Not to be out done by Apple’s Mac App Store, the Amazon App Store and pretty much any Linux distro the folks in Redmond may just be working on their own version of the “generic App Store” for the next version of their desktop OS, Windows 8. Why the turn towards a centralized software versus the traditional “insert installation disk” setup? Find out after the break.
If you’ll recall, Windows 8 is poised to be Microsoft’s way-too-late tablet OS. Supposedly capable of running on ARM processors and x86 processors alike (and hopefully touting lower system requirements), Windows 8 could, in my opinion, be a recreation of true tablet computers. Right now, we have tablets running optimized tablet OS’s. They’ve never been anything but what they are. We’re not even sure what they are, but we know they’re not a general purpose computer. They’re getting there, and Flash 10.2 and dual cores are bringing us ever closer, but they are different. Running a Windows OS on a tablet is a different story and Microsoft would do good to have some sort of easy way to get applications onto whatever hardware they come up with to show off this new aptly named App Store.
And it better be some damn decent hardware they’re launching. With Apple already (as usual) established as the leader in the tablet division and Google’s Honeycomb set to have a blowout summer, Microsoft has more or less already missed the tablet train. The market is still expanding, but they’re really going to have to hurry their hineys along to get this not just shown off but actually into consumers hands. Prototypes, betas, electronics shows mean nothing when it comes down to sales and consumer’s mind share. Apple owns (way too literally) the U.S. people’s minds when it comes to mobile electronics and if Microsoft wants to get a piece of tablet cake before its all crumbs they’ve got a long road they need to drive quickly.
I think an App Store is an obvious first step, and hopefully it’ll help people view a device running Windows as not some sluggish second rate Chinese toy. Microsoft is playing catchup here, so copying what Apple and Google do right is probably smart. It takes a lot more than just an App Store to make an successful tablet, but Microsoft is headed in the right direction. I eagerly await any public (or otherwise) beta I can try out for Windows 8. Any thing I do get a hold off, I’ll be sure to let you guys know first!
You stay classy, World Wide Web.