Microsoft to restrict Metro apps to Windows 8 app store

Microsoft's Metro-style interface for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system has generated a lot of press already. But if you want to make an app that will work exclusively on the Metro version of Windows 8, there will only be one legal option available to sell your creation. Computerworld reports that during the BUILD Conference last week Microsoft confirmed that its download app store will be the only place that users will be able to purchase and download apps made for the touch screen user interface. Microsoft will also offer non-Metro based apps via the app store.

In addition, Microsoft will take 30 percent of the revenues from sales of the Metro apps from the Windows Store. This is the same revenue cut that Apple offers creators of programs made for its iOS app store. Ted Dworkin, who heads up Microsoft's Windows Store development team, reportedly told developers at the BUILD Conference, "We will examine every application that will be submitted to us [and] we will run a virus check and a malware check on every application." That should please consumers who have been using Android-based devices. A number of malware programs have managed to sneak into the Android Market before Google discovered them and pulled them from the download market.

In addition to the revenue cut, Microsoft is reportedly telling potential Metro app creators that they must offer five licenses for each app. That will allow the user to install the same program on up to five different Windows 8 devices.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft in talks with Comcast, Verizon for Xbox TV?

Next Story

HP confirms webOS-based layoffs

46 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

What's the problem? Apple has 2 app stores(iOS and OS X). So will Microsoft have 1 for Metro and the other for regular(x86) apps. Of course x86 apps will continue to be available all over the internet.

even in Windows Phone you can side load apps, yeah i downloaded and testes need for speed, the only thing its it wouldn't let Xbox live points. and thats it...

if you dont like store, and you are the ones that doesn't even pay for a $1 app... its windows, where even you can mod the stupid Metro UI to make it the way you want.

and what i mean by that? that its windows, anyone will create a way to sideload apps, so you wont have to pay for a $5 app. because Windows is hackeable in anyway. its not like its locked and it wont have Access to file systems and registry and such.

anyway there will also be free apps, like in every store.
and of course this will be good so it will be free of problems, so peopel wont have to worry in their tablets about malware and such

EmilyTheStrange said,
even in Windows Phone you can side load apps, yeah i downloaded and testes need for speed, the only thing its it wouldn't let Xbox live points. and thats it...

if you dont like store, and you are the ones that doesn't even pay for a $1 app... its windows, where even you can mod the stupid Metro UI to make it the way you want.

and what i mean by that? that its windows, anyone will create a way to sideload apps, so you wont have to pay for a $5 app. because Windows is hackeable in anyway. its not like its locked and it wont have Access to file systems and registry and such.

anyway there will also be free apps, like in every store.
and of course this will be good so it will be free of problems, so peopel wont have to worry in their tablets about malware and such

Faulty logic: I do not like "stores" as long as they are the only available source for something, still I pay thousands of $ for software.
Humanity never cease to surprise me....

I applaud this move to protect intellectual property rights. This will put an end to keygens/cracks/botnets/malware/etc. Restricting development of software to responsible people will be a benefit to everyone. Good on Microsoft. Now make it so offline installers don't exist so its made clear to the end user that they are not entitled to software nor do they own it. An education campaign is overdue to educate the consumer on software licensing and respecting intellectual property rights of content owners.

DeusProto said,
I applaud this move to protect intellectual property rights. This will put an end to keygens/cracks/botnets/malware/etc. Restricting development of software to responsible people will be a benefit to everyone. Good on Microsoft. Now make it so offline installers don't exist so its made clear to the end user that they are not entitled to software nor do they own it. An education campaign is overdue to educate the consumer on software licensing and respecting intellectual property rights of content owners.

I agree. Especially now when margins for software are at an all time low. People now seem to think if its over $1 its too expensive. Add piracy to the mix and its a very dark place. Sure you hear the occasional success story, but not everything is like that. I worked computer repair in the past,and this one time this woman asked me if i can put office for her. I said sure, do you have a registration key. She said what do you mean? I said the registration key to register the software. She said she didn't want to register anything,she just wants to use the software. I said well, you're gonna have to pay for the program, it's not free. She said she never had to pay for office before,people would just install it for her and it would work. This kind of stuff really ****es me off.

This won't really do much to cut down on piracy, to be honest. It just means every piece of software uses the exact same DRM to protect itself - once that DRM is broken, every app on the store is crackable. It's happened on iOS, and I can guarantee it will happen here too.

I hate piracy as much as any other software developer, but you really can't stop it. Pirates will always pirate. The argument that this keeps Windows a bit more secure is valid, but if Microsoft is doing this to stop application piracy, that initiative is going to fail.

This is ****ing stupid. Why not allow a toggle switch in control panel or a registry key that allows slide loading for "advanced" users? The piracy angle doesn't play as store apps will be wrapped in DRM anyway.
Stupid move MS.

dhan said,
This is ****ing stupid. Why not allow a toggle switch in control panel or a registry key that allows slide loading for "advanced" users? The piracy angle doesn't play as store apps will be wrapped in DRM anyway.
Stupid move MS.

