Microsoft is working on several new user experience changes to the built-in Microsoft Store app on Windows 10 that further position it as a one-stop-shop for both digital and physical content. Some of these new changes were demoed at Build 2018 in May, but working code is now being tested internally and should roll out to the public over the coming weeks and months.
Refreshed Microsoft Store navigation
The first notable change involves the navigation bar across the top of the app. In the current public builds, the navigation bar is a static horizontal line of categories that takes you to apps, games, movies and TV, books, devices, and extensions. The new Microsoft Store app will feature a contextual navigation menu that changes what's displayed based on the category you've selected.
For example, if I select the games category in the navigation menu, I will be taken to the games page, and the navigation menu will change to include different sub-categories that fall under gaming. This includes specific categories for gaming PCs, PC accessories, monitors, Mixed Reality, and Xbox. If I click on any sub-category, that will take me to that categories specific page, and then give me even more sub-categories to choose from.
So, if I chose games, and then selected Xbox, I'd be presented with more sub-categories in the navigation menu that include games, consoles, accessories, deals, Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, My Xbox, and PC gaming. This same behavior can be found in any category chosen in the navigation menu, and it allows Microsoft to present more content types to the user which as a result tells the user that the Microsoft Store is more than just an app store.
More Store enhancements
Some other changes coming to the Microsoft Store app include subscription support, where the Microsoft Store itself will let you manage your current Microsoft subscriptions for Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass, Office 365 and more, just like you can on the Microsoft Account website. Microsoft is also adding a feature that lets you pin the "My Library" page to the Start menu.
Microsoft is updating the user-tile drop-down to pull in data from the Microsoft Account website. It looks nice, but it is a bit slower than the user-tile popup present in the current version of the Microsoft Store. There's also a new "all departments" page that gives you a clear overview of everything the Microsoft Store app has to offer, which is super handy.
Overall, these small changes and improvements on top of the changes that are already public are going to make for a more refined and usable store experience that makes finding new content easier. There's no word on when we can expect these new updates to show up, but I expect it'll be within the next few weeks and months.
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