Microsoft is overhauling the Store in preparation for the RTM of Windows 8. Last week, the Store peaked at 322 total applications, as of yesterday, the number has dropped to 269 total apps visible to users. My analysis is showing that the Apps that debuted, but are now invisible are possibly the apps that will become paid apps with Go-Live of Windows 8. I am still analyzing the changes and the trends, but clearly the Store is going through some changes.

Microsoft explained some of this in their blog post at BuildWindows8 on their preparatory efforts of the Store for RTM. You may want to read it for more information. I will be updating this blog with more info as it becomes available.

[Update: 2012-07-07]
I promised to continue analysis and report back my findings. Indeed I have found out the real cause of reduction in the number of Apps I am seeing in the store. It doesn’t have anything to do with the updates Microsoft is making to the Store in preparation for the RTM, but actually to do with the activation of the Regional Feature of the Store. The Regional feature can be found in the Store Settings shown here below:

This setting has been there all the time, but it has never had any effect. So with my analysis this week I realized I was seeing only English Apps, before you will see Apps for different countries and different languages, French, Chinese etc apps,  all of a sudden these were all gone. Then I realized in the past I have set the “Preferred Languages” option ON for my Store Settings.

So the drop in number of Apps was easily explained, Microsoft just activated this week the regional feature of the Store Servers to obey the User’s Preferred Languages option. To confirm this I set the setting back to NO as shown above, and refreshed the store, and the total Apps count jumped to 332, and when I set it back to YES, it was reduced to 278 as of today.

So, there you have it. Indeed MS is preparing for the RTM. They’ve activated Regional settings for the Store, so your store will always show Apps developed for your region. So those of you complaining not seeing all the Apps I have been mentioning, please see if your Preferred Language setting is YES, if so set to NO and see if you can now access all Apps in the Store.