Windows 10 is evolving every day, and the Windows Store is too. Microsoft has turned the Store to a place to purchase all kinds of content, not only apps and games. Did you know that, using the Store , you can now also purchase music, movies and TV shows? Did you know that your purchases are synchronized across all your Windows 10 devices, including your PC, smartphone, tablet and even your Xbox One console? Once you purchase something from the Windows 10 Store , you can access it from all your Windows 10 devices, as long as you are using the same Microsoft account. To help you get going with the new Windows Store , here are the top 8 things that you can do with it:
NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with Anniversary Update. Windows 10 Anniversary Update is available for free, for all Windows 10 users, as of August 2nd, 2016.
1. Search for apps, games, music and movies
In order to access all the content offered by the Windows Store , you first need to start it by clicking or tapping on the Store tile from the Start Menu.
The easiest way to find something in the Store is to use the Search box from the top right corner. Type a keyword and click or tap the search icon.
In the search results you can check out many different types of content, like apps, games, music by artist, albums or tracks and even movies.
The Search tool is a very powerful feature and it helps you find your favourite contents quickly and easily. Obviously, you can also browse the various lists that are shown in the Store , in each content category: Apps, Games, Music, Movies & TV.
2. Browse for content: apps, games, music and movies
The Windows Store also lets you find content by browsing its catalog. Both on the Home screen and on the homescreens of the major categories ( Apps, Games, Music, Movies & TV ), the Windows Store welcomes you with a series of large tiles with items that Microsoft recommends you, as well as with Top and Featured collections. Here’s a sample of how that looks for the Apps :
If you scroll down to the bottom of the Apps , the Games , the Music or the Movies & TV sections, you will find different subcategories, which you can check to find something that meets your preferences.
When browsing for Apps or Games, you also have additional sorting options: for example, you can check the top free and paid content, or check the highest rated applications or the ones that are new additions to the Store , but are rising in popularity.
Some content categories from the Windows Store also offers some ready-made Collections. For instance, the Movies & TV section offers a Featured collections page.
3. Get free apps, games and other freebies
Did you know that if we are talking about a Store , it doesn’t mean that you have to buy everything? The Windows Store is loaded with free applications and games - and don’t be misled by the zero price-tag, as there are many high-quality products out there.
Check the Top free sections of both the Apps and the Games pages to try something new. Microsoft offers apps that can be useful to you, based on your browsing, search and app usage history. They also post free offers for music and movies, so check those sections as well.
4. Buy content: apps, games, music and movies
Do you want to own that latest movie you just saw in the cinema? Or would you really like to play a great game? No problem, the Windows Store has tons of premium content to choose from. The Top paid sections have a lot to offer, and the purchase process is very simple. Many times there are also free trials available.
If you’re looking for the latest music from the top of the charts, some classics, or a great movie to watch, the Windows Store still has you covered. The purchase process is the same as for apps and games, so you can get what you want in a matter of seconds.
5. Pay for content using several payment methods
Let’s say that you just found your favourite album, or a great app that you need to have. Paying is easy in the Windows Store and you can add several payment methods. Another upside is that you don’t need to visit a separate website, if you’re using a credit card.
Besides using your credit or debit card, you can link your PayPal account as well, and, depending on the region you live in, you might have additional payment options available, like other online payment services, Microsoft gift cards, or paying through your mobile operator.
6. Access your library of apps, games, music and movies
Keeping all of your stuff together can be a hell of a job to do, but the library, readily available from the Windows Store, makes sorting your stuff easy. You just need to access your account menu in the top right corner and click or tap My Library to open it.
Here you will find a list of your most recently acquired apps and games, no matter whether you have bought or downloaded them for free, along with links to the music and movies & TV apps, where you can find your multimedia content. You can also re-download your apps and games straight from this screen, or access the list of all your apps or games with a single click or tap.
7. Update your apps and games
Windows 10, the updated Windows Store and the concept of universal apps seems to have given the long awaited nudge to the Windows app ecosystem, as we’re seeing more and more of our favourite software becoming available as Windows apps. And because developers have actually started to care about this platform, we are also seeing much more frequent updates as well.
Updates are very easy to access, by clicking or tapping Downloads and updates on your account menu. Hit Check for updates and you will soon get to see all apps and games that have a new version, and you can easily update them all at once.
8. Configure the Windows Store
Although fiddling with settings and configuring every last detail of each application might not be the dream of every Digital Citizen, it is sure good to know that things work just the way you like it. Thankfully, configuring the Windows Store is not a big deal: there are only a few options available, but they can make your life easier if you set them the way you like it.
By accessing the Settings from your account menu you can enable auto-updating, so your apps and games will always have the latest version installed, or you can set Windows 10 to show recommended products on the Store’s live tile, if it’s pinned to the Start Menu. You can also choose to streamline your purchase experience, but this way you won’t be asked for a password when buying from the Store : it sacrifices security for comfort, but this might just be the setting you’ve been looking for.
The Windows Store from Windows 10 looks and works better than ever: with a growing number of free applications and games, as well as a great selection of music, movies and TV shows, it could soon become your one-stop shop for everything you need on your Windows device, may that be a tablet, a PC, or a smartphone.
Now that you have an idea of what the Store has to offer, use it for a while and share your experience with us. What is your favourite feature of the Windows Store ? What about your least favorite? What apps would you love to see in the Store ? Use the comments form below to share your feedback with us.