Sandy Berger: Amazon Windowshop (First Look)

Sandy Berger, our resident shopaholic geek, checks out Amazon’s new shopping interface. Does it look suspiciously similar to Google Play’s new shopping site? Does it work?

I am a full-fledged geek. I also am a borderline a shopaholic. Amazon is one of my favorite shopping sites. So it isn’t surprising that I get a bit excited about a new Amazon interface to make shopping easier. That’s Windowshop in a nutshell. So far, I’m impressed.

If you have ever shopped on Amazon you know that it carries about a gazillion items. That’s why the site gets so cluttered. But now, with its new shopping interface,  Windowshop, the experience is much improved.  Like the tiled Metro UI in Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview Windowshop is dramatically different from what came before it. And it is based on large clickable tiles —  in this case, those tiles are product pictures.

Amazon has eliminated almost all the text links here.

Check out my screen. Notice how similar this looks to the new Google Play shopping site, too.

The one thing that I can honestly say about Windowshop — and I cannot yet say it about Microsoft Windows 8 with its Metro-style UI — is that it just works. And it works well.  It’s easy to find products by browsing through the categories. After you find the product you want, you just click on the picture. From there, it is one-click to purchase, get details, read reviews or check out related products.

Although it is fully functional, Windowshop is still in beta. The Windows version is Flash-based, but there is also a mobile version that works well on the Apple iPad. Expect an Android version soon … and of course it’s ready to go for the Amazon Kindle Fire …