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Windows 8 App Store Under Development, Says Microsoft

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Experts remain cautiously positive about what the Windows 8 app store could do for Microsoft and the post-PC market, currently under Apple dominion. (Photo: Stock.xchng)
Experts remain cautiously positive about what the Windows 8 app store could do for Microsoft and the post-PC market, currently under Apple dominion. (Photo: Stock.xchng)

BUSINESS

  • Microsoft all but confirms Windows 8 operating system will include an app store
  • New OS to come with touch-optimized user interface similar to Windows Phone smartphones
  • Windows 8 billed as its biggest OS revamp since Windows 95

The new Windows 8 operating system will sport an app store, according to a post on Microsoft’s developers blog site.

While not officially announcing the app store, Windows president Steven Sinofsky more or less confirmed the speculation that had been doing the rounds when he listed different development groups working on the Windows 8 platform.

Second on the list: “App Store”, followed by “Applications and Media Experience” and “App Experience”, indicating that Microsoft is preparing to dive headfirst into to the app market.

Microsoft has promised that Windows 8 will be the biggest overhaul of its operating system since Windows 95.  In June, it published a video giving consumers a sneak peak of the platform. Windows 8 will come with a touch-optimized “Metro” user interface similar to that currently found in Windows Phone-powered smartphones.

Add to this that Windows 8 will also be designed to run tablet PCs, and news of the app store is not that surprising – with Apple iOS, Google Android and the rest of the post-PC world, all mobile platforms have a service where apps can be bought and downloaded.

Seamless Compatibility

As technology becomes increasing portable simplicity and seamless connection between smartphone, tablet and PC is becoming a priority.

One main factor that has kept Mac users loyal is the cross-device compatibility and simplicity of its mobile iOS platform. Apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store to the iPhone and then synced to the iPad and desktop at no extra fee.

With the launch of the Mac App Store in January, Apple turned interfacing between all devices into an even smoother operation, taking the success of iOS and the Apple App Store and implanting it directly into its desktop interface.

Mac users can now purchase the latest version of the operating system, OS X Lion, in the Mac App Store, which will then automatically perform the upgrade. No need for DVDs – the Mac App Store does it all. Experts remain cautiously positive about what the Windows 8 app store could do for Microsoft and the post-PC market, currently under Apple dominion.

Tony Bradley from PC World writes in his blog: “A convergence of platforms should also drive a convergence of software and apps that…cost less and work seamlessly and consistently from smartphone to tablet to desktop.

“That is what Windows 8 and the Windows 8 app store can bring to the Windows environment. The Windows 8 app store will change the way Windows software is developed and distributed.”

Key Statistics – Global Tablet PC Market (source: DigiTimes Research, “Expectations for the 2H 2011 Table Market” report)

  • The tablet trend is bringing three markets closer together – computers, communications and consumer electronics – and has brought about a radical new era in mobile computing.
  • Global tablet shipments are up more than 200% in 2011, with more than 65 million units expected to be moved.
  • Apple remains in control of the tablet market with Android a distant second.
  • With 30% penetration rate worldwide, Android is developing faster in this segment than it did in smartphones.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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