Matt Farrington-Smith
07/12/2011 16:35 | By Matt Farrington-Smith, editor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Windows 8: Windows Store preview

We take a first look at the Windows Store which will form part of Windows 8.

Think of the Windows Store as Windows 8 very own app store - you'll be able to download both free and paid apps (with the option of downloading a trial) much like you would on a modern smartphone.

A preview of the Windows Store found in Windows 8. Image Microsoft

The Windows Store will bring free and paid apps to 231 markets worldwide. And With more than 1.25 billion Windows users globally, Windows 8 is set to become the largest developer opportunity ever.

The following details have been revealed so far:

Clean, Metro design

The first thing you'll notice about the Windows Store is the design. Windows 8, Windows Phone and now the new Xbox 360 dashboard all sport the 'Metro' look and feel. What you get is a clean, visually-appealing interface with minimal chrome (unnecessary screen clutter). This all helps to make Windows Store designed for easy app discovery.

Apps are organised into categories, so we can expect to see the latest, most popular, and fast rising apps in their
respective lists. There will also be personalised app recommendations and topic pages (each with their own theme or genre) to further showcase app goodness.

Searching for apps on the web will direct you to the Windows Store. Image Microsoft

Searching for apps on the web will direct you to the Windows Store.

Search for apps on the web

The Windows Store isn't the only place you'll be able to find information on apps, it will also be possible to find apps via a web search.

The web search result will point to a web version of the app listing. If you're running Windows 8 you can choose to download from the Windows Store, if not - the app won't be available to you.

You'll be able to trial paid apps in the Windows Store. Image Microsoft

You'll be able to trial paid apps in the Windows Store.

Try apps for free

With a nod to the Marketplace found on Windows Phone - the Windows Store will allow you to trial the app first (if it's not available for free). Great if you like to try before you buy.

In-app purchases will also be possible - in the same way you can buy extra levels, characters, features and functionality on your mobile today.

Release date

The Windows Store will be available when Windows 8 Beta is released. The first Windows 8 Beta will arrive in late February according to a report by All Things Digital.

More on MSN: Windows 8 screenshots

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