The contents of Microsoft's Windows Store are now accessible via web browser thanks to the efforts of @vlkodotnet, the developer responsible for MetroStore Scanner. The project is purportedly open source and allows users without Windows 8 to slalom through thousands of International Windows Store apps, ignoring geographical restrictions.

Currently, Microsoft's Windows Store is only accessible via Windows 8 -- a disappointment for anyone curious about its contents but have so far managed to shy away from Windows 8. As such, MetroStore Scanner may provide some vicarious thrills for particularly bored individuals with an ostensibly strong fascination for Windows apps.

While Vlko's unofficial expose of Windows Store apps doesn't let users make purchases, it does however provide the curious with a searchable, sortable, filterable version of the real thing. For Windows 8 users wishing to download an app they discover on the site, the MetroStore Scanner provides a link which invokes the app's official Windows Store home via the official client. Just a quick note though: this feature didn't work with Chrome, but worked perfectly with Internet Explorer. Of course, your mileage may vary with other web browsers.

Perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft hasn't provided a web-based way of perusing their Windows Store -- not yet, anyway. Maybe this project will prove to be a kick in the proverbial butt for Redmond to follow Google Play's lead.

Another trick the MetroStore Scanner performs is tallying the total number of apps it finds each time it trawls through the Windows Store. So far, the total is (insert drumroll here): 25,539.