In Short

The Windows Phone Store is Microsoft's digital distribution platform for Windows Phone. It allows users to browse, search and download apps or games. It launched alongside Windows Phone 7 in late 2010. As of August 2014 there are over 300,000 apps and games in available in the Windows Phone Store.

Microsoft launched the Windows Phone Store in October 2010. It was originally called the Windows Phone Marketplace at launch, but changed to today's Windows Phone Store in August 2012.

Developers and app publishers can submit apps and games created using the Windows Phone SDK to the Windows Phone Store for distribution. Once submitted, apps and games can be downloaded by consumers.

Microsoft's Windows Phone Store supports credit card purchases, operator billing and gift cards for the purchasing of apps. Most paid apps in the Windows Phone Store offer a trial before consumers need to pay. This is in contrast to Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store where 'lite' versions of apps are popular.

Some of the most popular apps on Android and iOS are available in the Windows Phone Store. You'll find Windows Phones for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more inside the Windows Phone Store. These apps and games are spread across 16 categories like entertainment, photo and lifestyle in the Windows Phone Store.

In August 2014, Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 introduced a Live tile for the Windows Phone Store.

Some stats from the Windows Phone Store for May 2014:

  • In February, 66% of all Windows Phone app downloads came from low memory devices
  • Games are the most popular download category in the Windows Phone and Windows Store
  • The United States downloads more Windows Phone apps than any other country (12%), followed by China (10%), India (9%) and Vietnam (8%)
  • The United States downloads more Windows 8 apps than any other country (31%), followed by the United Kingdom (6%), France (6%) and China (5%)
  • English is the most popular language on Windows Phone and Windows 8
  • Paid apps is a revenue model that has been trending down
  • Highest generating apps offer free trials
  • In-app purchase is the primary source of paid revenue for monetizing games