Microsoft has launched its new and unified version of Windows Store for Windows 10 apps, merging the earlier Windows Store and Windows Phone Store in one body. Implying that from now onwards, a selection of both Windows and Windows Phone apps can be found in one place.
Henceforth, users now who pay a visit to the old Windows Phone Store website will be redirected to the new store website. The change is rolling out gradually, and it is available in the US right now.
Nothing much has changed in terms of the overall look and interface. Though it seems much intuitive with different categories neatly placed to help users browse the contents of the store. Now, the universal store only caters to Windows 10 and Windows Phone apps, though notably there is a Xbox link that suggests that more categories will be included shortly.
The launch of the universal Windows Store gives us a clear indication of how Microsoft plans to integrate the entire Windows ecosystem in one place. It wants to create that symbiotic Windows experience across PCs, tablets and smartphones. By doing this, Microsoft is also aiming at attracting more developers to the Windows platform. Once universal apps are created, they’ll work across all Windows 10 devices.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier reports, Windows 10 PCs will be in stores on the launch day from a slew of established manufacturers including Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Lenovo Group Ltd. and Acer Inc. Though there’s still ambiguity over whether these systems will be shipping on day 1, or whether they’ll only be available online or when ordered from the Microsoft Store.
Meanwhile, earlier rumors suggested that Windows 10 will also be shipping on USB flash drives are indeed true, as Amazon.com shows a pre-order page for these USB flash drives that come pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. The former retails for $119.99 while Windows 10 Pro is priced at $199.99. The advantage of having Windows 10 on USB flash drive enables much faster install and also makes it rather convenient to carry around.
Though these Windows 10 USB flash drives are not there for pre-order on the Microsoft Store yet neither with any other retailer. “Windows 10 will be available on USB drives for purchase in retail channels shortly after launch. The suggested retail prices for Windows 10 in the U.S. are the same as Windows 8.1″, said a Microsoft spokesperson.
These Windows 10 USB flash drives on Amazon will go on sale starting August 30th, while the availability of the forthcoming OS on physical DVDs has not been announced yet.
Windows 10 will officially be released across 190 countries in 111 languages on July 29th. Windows Insiders will have receive a free upgrade to the RTM build from July 29th. From then on once your device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to offer free lifetime support for the device.
Customers currently running a legit copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 are also eligible for a free upgrade within the first year of release. Though ‘Enterprise’ editions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will not be eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade. Also not eligible for the free upgrade would be Windows RT 8.1, however, an update called “Windows RT 8.1 Update 3” would be rolled out in September.