Windows Phone Store expands, adds new features

Windows Phone Store expands, adds new features

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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.

25 Comments
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  • Okay I have been using Windows phone since over an year now...I like what you are doing with the interface but what about apps??

    The store lacks apps and there is no question about it...during the launch of WP8, microsoft announced majority of apps would be available...I'm still waiting Mr Ballmer..

    WP8 design team was building kid's corner when they should have invested more time in creating a decent notification center instead...how many users actually use kid's corner or how has it changed the practical usage of the phone..

    MS has to seriously reconsider its move of jumping into samrtphone market...the team has to be swift and thinking futuristic and not just catching up with apple and samsung

    I have already pre-booked Lumia 920 and will go ahead and purchase it in India but if no major upgrades and apps come my way, i have to think of switching over to something else...people in Redmond have to understand patience is running out guys..

  • mmasism
    0 Posts

    Can I upgrade my Samsung omnia with versión 7.5 to Windows 8?

  • fyronik
    0 Posts

    I am using a lumia 710 right now. The time to upgrade my phone is approaching and i would love to upgrade to a 920, but theres No way right now that I would upgrade to another windows phone when you have taken away support for the zune software... and for what reason? none. Windows and xbox were once about giving people choices, now you are taking choices away, saddening. New sync software = 100 steps in the wrong direction, not just choice, but features as well. horrible. Plz take this feedback and fix.

  • I just submitted an app enabled for both Spanish-Mexico and Spanish-Spain but the App Submission Process only offered Spanish support (note: no distinction of which culture).So, which one is it and how do I submit the app for the other one?  Can you guys work on fixing this?   It would be nice to get this done during the holiday season, like in 2012?

  • Skydrive is pretty good, but now i would have to move everything over there.  But, it also has posed issues with other google services I use such as Google Drive for sharing documents with my friends and family.  And to hear that google will not help with an email client for WP8 is really a shame.   Google let Apple have all of the Google ecosystem, but won't with Microsoft because they say sales aren't making it worth their time.  They said if WP8 starts to sell well, they would consider making these products available.  I'm wondering if I'm so far invested in the Google ecosystem that only the iPhone and Android devices will fit my needs.    I have until mid January to figure it out, that's when the Verizon holiday return window ends.

  • Hi,

    I'm curious if there will be also an Affiliate Programm to promote apps through third party websites.

  • @hitdog042...

    I suggest you move all your photos to SkyDrive. As a Windows phone owner you absolutely have to be crazy not to take advantage of this service. It's built into the OS in multiple locations, and there is a dedicated app which works great.✔

    Like it or not these ecosystems are closing! Pretty soon you will not find a corporations services on competing platforms. Its not the best option for the consumer in the short term, but it will create competition in the long term, which is great for the consumer.

    On the other hand, as Html 5 web applications become the norm it will make it hard for platforms to compete in this way, incase they get sneaky.. Supposedly, anyone with a browser with heavy HTML 5 support will be able to run any HTML 5 app, which in return could stop the app war between platforms. Good news! Your 8x is equipped with IE10, which has terrific HTML5 support.

    Microsoft has a complete ecosystem, like Google, and Windows Phone takes advantage of the entire ecosystem. You made the right choice when you got the 8x.. You just need to decide if you want to get the most out of it.. ❔❔

  • Android OS is dead?  Thats laughable.  Anyway, I like my new 8X but wish Google worked better with it.  Gmail leaves a lot to be desired compared to my GS3 and notifications via facebook are lackluster at best.. I didn't even know I had messages on FB  until I manually checked it (and yes it's set to send notifications).   Also Twitter notifications same deal...  but I do enjoy the OS.   I really want Spotify to hurry up already.  But no google+ photo integration is killing me.. that's where all my pictures are.    Logging on through the browser is tedious at best

  • Welcoming more countries!! I just want to rush your work a bit and help us migrate from one country to another! Please.

  • I don't have a Windows Phone 8 yet, I'll be getting one in a couple of weeks. In the mean time, I've been using a HTC HD7 for the past year. But what I would like to know is are we able to stream the movies that we purchased on Xbox Video on our WP8 devices yet? I would like to be able to take my movies on the go.

  • Leila
    12 Posts

    @, that's correct. More apps should be available in all markets. But it depends more on publisher than Microsoft.

    Microsoft encourages developers to select all regions, at the time of publishing the app. Rest is totally on developer's consent. You can request developers to open their app for your region or change your regions to United States from settings to get the app.

  • Nathan
    63 Posts

    , that's correct. Nothing like MetroTube.

    Google has stated that they won't be releasing apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Happens after Microsoft released apps like SkyDrive, OneNote etc for their confusing platform.

    So lesson learned Microsoft. Don't respect for their platform either. Cut of the supplies of every app starting with Skype. Their stupid Android OS  is already dead if you ask me.

  • The Windows Phone Store in Saudi Arabia does not have a lot of apps. Twitter, Metro Tube, GleeK, Podcasts just to name a few. Please make them available for the Store. Or just make a global Store for everyone.  

  • If i use a windows phone i would like to set a wallpaper(of my girlfriend's photo) in the home screen and position those live tiles according to me(may be only in bottom or left side or right side or top).Live tiles are great.But i may dont need all.So I want a option to customize my home screen.The lock screen is also excellent.But need the option to customize home screen also.

  • @ronny464

    Looking for a YouTube app?? MetroTube is way better than any official YouTube app that Google would release for WP...

    What other Google apps are you missing?

  • you must have google apps to succeed, not having a real you tube or any other google apps will kill this platform! Wake up!

  • Not sure if I like that comment in the second paragraph. Lol!

  • Nathan
    63 Posts

    , you mean www.windowsphone.com/en-gh Its already there!

  • KNS
    0 Posts

    One big problem with Windows Store is to identify great apps with good ratings. Windows store evaluates the apps even with a single rating, which brings many apps to the top of the list, which are typically garbage apps. Please use a minimum qualification for the ratings. Probably, after 10 ratings, the app should be listed in the ranking...

  • I only had two things on my Christmas list:

    Podcasts in the the Windows Phone Store outside the USA

    ...or failing that...

    A good explanation of the reasons why we can't have that.

    Guess I'm just going to get socks again!

  • robble
    4 Posts

    These are actually very cool updates, thanks. Please let us know what the state of play is with full device backup, so we can upgrade from WP7 to WP8, and also if we drop/lose our phones we know that EVERYTHING is backed up.

    A friend of mine dropped their blackberry; the screen was cracked but it still worked. She just used the BB software to back it up, then pushed all that data to her new phone. Seamless. When will you do that with Windows Phone? Details here: 101fixes.blogspot.com/.../6-windows-phone-backup.html

  • riseagn
    28 Posts

    much appropriated

    i got one suggestion and one complain

    my suggestion: carrier billing in all regions will help people to buy apps/games and it will help developers to get more profit. if that's not possible at least give us an option to buy apps and games with a prepaid cards/gift cards or an option to buy apps and games using PayPal this will help you, us, and developers

    my complain: not all apps and games published to all regions a lot of times i can't find newly published app/game in my local wp store so not all stores have same equal apps and games

    my best wishes to Microsoft

  • Microsoft how can you still forget my country (Ghana). Please don't keep. Me waiting for too long, please include Ghana in the next batch.....there are lots of Windows Phones here.

  • How can we add widgets on home screen? Also why are there no launchers in the store? I don't like the default one.

  • I do not understand is that do not receive an email with the details of the purchase