I want to keep this short.
A month or two back, Valve’s Gabe Newell made some statement’s about Windows 8 being bad for the PC industry; that its locked down nature was bad for Valve and PC gaming. It was statement that got a lot of play in the press and it was echoed by others in the gaming industry; notably by the head of Blizzard (creators of Worlds of Warcraft). Now Newell afterwards again said Windows 8 was bad, and again it got press.
Now I bring this all up because I was on the website of a company called Pokki, which basically a store for HTML based web application for the Windows desktop (along with notifications). Now the post in question reminded me of something that got lost in the discussion around Newell’s comments, it wasn’t about the new UI design or even lock in; it was about Microsoft creating a App store.
See Valve is moving from just selling games, to also selling programs (sort of like the Windows store). Now I’m adding Pokki because of the post and the almost cheeky way they both agreed and disagreed with Newell. Reminding the reader that Pokki was about making PCs suck less and the desktop needing love too. Actually (apologies for rambling) this whole thing about arguing over the existence of an App store is ironic because the people complaining want to put one on the OS. They see the value in users having verified and secure third party programs funneled through a digital store.
In fact I know people have wanted Microsoft to do it for awhile now. Its not like they are alone; Linux distros have had stores for awhile; and while developers rumble, the Mac App store is widely used. The reality is an application store is one of those things that are on the checklist of modern OS’s. Most users don’t think of lock down when they go to these stores, only convince.
There is also a lot left out when talking about the Windows store. For one, desktop apps and stores like Pokki and Steam are not blocked or have to pay. They can be listed in the store and when a user goes to download their software they are taken to their website. Two as of now only applications built on the Windows Run Time are subject to only be bought in the store with the split being 70/30 until an app reaches a certain number of users, than the price is halved. Lastly, this ain’t about Valve or anyone else, Windows 8 is about repositioning Microsoft in the consumer space period.