Microsoft highlighted its refreshed Windows Phone Store, introduced in line with the arrival of Windows Phone 8, noting improvements for both consumers and developers.

Among the changes are an updated listing algorithm which “more directly and accurately reward app quality and user preference” – previously it was primarily based on cumulative downloads.

The company said that it will factor in metrics such as how frequently an app is pinned or unpinned from the Start screen, performance and reliability, and customer ratings.

It argues that “if you’ve invested in quality, performance and customer satisfaction you will now more directly benefit through better ranking and discoverability”.

The new-look store highlights when an app features either a trial option or uses Live Tiles, “both of which drive downloads and boost satisfaction”.

It said that titles which use Live Tiles are generally rated 1.5 stars higher than those without, and that customers also buy more apps and games where trial versions are available.

And the store has also gained a Collections feature, to cater to customers interested in specific app types. Each will have between six and 20 apps, curated by the company, and tailored to specific markets.

Microsoft said that 450 collections have been launched across 19 markets, and more will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

WP 7.5 updates
Microsoft said that while its store for Windows Phone 7.5 app will still be called Marketplace and offer the same menu and browsing options as before, “under the hood there are several improvements”.

Search results will now be powered by Bing, which is said to be “more forgiving of user typos and misspellings, and now also lists related apps in results”.

It will also see new algorithms used to create its Top, Free and New lists, taking into account downloads, customer ratings and actual usage patterns.