It’s hard to deny that the (Apple) App Store is not a huge success, and it looks like Microsoft is taking a page from Apple’s book, as it announced at the BUILD conference this week that Windows 8 will have an app store that users will have to use in order to purchase/download content for the tablet. Fortunately it’s only going to be for the Metro UI version of Windows 8 – “Classic” Windows 8 will still have apps that don’t have to be purchased from the app store. So if you’re a firm believer of purchasing software that’s still distributed in boxes or apps that probably won’t have a chance of making it in the Windows 8 app store, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Windows is still an “open” OS in that respect.
In addition to having an app store for Windows 8, Microsoft will also be charging developers for having their paid apps distributed on it – taking a 30% cut just like its own Windows Marketplace for Windows Phone 7. No surprise there, but again – this only applies to apps being sold on the app store. So it looks like, developers who plan to create apps for Windows 8 tablets will be asked to distribute apps on the app store, unless they’re fine with creating apps just for classic mode. Having a closed app store has its benefits (like checking for malware and viruses), having both an open and closed option on the same system is better. The iPad certainly can’t claim that. What do you think of the Store-only distribution mechanism for Metro apps?