In a year filled with big plans for the Office Store, we’re excited to make a trio of announcements today: a major refresh of the Store experience; the launch of multiple new international markets; and increased visibility of third-party Store apps to both customers and Office sales and deployment partners.
Office Store refresh
This week marks the formal go-live date for the new, beautiful storefront at its new web page, Store.Office.com, which you can see here:
To help customers find relevant apps faster, the new Store home page features a sleek, modern interface with bold, wide-format app icons and a user-friendly Category browse experience down the left side. The free-text search tool has been improved, too.
Repeat visitors will see the best and latest apps near the top of the home page, thanks to a new robust ranking service that can showcase a unique set of apps every day.
The developer experience is better, too, with faster onboarding of new apps to join the 1,000-plus already in the Store, and the October release of more interactive and frequently-refreshed analytics tools so contributors can assess how their apps are faring in the Store. These improvements in the Seller Dashboard, where apps are submitted, quickly follow the release of the revamped Office Developer Center, where developers can learn how to build and market apps for both public distribution via the Office Store, and privately via the App Catalog in SharePoint.
New international storefronts
Our second announcement is support for apps in three new languages today—Dutch, Italian, and Russian—and support for three more launching next month—Portuguese (Brazil) and two versions of Chinese (traditional and simplified). With these new languages, we’ll gain fully localized apps and storefronts for Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Russia, with localized apps and storefronts for Brazil, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong SAR to follow soon after. Full rollout will give us apps in 10 languages and 31localized storefronts in all! In the coming months we’ll add localized storefronts for many other markets where Office is sold.
A large portion of the current app inventory has been localized for these new markets. The Store also features new apps released specifically for these new markets. For example, the Dutch software company Aia has released a content-management app for SharePoint that enables users to rapidly compose proposals, contracts, and other documents by easily inserting data from their SharePoint libraries into Aia’s cloud-based templates—all within employers’ own corporate guidelines. The ITP for SharePoint Standard app costs $24.99/month (USD), with a free trial version available.
Aia’s ITP for SharePoint standard app.
Here’s another example: in the Russian store, Russia’s Informatic Ltd., a specialist in linguistic software, has released a free Russian Grammar Checker for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
Informatic’s Russian grammar checker.
Both of the above apps are also available in English. But if you speak more than one language, or want to buy in a different currency—or just curious—you can check out the international storefronts by clicking Change Language at the bottom of any Store page, and then selecting the relevant market.
Store apps now in Pinpoint partner portal
Finally, starting late this month, Office Store apps will be displayed in the revamped Pinpoint partner portal, which in FY14 hosted 6.3 million visitors and generated 1.2 million partner referrals. Pinpoint has long been the place where both partners and customers go to find help with deployment and configuration of our on-premises solutions; now visitors will be able to browse listings of our Office cloud apps and click through to the Store to license them. Our developers will be able to create Pinpoint listings through the same Seller Dashboard experience where they list apps for the Store, and to see a unified view of how their listings are doing. More details will be announced later this month.
This move to display apps in the Pinpoint partner portal is just one step in a long-term plan to surface Office apps in more places to increase awareness and customer engagement.
Office Partners and featured apps
Stay tuned for more progress on Store apps in the coming months, including new developer APIs, better visibility of apps inside Office products, and more. It’s going to be a dynamic year for the Office Store and our developer partners!