Microsoft expands Windows Phone Store to new countries; adds new features

The Windows Phone team at Microsoft is aiming to bid goodbye to 2012 in style, having introduced new features to the Windows Phone store and making it available in an increased number of countries.

Windows Phone 8 Dev Center

The Windows Phone Store on the web (formerly Marketplace) is now open to 37 new locations around the world including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Pakistan, Senegal, Zimbabwe and others. This means that consumers can now browse through apps and games in a total of 191 locations worldwide.

Other new features include:

  1. With the comfort of Universal Search, users can now browse through apps and locate how-to articles on the portal at the same place without the need to visit separate places for both results, encouraging faster search practices.
  2. With Windows Phone 8 being launched, the Windows Phone web Store now supports installing apps via an SD card. In the absence of a cellular or Wi-Fi data connection, users can now directly download the app’s installation file (.XAP file) on to the SD card and later install it on their Windows Phone 8 device. They’ll need to look out for the “Download and install manually” link on the app’s details page. More info on how to install apps from an SD card is available here.
  3. In case of losing the Windows Phone device or upgrading to a new version, users need not worry about losing their apps and buying them back all over again. The ‘Reinstall’ option beside each of the apps in the purchase history allows it to be installed back on the phone with a single click. This feature is available for both free and paid apps with more details here.

Phew! Those were some welcome changes. Looking forward to an eventful 2013.

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Microsoft Student Partner | Computer Science graduate | Loves flirting with technology | Microsoft watcher | Syed Asrarullah lives on the web at @asrartheone.