Report: Windows 8 to have app store

Apparently, seeking out new software using the Google will soon become a bygone fad, like cargo pants and clean beaches in the Gulf. Neowin reports that Microsoft, too, will succumb fully to the app store craze and outfit Windows 8 with a centralized "Windows Store."

If you haven’t heard any announcements from Microsoft itself, that’s because Neowin bases its report on "documents leaked to the Internet on Monday." One of those documents reportedly says of the Windows Store, "Consumers get applications they want, that they can feel confident in, that they can use on any Windows 8 device." Microsoft will reportedly pimp the concept to developers, too, promising increased reach as well as flexible licensing and "monetization."

Leaked slides posted by Neowin show rough mockups of the Windows Store, with an interface not unlike that of the Zune Marketplace. As far as we can tell, third-party software firms will be able to have their own branded pages, and Microsoft will throw in a social networking aspect, letting users see which apps their friends are using.

This wouldn’t be Microsoft’s first foray into online distribution; the Microsoft Store has been up for some time now. However, offering users a centralized location to track down and install new software could have its upsides, especially among the less computer-literate. The concept also echoes what Canonical has been doing for years now with the Ubuntu Software Center, which centralizes both software discovery and local management of installed apps.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Ubuntu pioneered this space, nice to finally see some official credit given, well done techreport.

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 9 years ago

    I’m no much on Window shopping.

    seriously though, I wonder if we will get hit by ads when not in the store….

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    GFWL FTL! DIAF, MS…

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    If this only ends up as a way to get the ‘optional’ Windows components that can’t be included in regular Windows because of anti-trust issues it will be a win. Imagine if everyone who has a Windows box was prompted to go to the store when first booting and choose anti-virus etc? Lots of MS’s own non-included utilities and programs work pretty well as it is so even as a front for those it could be beneficial even if it doesn’t get a ton of software.

    • ekul
    • 9 years ago

    App Stores seem to be all the rage so MS is of course going to jump on. A centralized location to get Windows Applications doesn’t seem to that critical since people seem to have no problem loading their systems up with crap as it is.

    What Microsoft really needs is package management for updates. It’s ridiculous windows doesn’t offer a way for applications to update themselves. Most computers I fix for family and friends have several adobe, java and google updaters all running in the background all the time. This is in addition to all the applications that check to see if there are new versions every time they are launched. The best thing about running Fedora or Ubuntu is everything is updated through the same interface. No wasted resources, no nagging from this application or that application, just a simple list of packages that are available for update.

    The basic infrastructure is already in place for windows to have a package manager. The MSI installer is actually pretty nice and it already lets you define dependencies and Windows Update is a tool people are familiar with and works pretty well. What needs to happen is installers should be able to add their applications to the list checked by Windows Update. Plugging into the Windows Update framework would also solve a lot of headaches for IT departments since there are already great tools to force the adoption of updates and to prevent potential conflicts from newer versions.

    If they really wanted to MS could be the gatekeepers to the applications permitted to update through Windows Update. It would actually be better given all the malware that is available for Windows. MS would also want to control the priority level given to each update since not all updates are critical.

    Several people have commented a package management system would break existing applications. Local MSI installations would still work fine so that isn’t an issue. To take advantage of the new infrastructure would take some development however. Windows’ greatest asset and its biggest weakness is the same thing: the massive library of software written for it. Some of it is very good, some of it is very bad, most of it is somewhere in-between and doesn’t quite follow UI guidelines, installation and config storage standards and best practices for user experience. Some of this is MS’s fault since they have so many different API and so much backwards compatibility. This would be Microsoft’s great chance to finally set some standards on quality and enforce some rules about uninstallers, where things are stored and how $USER\Application Data is used.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    If they work it like the Ubuntu software centre and steam with automatic updating of programs and easily searchable lists without having to visit third party sites then i could see this as being good.
    Lets hope they dont restrict it as much as apple though.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 9 years ago

    This could either be a good thing or a bad thing, and hopefully, it ties software updates into the service.
    Regardless, if there is any sort of phone-home drm involved, I will not be participating.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Windows itself already has phone-home DRM (or had you forgotten?) I could easily see them extending it to everything bought through this app-store, so that it’s no longer just “genuine Windows” but “genuine Applications”

      Despite the protests, it seems to work for Steam.

