Microsoft has announced that it will be launching its own app store in February of next year. The new app store will be offering apps for free when things first get rolling, according to a statement issued by Microsoft today.

Microsoft also said they be releasing a beta version of Windows 8 in February.

Apple and Android apps, and their operating systems, have dominated the screens of tablets and smart phones in the past. Windows 8 will be Microsoft’s attempt to get in on some of that screen time.

Microsoft’s app store will be part of the “Windows Store.” According to their blog, one of the main focus points will be easy app discovery, with the app catalog being indexed by search engines, and direct linking to app webpages. They are also promising developers that there will be built in app promotion through Internet Explorer 10.

Microsoft does currently have in app store for its Windows phone, however that does not allow for third party type Windows OS apps.