What just happened? At its annual Build developer conference in Seattle, Washington, Microsoft announced a host of new features for the Microsoft Store, including many AI-driven ones. The most notable among them is a summarized review feature that will show AI-generated review summaries for various apps on the store.
The new feature is expected to help Microsoft Store users get an idea about what others are saying about a particular app, without having to sift through thousands of reviews. According to Microsoft, the AI-powered feature will make the process of researching apps and services on the Microsoft Store easier and make the customer experience more seamless. Microsoft says it will roll out AI-generated review summaries "soon," but there's no concrete date for it yet.
Alongside review summaries, another new addition is a dedicated section that highlights AI-centric apps. Called the AI Hub, it promises to highlight "the best AI experiences build by the developer community and Microsoft." Some of the apps that are featured in the new section include Luminar Neo, Descript, Krisp, Podcastle, Gamma, Copy.ai, Kickresume, Play.ht, Copy.ai, and Tripnotes.
Microsoft also announced that the Store will soon get AI-generated keywords in the Partner Center to help developers better showcase their apps to users. As part of the plan, the company says it is leveraging the power of AI to make various apps more discoverable on the Microsoft Store by using developers' metadata and other signals. Users will now also be able to select multiple categories per app, which will give developers another tool to reach more customers.
Microsoft also announced a change in its Store Ads policy that will enable developers to show ads for their apps on Bing search. As part of Microsoft's plans to help developers make their apps more discoverable across all its online services, the company will now enable them to display ads in the spotlight section at the top of the Microsoft Store. These ads may also include videos, and are expected to bring in more traffic for developers. Until now, the apps featured in this section were selected by the Microsoft Store editorial team, so the inclusion of ads here could be jarring for some users.
Microsoft also announced the expansion of its Microsoft Store Ads program to more than 150 regions worldwide, meaning it will now be rolled out to almost all regions where the Store is operational.