December 10, 2011, 7:27 AM — As Microsoft readies the debut of Windows 8 beta code for February it's sharing more about one of the biggest additions to the upcoming operating system, a brand new app store. Microsoft is calling it Windows Store and it will feature what are called Metro-style apps designed for both Windows 8 tablets, laptops, and desktop PCs. Metro-style apps are primarily for managing photos, entertainment, social networking, and messaging on Windows 8 devices.
The Windows Store, Microsoft said Tuesday, will be the only way for consumers to purchase and install Windows 8 Metro-style apps.
In other words, Microsoft will have complete control over what you can put on your PC when using apps in the new touch-friendly Metro interface. This is a dramatic departure from Microsoft's previously more open philosophy that let anyone download to their PC any software they wanted from any source they wanted.
Microsoft is making this change to ensure Metro-style apps are better protected from malware, bugs and other typical PC problems. The end result, however, is that you must rely on Microsoft's judgment about which apps are and are not appropriate for your desktop. But in a nod to Microsoft's past, traditional PC software applications for Windows will still be available from third parties in the same way they are available today for Windows 7.
Microsoft's new app store will be similar to Apple's Mac App Store launched in January and available for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.7 Lion. Although Apple still allows users to download Mac apps from outside sources. Here's what you need to know about Microsoft's Metro-style walled garden inside Windows 8.
Here's what you need to know about Microsoft's Metro-style walled garden inside Windows 8.
When Will The Windows Store Be Available?
Microsoft plans to ship the first version of the Windows Store with the public beta release of Windows 8 in late February. Microsoft had previously been cagey about when the Windows 8 beta was coming.
During the beta period only free apps will be available in the Windows Store. Microsoft plans to roll out its app payment platform at a later date.
Which Apps Will Be Available At Launch?