Microsoft Reportedly Planning Single Windows App Store

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft ( MSFT) is reportedly working on a unified Windows "super store" which will offer applications for both Windows 8 computers, tablets and smartphones.

According to ZDNet, Microsoft has been busy creating a single, new app depot for the soon-to-be-released new versions of the company's operating systems -- Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1.

Microsoft shares were advancing 1.71% to $33.33 in mid-morning trading in New York.

Executive Vice President Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's operating system group, reportedly confirmed the possibility of a single app store in a private company meeting in Redmond on Thursday.

Attendees said Myerson told the thousands of gathered employees that both the computer and smartphone versions of Windows software will receive a "special" coordinated updates to accomplish the change. The updates could come as early as next spring.

Microsoft has been hinting about a possible unification of all of its operating software for some time. Last week during the company's financial analyst meeting, Myerson was quoted as telling the gathered group that "all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices."

The move could help Microsoft change the industry's perception of the company's application stores. Currently, Microsoft trails rival Apple ( AAPL) in the sheer numbers of currently offered applications. A unified Windows store with the apps able to run on all Windows 8.1 platforms could ultimately boost the total number of programs available for all devices running Windows.

Such a move would also help boost Windows RT and Windows Phone acceptability with both application developers and the computer/smartphone buying public.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company has no comment on the possibility of a unified app store.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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