The company announced on the Windows Phone blog Wednesday that it officially renamed its mobile app store from “Windows Phone Marketplace,” to “Windows Phone Store.”
The change comes in advance of Microsoft’s launch of Windows Phone 8 this fall. The new name mirrors Microsoft’s use of the phrase “Windows Store” on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system for PCs and tablets.
Along with the name change, Microsoft tweaked certain aspects of the marketplace store, like the Bing search functionality and new app lists like “New+Rising,” and “Best Rated.”
According to the Microsoft blog post, the new search box helps find apps easier by auto-correcting spelling mistakes — “Facebok” instead of “Facebook,” for example — and will also find apps in the same genre as your search command. For example, you may search “health,” and then be offered apps related to dieting, exercise and more.
In addition, Microsoft says it has listened to feedback from users and made apps with overtly sexual content less visible in the store.
The Windows Phone website also has a new look and feel. There are new menu options on the official site, like “News,” and “Apps+Games.”
Microsoft plans to roll out these changes first in Australia and New Zealand, and “in the weeks ahead,” work its way around the world. They can only hope the name and design changes can increase its mobile market share, which sits at just 3.6 percent in the U.S.
Microsoft and Amazon have been embroiled in disputes with Apple over the name “App Store,” with Apple claiming exclusive rights to the phrase.