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Microsoft Working On Its Own App Store 195

Posted by timothy
from the goes-around-comes-around dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft is working on a software distribution scheme along the lines of Apple's iPhone App Store, CEO Steve Ballmer said yesterday at a developer's conference in Sydney, Australia. 'There's not much money being made, but the general concept of giving developers a way not only to get their code distributed, but to really get visibility for the code, is a good idea,' Ballmer said. Ballmer hinted that something similar would be coming soon from Microsoft. While he said Micrsoft was not ready to detail the works in progress, he said '... fear not, we're hard at work, and you'll see some of the benefits [of that] with some of the concepts, particularly Facebook's.'"
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Microsoft Working On Its Own App Store

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  • This company is pathetic. Don't they every ever come up with an original idea?

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @07:21PM (#25690457)

    There's not much money being made, but the general concept of giving developers a way not only to get their code distributed, but to really get visibility for the code, is a good idea

    The money being made is in smaller chunks but the volume could be quite high. This combined could quite profitable for small, independent developers. Also from Apple's standpoint they are not in it to make large amounts of profit for themselves from the app store. Like the music and video divisions, it will probably generate a small profit. The app store is a tool to sell more devices. MS unfortunately only sees that they can't make much money off it because their model relies on OEMs buying their OS software and their mobile software which means they will have to compete in some cases with 3rd party developers.

    • The apple App store model has huge problems (aka. you cannot run app X because we don't want you too) I don't think customers really want a repeat of that. iPhone and iPod users use it because they don't have an option. However once a way that allows them to run apps outside of the app store that will not cause the iPhone to brick on the next update then the new method will probably get far more popular. As you can get apps that really make the iPhone useful. Flash, Java, ways to share network connections.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        The apple App store model has huge problems (aka. you cannot run app X because we don't want you too) I don't think customers really want a repeat of that

        I suspect you're wrong. Users want somewhere safe where they can get apps that do what they want and know that they won't get some malware. If that means that they may miss out on a few apps that Apple doesn't like then a lot of people will be willing to accept that.

    • Yeah but I'm not convinced that'll last. I mean the "visibility" you get from the App Store is only really possible because it's still quite small. Imagine if there was a million apps in the app store, the UI would rapidly become a hinderance rather than a help. Most apps would instantly vanish into obscurity with no way to advertise themselves, except via the web, word of mouth etc, in which case there's not much advantage over just selling your app on your website as is done today for WM software. App Sto

  • Correction (Score:2, Funny)

    by TheUni (1007895)
    'There's not much money being made, but the general concept of giving developers a way not only to get their binaries distributed, but to really get visibility for the binaries, is a good idea'
  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NuclearError (1256172) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @07:32PM (#25690523)

    ... fear not, we're hard at work...

    Start fearing.

  • With blackjack? And hookers? Ah screw it, forget the blackjack... And the app store.
  • If this works, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by meatmanek (1062562)
    It could end up being like a package manager. If you could get all or most of your software through the software store, it could handle updates and dependencies. It might even make re-installing Windows easier. Just save the list of installed programs, wipe and install, then use some scripting magic to re-install all of your programs. That is, if it's not crippled by DRM.
    • The problem is, this is MS. Most software installed is not MS software, unlike OS X where just about every app is made by Apple or Adobe. Just look at the disaster Windows update is, think about what they would do with this. Not to mention that this will attract about 3 other developers other than MS, and no doubt MS would charge to be part of this "elite network" which throws out any OSS project. Its a good idea, but the thing about Ballmer's MS is, they have some corporate crap stopping them from executin
      • this could render horrible, spyware-laden free app download sites like the current ones a thing of the past. if Microsoft hosts and vets downloads, it means higher quality apps for users, as well as an extra distribution channel for vendors
      • Let's say Microsoft indeed wises up and emulates the Linux package management idea. The users will then always have the latest security patches applied. Maybe for all installed programs. That would be a good thing, wouldn't it?

  • by santiagodraco (1254708) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @08:25PM (#25690881)

    They are making PLENTY of money off the app store, far more than they expected. Ballmer's comments about "there's not much money being made" is simply his way of discounting Apples success and predicting his own failure.

  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @08:47PM (#25691003) Homepage Journal
    I am not sure what the motivation here. When I go to a store, I see MS Windows programs everywhere. When I go to sourceforge, I see plenty of free MS Windows programs. If people want to pay a small fee for a program, I see that too. I just paid a small free for an utility the other day. I do not see a dearth of opportunities to purchase a MS Windows program.