    • ApockofFork
    • 9 years ago

    If this works like the software center in ubuntu and developers actually jump on board this would be awesome. There are tons of hard to find small pieces of software out there that if developers had a central place to display them to users it would be a massive win. That being said it shouldn’t be a place where only paid software can be found. All kinds of software should be available and maybe if it can work in some sort of intelligent way, provide a way for stores like steam to hook in… maybe?

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      yeah, best part is this would be a legit way to minimize the install size since you can then download all the features and plugins you want for your OS

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    I’m thinking of opening an app store.

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    I actually knew some people at MS over a decade ago who were trying to get something like this off the ground (an “Amazon for software” back when Amazon was selling only books). Broadband (un)availability and speeds killed it then.

    They had some interesting ideas for doing this on behalf of their F500 customers (who generally have volume licenses and system images for everything but sometimes go pay-as-needed for optional “approved” end-user software). Nowadays they’d probably have to come up with a way to pretend this had something to do with the “cloud.”

    • jdaven
    • 9 years ago

    A rumor saying that Apple would do this sort of thing for Mac OS X was widely criticized because of the controversy surrounding the App Store approval process.

    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out from an approval process viewpoint.

      • jackaroon
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t think its comparable, because you don’t have to jump through any hoops like “jailbreaking,” on a Mac (or a PC).

    • ShadowTiger
    • 9 years ago

    If there is any kind of certification process I’m definitely not going to submit anything to a Microsoft app service. After the Windows Live fiasco with patches being delayed for weeks because of WHQL certification and stuff like that, I can’t imagine this being a great experience for developers.

    Prepare for a big flop Microsoft, you suck at this sort of thing.

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    IF MS completely revamps the way apps are installed and gives you complete package management with dependency checking this would be quite welcome.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      That would be great, albeit difficult to do comprehensively (it would probably be straightforward for recent apps that use manifests, but figuring out dependencies for older apps can be a headache, hence the manifests). But I doubt that’s the direction they’re headed.

        • cygnus1
        • 9 years ago

        No, I’m saying this would be have to be totally new, and probably completely incompatible with old software. Everything already out there would have to be re-done in this new format.

          • UberGerbil
          • 9 years ago

          That sounds like fail from step zero. The /[

            • jackaroon
            • 9 years ago

            I think a well-managed no-hassle install system would have a broad appeal to many buyers, and reaching those buyers would be appealling to a lot of developers; Seeing those sales numbers from such a store would put a price on going to that extra level, to provide manifests (or something equivalent), and meet some kind of standards for installation. If a dev wants to dump his crap in C:\Vendor\app\appXX\ and require the app runs as an administrator, and hex edit the registry, they can still sell software, just not via an app store. I bet some devs would be motivated to revisit some oldies but goodies to get them into another kind of market of un-savvy users ready to make impulse buys.

            That’s assuming that that’s the direction MS wants to go, anyway.

            As for me, I’m sure I’ll be hacking together fringe software products for quite some time, but I won’t begrudge MS or other people an idiot-proofed system.

            • ekul
            • 9 years ago

            I agree completely. People complain about Android being a wild west of software but we have all forgotten how crazy Windows is because we are all so used to it. Hundreds of different installers, cluttered %SYSTEM%\Program Files is and wildly differing UIs are so common they have become the new normal.

            Even MS themselves are guilty of this with Office 2007/2010. They used their own private API to create the ribbon. Then developers asked to be able to used ribbons themselves so the Windows team made a similar-but-not-quite-the-same API so even you make a ribbon it doesn’t quite look like the Office one.

            MS needs to step in, set some rules and be a gatekeeper the same way they do for Windows Certified hardware. If you don’t want to play by the rules, that’s fine. It’s on the user’s head. But to live in the app store or have a shiny Windows logo on the box you have to meet some standards.

      • IntelMole
      • 9 years ago

      OK, so this is an open source development initiative in Microsoft, but I see no reason that it could not be used for closed development.

      §[< http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/microsoft-offers-much-needed-fix-for-windows-oss-development.ars<]§

        • FireGryphon
        • 9 years ago

        What’s open source about it? From reading the article, I simply imagine a list of programs ala Download.com, only wrapped in nicer packaging.

    • TREE
    • 9 years ago

    Uh oh, here comes another Games For Windows Live…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This