Because then a malicious Metro-style app could compromise your system which is what MS are trying to avoid.
The Microsoft name has been dragged through the mud with the legacy exploits. Microsoft are trying to repair their reputation by giving users an environment where all applications are deemed 'safe' by MS, and thus safe to the user.

Stupid? No, just responding to the markets.

dotf said,

Because then a malicious Metro-style app could compromise your system which is what MS are trying to avoid.
The Microsoft name has been dragged through the mud with the legacy exploits. Microsoft are trying to repair their reputation by giving users an environment where all applications are deemed 'safe' by MS, and thus safe to the user.

Stupid? No, just responding to the markets.


Why must every company use stuff like, "no viruses," or, "lack of piracy," as excuses for too much control?

dotf said,

Because then a malicious Metro-style app could compromise your system which is what MS are trying to avoid.
The Microsoft name has been dragged through the mud with the legacy exploits. Microsoft are trying to repair their reputation by giving users an environment where all applications are deemed 'safe' by MS, and thus safe to the user.

Stupid? No, just responding to the markets.

Check history: Security and safety of the people have always been the most used words to justify the cut of individuals freedom.
Besides in this specific case the restrictions will be circumvented very quickly.

Seems like there focusing on Tablets with Windows 8, by only putting on Metro applications on the store, seems rubbish to me, as i wont be spending my time in metro land!

Hope there is a normal Win32 app store as well

badsey said,

Hope there is a normal Win32 app store as well

What, are you too lazy to read to the end of the first paragraph?

Microsoft will also offer non-Metro based apps via the app store.

Cut the copy talk; so sick of it, guess what; if someone does something that's a good idea, as with fishing, fashion, autos, tech, you name it, you don't OWN your ideas, unless they are patentable and we know where that goes. Can you even imagine if we played the same stupid games with steering wheels, and the idea for a convertible car and tires! Waaaaaa...look at Chrysler stealing rubber tires from Firestone, can't they come up with their own ideas?

What ****es Apple people off apparently is when MS takes a good idea, implements it, and charges a decent price for it and outsells the guy that had the idea in the first place. Keep crying because you will have a LOT more tears coming your way, I guarantee it! And if the new Apple TV does NOT have voice controlled channel changing and search and fast forward and pause? Guess what, YOU are going to be MORONS, for NOT copying MS!

No, what ****es Apple people off around here is the utter hypocritical statements of people like you who can't admit that they will readily bash Apple for something while praising Microsoft when they do exactly the same thing. The fact is that people around here slammed Apple endlessly for their app store on OS X, but look around. Most of the comments here are defending Microsoft for doing the same thing.

virtorio said,
Where's the same hate Apple got when people thought this was direction they might be going with OS X?

Welcome to Neowin. Around here, if Apple does something, they are bashed and demonized, but if Microsoft does the same exact thing, they are praised.

roadwarrior said,

Welcome to Neowin. Around here, if Apple does something, they are bashed and demonized, but if Microsoft does the same exact thing, they are praised.

The mac app store isn't compulsary...

Microsoft is only talking about metro apps. We might still be able to download non-metro applications and install it. This might be just to ensure that the metro interface remains clean.

Chanthu said,
Microsoft is only talking about metro apps. We might still be able to download non-metro applications and install it. This might be just to ensure that the metro interface remains clean.

And free of malware. If you want malware on your system you will have to run installers in the classic desktop.

dotf said,

And free of malware. If you want malware on your system you will have to run installers in the classic desktop.

Sry I survived very well, and without malware in my system, so far using installers. I do not need unrequested supervision......

If MS will ended up acting as Apple, who knows they could even get the same marketshare.

Can you OWN Metro apps? The days of installer are gone for Metro apps, Windows 8 will handle installation and uninstallation of apps transparently from the App Store. But can you back up the app you purchased to some offline location?

xpclient said,
Can you OWN Metro apps? The days of installer are gone for Metro apps, Windows 8 will handle installation and uninstallation of apps transparently from the App Store. But can you back up the app you purchased to some offline location?

I don't know of any modern app stores that don't let you let you redownload apps youve already purchased.

xpclient said,
Can you OWN Metro apps? The days of installer are gone for Metro apps, Windows 8 will handle installation and uninstallation of apps transparently from the App Store. But can you back up the app you purchased to some offline location?

It already says that the store lets you install the app on up to 5 devices and, as with any app store, if you already bought it once you can redownload it if you need to. I don't expect otherwise.

I know about being able to re-download, but say the app is 500 MB (some game or whatever) or forget the size, but suppose my net is down, wouldn't it be better if I could just store if somewhere offline and just double click it to install it to the Start screen?).

