Windows Store to show tablets, Windows Phone, Xbox consoles
Microsoft will be opening up Windows Stores inside electronics retailer Best Buy. The new announcement sees Microsoft placing a store-within-a-store version of its retail chain inside 500 Best Buy locations in the United States and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada, with the roll-out set to be finished by September.
New payment system to work on Xbox Live, Windows Store, Windows Phone Store
Microsoft may be scrapping its Points virtual currency in favor of local currency pricing, according to a report. The rumor, which has surfaced a few times in the past, is now bolstered with new claims that the new system would work across platforms, with Microsoft preparing to reveal it at the E3 game show later this year.
Rule changes allow gaming apps more leniency in ratings
Microsoft has changed its policy of blocking 'Adult' rated games from the Windows Store in Europe. Publishers can now submit previously-denied games rated PEGI 18 in Europe to the app store, which due to the nature of European game ratings compared to those in the US, would have prevented a number of big-name titles from being sold.
Play Store approaches Apple's App Store total
Google has revealed that its Play Store app marketplace now hosts about 700,000 applications. The growth in the number of Android apps available in Google's central repository means that the search giant's app marketplace now approaches Apple's in terms of sheer scale. Google also recently announced that its Play Store had crossed the 25 billion mark for total apps downloaded.
Improvements to Maps, SkyDrive, Bing apps
Microsoft has outlined what updates it will perform to built-in apps after installing Windows 8. A company blog post states the updates apply to apps included in the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) edition, which will update through the Windows Store system, a new addition to Windows 8, however it has not been revealed if the updates will be rolled into included apps on the version being released to customers directly.
Apps will 'fail certification' if Metro name used
Microsoft has effectively banned the use of the word "Metro" from its Windows Store. Developers that submit a Windows 8 app to the store using the word will "fail certification," in a move that follows the company's efforts to eradicate its own use of the name. A recent change to the "Naming your app" instructions appears despite prominent use by Microsoft of the term elsewhere.
Windows 8 launch may keep ARM a minority
After having touted ARM support, Microsoft is expected to leave it a minority for the fall Windows 8 launch, insiders purportedly disclosed on Monday. There would be "fewer than five" ARM devices, three of which would be tablets, in the understanding of Bloomberg's sources. Over 40 companies were hoping to have Intel-based systems, they said.
Windows Store available through consumer preview
Microsoft has announced that the Windows Store for Windows 8 is now open. The only way to access it is through the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is available for download (free, Microsoft). The Windows Store is presented in the Metro style. Both Microsoft and third-party apps are available. Featured apps, such as USA Today and Cut the Rope, are located in highly visible locations. All apps on Windows Store will be available for free for the duration of the Consumer Preview.
System tries to making pushing apps out easier
Microsoft has defined a detailed process to help developers submit their apps that they've created for Windows 8. With it, the software company hopes to simplify and streamline the steps developers must follow to make their programs available to users through Microsoft's Windows Store. Ultimately, the objective is to make sure that the apps work, are properly rated for a targeted audience, and the content fits in with Microsoft's corporate image.
Microsoft outlines Windows 8 ARM support
Microsoft's Windows lead Steven Sinofsky in an elaborate breakdown Thursday ended rumors and confirmed that Windows 8 on ARM would support a conventional desktop. Users could still have access to the file system, desktop Internet Explorer 10, and "most" other core features as their x86-running counterparts. Office 15 would carry over, too, and would have touch and power optimizations despite running in the conventional desktop space.
Windows 8 preview to have handful of ported games
The Windows 8 public preview when it ships will have a handful of available games that mostly come from familiar sources in the Microsoft universe, according to new tips on Tuesday. Some of the games seen by The Verge will be direct ports of Xbox 360 downloadable titles, such as Ms. Splosion Man and Toy Soldiers. Others would be titles that are better known on mobile even with a big-screen version, such as the seminal Angry Birds and ilomilo.
App will play music & give access to Windows Store
Windows 8 will include an integrated music player. Screenshots leaked by Winunleaked have provided a preview of the UI. The player isn't as advanced as a dedicated app like Windows Media Player but could be pervasive in the OS, sitting docked next to other Metro apps.
Kill switch designed to protect against threats
Windows 8 store to let devs skip Microsoft systems
Microsoft in a presentation providing further details on the Windows Store in Windows 8 positioned it as the antithesis of Apple's own App Store. Web Services VP Antoine Leblond made clear that while the Windows Store would have in-app purchase and subscription systems, these would be strictly optional. Apps like an instance of The Daily Telegraph could use their own back-end systems, something which Leblond was keen to note could show on a Windows 8 tablet but not an Apple device.
Windows 8 app store limits raise antitrust issues
Details just now coming from a developer session at Microsoft's Build conference last week have raised major concerns about the legality of the Windows Store. While it was already known the company would likely take a 30 percent cut for paid apps using Windows 8's Metro interface, Windows Store director Ted Dworkin is now known to have also told the audience that developers will be banned from offering Metro-optimized apps outside of the store. Apps written using classic Windows programming, including ones optimized for touch, wouldn't be subject to the same rules.