Windows 8, iTunes app stores to have a lot in common

Microsoft looks set to take a page from Apple’s playbook with its Metro app store. More details are beginning to emerge about the company’s business model, and as PC World reports, it sounds awfully similar to what Apple’s doing with the iTunes App Store.

For starters, the site quotes Microsoft’s Ted Dworkin as saying, "We will be the only store for distribution of Metro-style apps." Dworkin reportedly leads development of the Windows Store. On top of that, PC World learned that Microsoft will take a 30% cut off Metro app sales—the same percentage Apple takes off third-party iOS apps.

We also found out last week that Metro apps submitted to the Windows Store will be subject to a six-step approval process. As part of that process, Microsoft will check apps for security flaws and compliance with technical and content-filtering rules.

You know the saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. The iOS App Store model certainly has its upsides, from weeding out buggy apps to giving indie app developers a simple avenue to monetize their efforts. As for the downsides, well, I’m sure someone will come up with a jailbreak-like scheme to install unauthorized Metro apps on Windows 8 machines, for users who care to get their hands dirty.

Comments closed
    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    Just having another appstore competitor is reason enough to be happy. PCs have evolved from a minority of hobbyist and industrial assemblies into a majority of info and media appliances. The majority of the ecosystem had to morph into the mainstream in support.

    Expect most computing devices in the future to be highly conformed and case-optimized by class according to usage scenarios. Laptops were the first evolution of the original PC, tablets are just the latest. I believe things will play out like it did with flat-panel HDTVs, which evolved in ranges not only by resolution and size but also in features such as UI, processing, materials, and io capabilities (i.e. app-enabled, 2D-3D, touchscreen, hardening etc).

    We may expect similar differentiation between future consumer and industrial PCs. I believe x86 systems will evolve into ubiquitous tiny modules sized like Nintendo’s smaller handhelds and containing basic gpu, storage, and io, reconfiguring when plugged into various screen and control interfaces. Consumers would use strictly locked-down models made cheaper without all the extra licensing. Developers would use looser open-architecture models which featuring bare or virtualized environments for running all kinds of apps. This “homebrew-style” unbundled gear would be legit and sold under specialized brands.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Nice one, quoting Steve Jobs.

    • Aussienerd
    • 8 years ago

    Love it, A place where quality apps are available, and I know that I can download and pay with ease and without risk(mimimal), I am all for it.

    • PenGun
    • 8 years ago

    Will make very little difference to me. I just run games on windose.

    • thanatos355
    • 8 years ago

    “You know the saying: good artists copy, great artists steal.”

    Does this mean that Vanilla Ice was a “great artist”? 😉

      • riviera74
      • 8 years ago

      No, Vanilla Ice is simply a hack who deserved to get sued in order to pay for that hooky bass line.

    • Geistbar
    • 8 years ago

    The approval process, and especially the content filtering, are what annoy me. It will not truly matter for Windows 8, probably even Windows 9 and 10; but eventually, Metro (or an derivation / evolution of it) will either be the only way to run programs, or effectively (90+%) the only way. The biggest advantage to PCs over other computing devices (phones, tablets, consoles, etc) is that you can install and run whatever you want on it. A lot less creative programs will show up if the process is so tied down. The 30% charge also makes me wonder what effect this will have on free programs; a majority of the programs I use are free (Chrome, foobar2000, mkvmerge, SumatraPDF, Notepad++, and many other niche ones).

    Seeing the openness of computing appear to slowly dissolve saddens me. I hope I am wrong.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      They’ve already started this. On 64 bit versions of Windows, you can only install signed drivers without going into a special debug mode. I actually ran into this problem because I found a guy who made drivers to use PS3 controllers with Windows, but it was a giant pita to get working under 64 bit.

      Microsoft is going to collapse under it’s own lack of understanding of it’s success. People used Windows because it was a great balance between openness and ease of use. Linux lacked the ease of use, Apple lacked the openness. Microsoft seems to just want to emulate Apple now.

      Linux just needs a native Steam client and proper video drivers and I’m ready to make the switch.

        • Geistbar
        • 8 years ago

        The driver thing did not bother me much, but I suppose that is how they get these things in. First lock out the things that very few people care about, then move from there, with it already being a matter of course.

        Honestly, I doubt Linux will ever grow to fill the gap. There are a lot of important commercial programs that are only available on Linux under programs such as WINE. I just do not see Linux developing the attitude of supporting commercial software that it would need to be successful in the mainstream. Linux also seems to be having its own issues now too; Ubuntu and the various desktop environments seem to be playing musical chairs with their UIs.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          Linux has always had it’s issues, and I’m sure it’s not for everyone and never will be. However, if they get just a couple things ironed out, it could be a platform that many people can use. There are tons of gamers who know enough about computers to learn how to use Linux who would make the switch if the performance was there.

