Windows 8 Store Search Problems

By Fons Sonnemans, posted on

Before I start I want to make clear that I love Windows 8 and I love to develop for it. But I really have a problem with the implementation of the Search Charm of the Store app. The order in which apps are shown as a result of a search makes no sense. Let me demonstrate this with an example.

Search for sudoku

As you maybe know I have developed a very popular Sudoku game called Sudoku Free. It has almost 440.000 downloads and 2150 ratings with an average of 4 stars. The reviews are very positive. The game is usually in the ranked around place 25 in the Free games section of the US Store. It is the only Sudoku game in the list.  60% of the downloads are from the United States and it has 763 reviews. It is played a lot and has an average app usage of about 25 minutes per day. Quality reports show a very low crash rate between 0 and 0.01%. All statistics indicate this app is the most popular and downloaded Sudoku game in the store.

On my device a search for 'Sudoku' results in 127 apps. But you don't see my Sudoku Free app. My app has position 55 in the list. You have to scroll to the 10th column to see my app. I'm using a tablet with a 1366x768 resolution. Most of the games in front of mine have no reviews and just a few ratings (about 10 or even none). There are even 2 apps in the top 20 which have the default tile, see screenshot below.

I find this very strange. I think search should show popular apps first, and I’m sure tons of other developers and users will agree.

Search Recommendations

If I search on 'Sudoku Free' I get a recommendation for the 'Sudoku (Free)' app. This app has only 3 ratings and no reviews. It is not in the top 100 free apps so it will probably not have many downloads.

I find this also very strange. I think search should show the most popular apps in the recommendations.


I know Microsoft has had similar problems with the search in the Windows Phone store, as you can read here and here. I think they fixed this problem by now. If I search for Sudoku I get the most popular apps first.

I hope someone at Microsoft is listening, because they are only shooting themself in the foot by pissing off developers and users. Maybe you can leave a comment if you agree, hopefully that will persuade Microsoft to fix it (soon).




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