GP007 said,

It already says that the store lets you install the app on up to 5 devices and, as with any app store, if you already bought it once you can redownload it if you need to. I don't expect otherwise.


OK, and what happens if Microsoft decides to close their app store in a year or two? And don't say "it won't happen", because similar things have happened, even with Microsoft.

GP007 said,

It already says that the store lets you install the app on up to 5 devices and, as with any app store, if you already bought it once you can redownload it if you need to. I don't expect otherwise.

Being a person that I had to rush and buy a new copy of Office because my LEGIT copy of the software at 9:30 AM suddenly decided that it was a pirated one and I had an important meeting at 10:00 AM I have very little confidence in these kind of statements; sure everything is great as long as there is not a glitch.

This seems reasonable to me.

MS want to ensure that the Metro will be top quality interface. By going through MS store, they can make sure quality is there on all apps.

But I do hope that MS at some point in future, when Metro and the dev community have established themselves will make it unrestricted.

HyBry said,
This seems reasonable to me.

MS want to ensure that the Metro will be top quality interface. By going through MS store, they can make sure quality is there on all apps.

But I do hope that MS at some point in future, when Metro and the dev community have established themselves will make it unrestricted.

Developers and enterprise customers can sideload apps onto their devices. It's meant to cut down on piracy.

dagamer34 said,

Developers and enterprise customers can sideload apps onto their devices. It's meant to cut down on piracy.

what does it mean by developers and enterprise customers can sideload apps? they will have different version of windows?

digitheatre said,

what does it mean by developers and enterprise customers can sideload apps? they will have different version of windows?

No, same version, developers and enterprise will get a tool that lets them install apps without using the app store.

dagamer34 said,
Developers and enterprise customers can sideload apps onto their devices. It's meant to cut down on piracy.

Piracy isn't the only goal, improving security of the end user is another. By ensuring all Metro/Windows Runtime apps are vetted through their app store approval process which even at this early stage still has more intrusive checks to the app than WP7 Marketplace or Android Market will help accomplish this.

alexalex said,
Anything original from Microsoft ? Again a copycat of Apple (30% cut, app store restriction..).


I like how "Microsoft to implement standard industry practice" = "Microsoft copied Apple!"

Predictable, but wise move from Microsoft. App stores are good news for small developers and general public users - it makes distribution and installation so simple.

bugsbungee said,
Predictable, but wise move from Microsoft. App stores are good news for small developers and general public users - it makes distribution and installation so simple.

As a member of the "general public users" I strongly disagree with your opinion.

Microsoft detailed this last Tuesday when discussing their Windows Store plans. Developers and enterprise customers will be able to side load apps so Metro apps aren't "restricted" to the Windows Store like the title suggests.

Vice said,
Windows 8 just gets more stupid by the minute.

Why is this dumb? MS taking a cut is what happens on any "app store", they're not just taking the app and posting it in a list, they're checking it to make sure it's safe and works the way it should, testing has a cost in itself. Also storage of apps up on their servers as well has a cost to it.

GP007 said,

Why is this dumb? MS taking a cut is what happens on any "app store", they're not just taking the app and posting it in a list, they're checking it to make sure it's safe and works the way it should, testing has a cost in itself. Also storage of apps up on their servers as well has a cost to it.

I don't have a problem with Microsoft offering an application store. I have a problem with them only allowing Metro apps to be bought and installed from that store. It's the lock in I am disappointed with.

Vice said,

I don't have a problem with Microsoft offering an application store. I have a problem with them only allowing Metro apps to be bought and installed from that store. It's the lock in I am disappointed with.

Side loading metro apps is there, it's been said, the thing is that it's not really lock in, there isn't only metro apps, there's still going to be normal desktop apps in the end. And I'm sure, more like a guess, that there will be a way to just download and install metro apps without the app store if they're free for example.

We really don't have all the official details about this, someone said something sure, but by the time Win8 comes out things can and probably will change.

GP007 said,

Side loading metro apps is there, it's been said, the thing is that it's not really lock in, there isn't only metro apps, there's still going to be normal desktop apps in the end. And I'm sure, more like a guess, that there will be a way to just download and install metro apps without the app store if they're free for example.

We really don't have all the official details about this, someone said something sure, but by the time Win8 comes out things can and probably will change.


Look this screenshot :

http://twitpic.com/6lb1m9

as you can see in the error message ("Installation of this application requires a Windows Store Developer License or enterprise qualified client."), it appears that microsoft intends to let enterprises and developers (but not home users) unlock their machine to install appx packages not yet signed by the windows store certification process.

I guess anyone who will have installed at least visual studio express (free) will have his machine "developer unlocked".

Funny that even though the BUILD conference has ended, not yet all information that were given to developers have been published on sites like neowin (like the new IE10 sandbox different from Vista/IE7 sandbox, or the fact that metro apps have no way to talk to local win32 components), or are published long after!