Windows 8 app store: Too little, too late?

Leaked slides suggest Microsoft is sticking to its desktop roots instead of embracing the cloud

Microsoft is reportedly developing an innovative means of delivering application software to personal computing devices: Leveraging a technology called the Internet, best described as "a series of tubes," end-users will be able to download programs directly to their Windows-compatible machines, thus not having to rely on installing software from such media as floppy discs -- or the newer, slicker compact discs that are all the rage. Given the complexity of this sort of project, don't expect to see it until the company releases Version 8 of its popular Microsoft Windows operating system.

Sarcasm aside, it's tough to get too excited about the leaked information regarding a forthcoming Apple App Store-like application for Windows 8. The most surprising part to me, in fact, is that Microsoft won't be rolling this out until the next version of Windows, which is a couple of years away.

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I'd attribute the delay to Microsoft's continued commitment to a heavily desktop-based computing model (case in point: Redmond's lackluster foray into a Web-based Office suite). Hence, an app store for Windows won't be out until 2012 -- while Google adds new Web-based apps to its App Marketplace regularly. I'd be remiss not to mention that, similarly, Apple and Google also make available third-party apps for their respective mobile platforms on a regular basis, whereas Microsoft doesn't even have a significant rival yet in that space.

The idea behind Microsoft's app store is to provide a one-stop shop from which parties will be able to download trustworthy apps, searchable via the Web or locally on a Windows 8 devices. "Trustworthy" presumably means stable and secure -- but I'd wager there'll be fine print.

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