    So what is the motivation here. Apple has it's store to control content. I don't think MS wants to do that. Google has it's store to insure that content is available, provide more pages to host ads, and eventually make a little money on the side, when they begin charging, something I thought they were already doing, but I forgot about their always freaky business model. MS business models are always very straight forward.

    So as best I can figure this is a case where someone else it making a bit of money in the computer business, MS is not getting it's cut, which is driving MS crazy. So they open a store, even though they have no experience in it and will not pay anyone who has experience, and then use their partnership arrangements to make others use it, maybe even building it into the next version os IE. Probably have to have to have and MSN account to use it as well.

    • Don't look stupid at the next shareholders' meeting.
      What have MS really got to show for the last two years or so? A string of failures: Zune, Vista, Yahoo...
      MS need to show shareholders that they are still competing with the other players and are not just burning their cash. Apple and Google have app stores (running or in development). Therefore MS better have one too.
    • There's nothing in Microsoft land that equates to what Apple has with its application store. Windows shareware developers have to do shareware, first of all, which is pretty bad. In the Apple store, Apple has it set up that consumers have to pay first and then get the application, and that Apple approves the products and lathers its brand on things makes it great. In Windows, you have 2000 web sites all cheesily affiliated with a handful of players, no consistent payment collection mechanism, loads of cra

  • by Khuffie (818093) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @09:29PM (#25691233) Homepage
    Linux community: "Windows sucks. They don't even have a decent app repository. In Linux I can find any program from one place!" Microsoft: "We're building an App Store" Linux community: "Zoinks! Theives! Scoundrels! Copycats!" Since when is it wrong for a company to see something it's competitor has done successfully, that was beneficial for both customers and developers, and then decide to do so for their own customers and developers? Seriously, how is this a bad thing that they're doing it? They've even acknowledged that their competitors had a good idea and that they've taken the concept from them. Jeez.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khuffie (818093)
      Damnit, I really wish Slashdot's 'html formatted' posting method will put in the br tags automatically.
    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      Um... how is an app store the same thing as an app repository?? You are comparing apples to microwave ovens.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Khuffie (818093)
        An app store would theoretically allow free apps, as does the iPhone app store. How are they different?
        • by Foofoobar (318279)
          The poster compared it to apt-get. Apt get allows for updates and upgrading as well as checking for dependencies. I repeat... how is an app store like a repository???
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Khuffie (818093)
            Ever used the iPhone app store? Which allows for updates as well? Also, Windows apps tend to not need dependencies installed.
        • An app store would theoretically allow free apps, as does the iPhone app store. How are they different?

          A repository (In Linux practice at least) is one of many software libraries accessed by a package manager They don't all have to be run by the distro maker. So third parties are free to set up their own repository and link it into the package manager without needing the distro maker's approval.

          An apps store may allow free apps, but a repository only asks permission from the user.

          For example. If I make an iPhone app to search and buy from the Amazon music store, Apple are entitled to refuse to distribute the

  • apt-cache search ________

    apt-get install _________

    That s simplifying it of course, but apt and it's relatives were always one of the majors reasons I loved Linux. Unlike windows, I didn't have to hunt apps down on shady sites, download random EXEs, etc. Everything is in one relatively simple to use place. Add some way to process payments and you have a ready made AppStore.
  • "CrapStore"
  • Finally they are making repositories of software so people have at least some chance to find out if it's malware or not.

    Finally Microsoft might get a package manager and people could install software without having to type "programmname free download" into the next search engine, and probably getting malware with the first 10 links.

    That is, unless Microsoft messes it up which they will probabaly do. My guess is that they will not open it to "free" software or the whole system will be horribly insecure. Prob

  • I think this is just a way to kill pirated software. What if in Windows 7, like the iPhone, you can only install software you got from the MS App store? It's also a nice way to keep those irritating OSS programs like FF and OO off of their lawn.

  • Here's an example of how Ballmer views the world.

    Despite acknowledging that WebKit's open-source nature is "interesting," Microsoft's chief executive elaborated on why he says the software giant is sticking--at least for now--with its Trident rendering engine for Internet Explorer.

    "I think there will continue to be a lot of proprietary innovation by us, and other people, inside the browser itself," he said. "A company like ours needs to have (its own) rendering service. It is important that we have a browse

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