Apple had some details of a revamped App Store ready to share for today’s iPhone 5 event, but it’s not the only game in town with some changes to its digital storefront. Microsoft just announced its own redesign, turning the Marketplace into the Windows Phone Store.
We got our first hint of this change a little over a month ago, when we saw Microsoft start using that new language with its Dev Center. It turns out it’s part of a larger overhaul of the company’s Windows Phone web presence. The changes aren’t going down all at once, everywhere, and instead will be rolled-out nation by nation, with Australia and New Zealand seeing the changes first.
So, what can you expect from the new Window Phone Store? App discovery is supposed to be improved thanks to a smarter search feature, compensating for spelling errors and adding related apps to the results you’re see. It will even handle broad searches by genre, rather than any specific app names.
Apps are getting sorted into more groups to continue to help make them easier to find, with additions like a Best Rated list and tweaked categories like Top Paid and Top Free apps. A “Spotlight” section will feature recent downloads by Microsoft’s top Windows Phone experts.
There are also some family-friendly changes, with better filtering to keep the site’s content appropriate for users of all ages, as well as new ways to report apps that could be cause for concern.
Microsoft promises even more changes than it goes into today, so keep your eyes peeled for the new Windows Phone site to launch in your neck of the woods, in order to check them out all for yourself.