Looks like today is a big day for the Windows Phone Marketplace, as Microsoft has announced that its app store is getting a new name and some new features to go along with it. On the official Windows Phone Blog, Microsoft has revealed that the Windows Phone Marketplace will now be known as the Windows Phone Store (complete with a refreshed design for the online store), which it explains is meant to follow the naming of Windows 8 and its Windows Store. Along with the rebrand, the Windows Phone Store will be getting an improved Search box thanks to the fact that it'll be using Bing for its results. Microsoft says that this'll make it easier to find apps even when you make a typo, more easily find similar apps and find apps in the same genre.
Another Windows Phone Store improvement that Microsoft plans to roll out is smarter app lists. The Store will feature Top Free and Top Paid app lists, as well as a New+Rising list that's updated more frequently and also factors in how quickly an app is being downloaded. A new Best Rated list will rank apps by customer ratings and usage patterns. Other tweaks that Microsoft will be making to the Windows Phone Store include making racier apps "a little less visible" to prevent them from accidentally being seen by someone that doesn't want to or shouldn't see them, and a new "Report concern" link on every app's download page, which allow users to report apps that they find offensive or ones that just plain don't work.
We first got wind of Microsoft's new Windows Phone Store branding in early August, but it appears that the company is now finally going forward with the rebrand. The new name makes sense since it helps to unify Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, especially since both stores will now share the same icon. Windows Phone users will likely appreciate the other tweaks that Microsoft is building into the Windows Phone store, which ought to make finding a certain app (or other apps similar to one of your favorites) easier than before, even if you manage to insert a typo or two into the app's name.
So when will we begin to see these changes? Microsoft says that the improvements to the Windows Phone Store will begin rolling out in Australia and New Zealand, and will be spreading around the world in the coming weeks. The company also notes that the app list changes will initially only be available on its online store, but will hit phones later this year. So what do you Windows Phone fans make of all of these changes? Are you digging the new "Windows Phone Store" branding?