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Windows Phone, the Store is a disaster

The virtual store of the Redmond operating system is not the best to use. Here's what's wrong


The main criticism that usually moves to Windows Phone that the amount of apps available for the platform not comparable to that of competing Android and iOS operating systems. The most famous apps are actually almost all there. What is lacking vitality and change in the small applications landscape. The blame for several factors. Developers certainly prefer to focus on the ecosystems most used by users, but another aspect to keep in mind that could explain why the potential of Windows Phone are underestimated by the app writer: the virtual platform store, Windows Phone Store, confusing and of little use.

Starting from the external aspect with which it presents itself. On the one hand, you have the Modern, typographic and minimalist interface. On the other hand you have app icons, stylistically inhomogeneous and sometimes simply ugly. You certainly can't force developers to draw according to certain dictates and this problem is certainly not confined to the Redmond virtual space but when you grant up to 60% of the screen to the icons leaving practically empty the rest of the space, you are delivering the look of the store in other people's hands. The result makes you want to turn off the screen and put the phone in your pocket after a few minutes of browsing.

(Photo: Windows Phone Store)The minimal interface punches a bit with icons (Photo: Windows Phone Store)

And navigation, divided into three panels, a chaos. The first screen of the Windows Phone Store welcomes you with a preliminary showcase composed of icons and titles, but – scrolling down – it becomes one banner list that refer to special collections whose titles range from football field to I Love Ninjas. Scrolling to the right with your finger you access the second panel, which contains quick links in the form of single color dowels with a description inside them: here you can access the apps divided by popularity, or those in the foreground. The third panel is a seriedi textual links, which refers to a myriad of categories that sometimes overlap (such as Productivity Tools and Work) or offer redundant apps separately.

(Photo: Windows Phone Store)The main panels of the store (Photo: Windows Phone Store)

THE highlighting criteria finally, software is unfathomable and often self-defeating. Windows Phone overflows with excellent products even outside the panorama of the usual messaging services and social networks, but the probability of finding them relying only on the store and without the help of specialized sites low, too low. To give just one example, in the list of the most downloaded programs at the moment it shows off s Download Music from YouTube. Not that the other platforms are not full of such apps, but putting a sort of filter at least on top of these lists may help.

Thin you scream one of the new apps to discover (Photo: Windows Phone Store)"Sottile si urla" one of the new apps to discover … (Photo: Windows Phone Store)

A shop as it should be (virtual or traditional as it may be) should encourage purchases even when it is not exactly ready to do so, and the Windows Phone store is not currently a champion in this. Microsoft has an opportunity not to be missed: with the arrival of Windows 10 next year finally unify the shopsmobile and PC in a single space. It will be essential to take advantage of the opportunity to completely reorganize content and interface and create a product that puts the user experience and attention to the quality of the apps in the foreground.


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