Latest update to the Microsoft Store brings hints of 'Sun Valley' design

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After about eighteen hours of confusion, we're finally getting the real story behind what Microsoft's latest visual update to its app store represents. Midday yesterday the Twitter handle @Alumia_Italia posted a gif that showed a visually improved version of the Update settings area in the Microsoft app store which included a new pinned icon, improved cursor highlights, new drop-down menus, a progression circle, and a secondary compact viewing option of the store as well.

For an app that's seen incremental improvement over the past two years, the visual improvements have understandably been seen as a big deal, to the point of being misidentified as an entirely new effort from Microsoft.

The internet ran with the theory that, ahead of the long rumored 'Sun Valley' visual refreshed expected in the Fall, Microsoft would also be extending its redesign efforts to building an entirely new app store experience. The theory that Microsoft would introduce a new app Store to coincide with its reported 'Sun Valley' update was short-lived.

Fortunately, Microsoft isn't tossing the baby out with the bathwater, (I don't even know how that became a saying) instead, according to vocal Windows Insider Program team member Brandon LeBlanc, it's merely an update to the current store. LeBlanc's response to the confusion does downplay some of the visual differences that are very apparent in the gif, but ultimately reinforce the common sense of the Windows team which probably doesn't want to have to redo a ton of work on its app store that's both in Windows 10 and its Xbox, especially leading up to a design refresh of its flagship operating system.

While LeBlanc reiterates that what people were reporting on is only a minor update to the Store, it should be pointed out that many if not most have yet to actually receive or test this latest iteration of the app Store. In fact, he adds an addendum to his earlier clarification by explaining that it's rolling out and "It's a normal update to Store with some improvements..."

For anyone interested in getting some hands-on time with the new look and feel of the Updates Settings in the Store, @ALumia_Italia footnotes that it's an update on the Dev channel of the Windows 10 Insider program is not being offered to all Dev Insiders but is being held as a staggered rollout. So, if enroll your device into the Dev Insider channel and cross your fingers basically. LeBlanc does not mention that it's a test of any sort, so seems eventually this minor update should hit all devices at some point.

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