on the Windows Store home page can appear on lists like Trending, Picks for you and New & Rising. They can also appear on the Spotlight section.

A new Related apps page will allow customers to explorer similar apps based on Publisher or similarities between other apps.

The updated Product Description page displays information of the app that is relevant, during purchasing.

Conclusion

There you have it. Unfortunately this is all I could dig up at this stage concerning the Windows Store changes in Windows 8.1. But, these changes and updates are awesome and it just begs the question: "Why only now?" Hopefully, when I have more details, I can explorer them as well, but the onus is now on you to put this knowledge to good use and to play around more in the Windows Store! happy coding!



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