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How the Windows Store Is New in Windows 8.1

With the arrival of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has introduced a new Windows Store that’s far easier to use. The Windows Store is the place to find a new breed of Windows programs that are commonly called apps.

These apps are created using methods that are quite different from those used to create Windows desktop applications; as a result, Windows Store apps can only be used on PCs that are running Windows 8 or later.

Developers can create apps that also run on Windows Phone 8, but in most cases, the technical requirements of the two platforms require that two different versions be created.

You open the Windows Store by tapping the Store tile on your Start screen. It’s unlikely that you’ll see the same featured apps shown here because new apps are constantly being developed and added to the Store.

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Although many Windows Store apps are free, others aren't, and you’ll be required to pay to use them. Often, however, paid apps offer a trial so that you can try out the app for a while before deciding if you want to keep it. In addition, some apps offer both a free version and a paid version.

The free version may display ads or the paid version may include additional features that you won’t find in the free version.

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