Windows Phone Store expands, adds new features

Good news: Our web Store for apps and games is now open in 37 new locations around the world.

The new markets are: Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (DRC), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

With these additions, customers can browse and buy apps through our website in a total of 112 markets worldwide (see the full list here). The web outlet complements the phone Store, which is now available in 191 markets worldwide. And we’re continuing to work to bring the Store to more places.

New Store features

As I described in my last post, shopping for apps on WindowsPhone.com has gotten a lot easier recently, with more accurate search results, new categories, and the addition of Collections, our handpicked guides to the Store’s best apps and games.

Today I’d like to mention several more new or recent upgrades to the website.

The first is universal search. Instead of having to go one place to find apps and another to search for how-to articles, you’ll now see all these search results in one place, which should help make it faster and easier to find what you’re looking for.

The web Store also now has support for installing apps via SD card, which many Windows Phone 8 models support. This option can be useful when a cellular or Wi-Fi data connection isn’t available. Just look for the “Download and install manually” link on the app’s details page. Click to download the app’s installation—or.xap—file, which can then be copied over to the phone’s SD card and installed. (See How do I install apps from an SD card? for step-by-step instructions.)

Finally, I wanted to call out the improved app reinstallation feature that’s part of My Phone on the website. This feature comes in handy particularly if you lose a phone or upgrade to Windows Phone 8. As long as you use same Microsoft account, you’ll see a Reinstall option beside each of the apps in your purchase history—just click it to put the app back on your new phone. This feature is available for both free and paid apps, which you don’t have to buy again. This how-to article has more details.

Hello 2013

The team worked hard this year to expand the Windows Phone Store to new markets and add improvements making it easier to find and download great apps and games. But we couldn’t have done it without your support and feedback, which guided many of our efforts.

Our focus on improvement won’t change in 2013, so please keep the suggestions flowing: we’re listening, and looking forward to making the Store even better next year. Happy holidays.