Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery and Microsoft's not afraid to follow in Apple's footsteps. The Mac App Store's success is another home run for Apple and what does that mean for Microsoft's next Windows 8 OS? It's getting an App Store too.
Microsoft's always believed that digital distribution is the future, that's why it started the ill-fated WebTV and built services like Xbox Live and Xbox Marketplace: to deliver content without physical media.
Downloading bite-sized apps on your smartphone is one thing, but delivering larger-sized apps is trickier. Just ask this guy who downloaded OS X Lion from the Mac App Store. On his Internet connection, it took him FOUR days to download the operating system update.
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Will the world's broadband speed suddenly jump in speeds by next year when Windows 8 is expected to drop? It's highly unlikely. Those with a fast connection like FIOS will be in heaven; they'll never have to go to a retail store to buy software ever again. But those with the slow connection, well, they're going to be screwed, unless all they're downloading is Angry Birds.
A Windows App Store isn't completely unexpected, given how Windows 8 will run on both x86 and ARM architecture. As you may know, ARM processors are inside of many of the world's mobile electronics; used by companies like Samsung, Apple, LG, etc. Its architecture isn't designed to run standard x86 apps. An App Store could help make finding software for the two different architectures less confusing for the end-user.
And as Intel pushes more of its thin CD/DVD-less "Ultrabooks," a centralized way to download apps quickly and as pain-free as possible is going to be necessary.
So, welcome App Stores. We welcome thee to our laptops, gaming towers, netbooks and any other PC.
Via MSDN Blogs