          And anyone who is able to live without the Windows only programs on a Mac could surely do the same in Linux.

      • LaChupacabra
      • 8 years ago

      App stores like this will always have a place, but they are not an end in themselves. Microsoft is trying to expand their business into an area that has proven to be profitable (probably not as wildly as some people believe, but still profitable) and that non-techy consumers appreciate.

      The metro side of Windows 8 is meant for entertainment. It allows people to buy simple, easy and fun games and applications with little customization. Take a movie encoder app. There probably will be one. And it will probably let you select your file and transcode it to the preferred format for running in Metro. What it probably will not do is allow you to select between 23.98fps or 30.01, with an x264 or h264 codec and flac or mp3 audio. I’m not a huge video guy, but that’s the best analogy I can come up with.

      You can’t run a server with metro (or at least you shouldn’t want to) and the windows metaphor that is…Windows…is much more efficient at doing a lot of tasks that the geek crowd wants to do. What I bet will end up happening is the open-source or free software you mentioned will still be free on the standard windows experience, but in the Metro Market (or whatever it will be called) they will sell for a dollar or two. I think this is a good thing for developers and I’d like to see the makers of software like Handbrake have other revenue streams to help support their awesome software.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      I am generally not a big believer in slippery slope arguments but this line of thinking occured to me as well. I hope you’re wrong too.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    So, does this mean Metro apps will be 43% more expensive than a non-Metro app?

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    Where does that 30% come from ? And how is it warranted.
    I cant believe people are A.OK with a 30% sale tax collected by Microsoft, Apple, etc…

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      Yes. They should not collect anything for hosting, marketing and supporting the sale of other people’s software.

        • ew
        • 8 years ago

        How exactly are they going to market and support the software? For hosting, there are plenty of free or near free ways to do that.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          They’re not supporting the software; they’re supporting the market.

          • Corrado
          • 8 years ago

          They aren’t supporting the SOFTWARE. They’re supporting the SALE. That costs money. Servers, customer support, billing, marketing, bandwidth all cost money. Development of the entire platform costs money.

            • sreams
            • 8 years ago

            Right. And if the software authors don’t like how Microsoft handles servers, customer support, billing, marketing, and bandwidth, and would like to handle these things themselves… F ’em.

            • Corrado
            • 8 years ago

            You can still install stuff manually, at least on the desktop. Just like OS X. Theres an App Store. Theres also no other restrictions.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      No different than selling boxed copies below MSRP in order for stores to actually make some money on what they sell. I can’t believe you don’t understand how this works.

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      Oh come on. Microsoft/Apple handle payments, hosting and your app is easily accessible by every user. If you were not in the store you would need to pay for hosting/bandwidth/payments/advertising and your product would be out in the wilderness. Don’t forget about the time you would need to devote to managing all of this.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, and what about those lousy brick and mortar stores taking a cut out of every sale they make.

      • riviera74
      • 8 years ago

      Something else to consider: it is a LOT easier for software vendors to deal with an app store and get more sales than have their own website and get fewer sales. The 30% pays for a lot, including greater visibility. For a lot of smaller vendors, the 30% is worth it. For Adobe, maybe not.

      • LaChupacabra
      • 8 years ago

      You do realize some products sold in best buy have over an 80% margin for the store right? Those carrying cases from Belkin, screen protectors for phones, USB cables. Each of those things sits at at least 50%. And that includes shipping to the store. Any of these companies would be dancing in the streets if they got 70% of every dollar that consumers spent on their product.

      • Aussienerd
      • 8 years ago

      If you want to go ahead and develop a system that is intergrated into my OS that I can us, to get apps and also helps other people to make money, and you want to do it for the love of the PC go ahead. I look forward to it.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    When are they going to announce non-Metro UI related news? (Like for the majority of people that are actually going to use their software on day 1?)

      • FakeAlGore
      • 8 years ago

      What are you hoping to see? They showed the basic Windows Aero-style UI running during BUILD, and there are several videos of it on YouTube. Metro is purely optional, but of course it’s the thing they’re showing off. It’s new. Windows Aero UI has been around since 2006.

        • sreams
        • 8 years ago

        Aero was in beta (Vista) for three years. The finished version has only been out since the end of 2009.

      • Vulk
      • 8 years ago

      When MS tells us something that’s interesting and non-Metro? That’s basically all they talked about at Build.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        Did you miss the fancy graphics for Explorer file copy? :p

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