Microsoft Metro app store lock down

Frustrated with the iOS App Store? Get ready for more of the same with Windows Store

Windows Metro Interface

News is starting to emerge about how Microsoft will handle the app submission process for the Windows 8 Store (formerly Metro, everyone still calls it Metro). Developers for Windows have long enjoyed the freedom to build and distribute Windows software at their discretion. While this should remain true for desktop applications, when it comes to the new Metro tile apps, Microsoft is taking a page from the Mac OS book.

In the new Windows 8 start menu, live tiles are placed across the screen in a grid layout. These tiles can update with new information such as breaking news, incoming messages, e-mails, Twitter mentions, and more. Clicking on one of these tiles will launch the Metro application. The Metro apps closely resemble mobile or tablet apps. It’s these apps that Microsoft is restricting the publication and distribution of to their new Windows Store.

Quoting Ronnie Vernon from Microsoft Communities, “Any developer who builds these apps, must have a Developers License and each app must go through a certification process and be validated before being placed in the Windows Store.” Sound familiar?

Since Microsoft is still clinging to hope that enterprises will adopt Windows 8, they thought a little bit ahead and provided a process called Sideloading for line of business (LOB) applications. This will allow businesses to provision their employees machines with Metro apps via PowerShell or the Deployment Image Service without having to go through the Windows Store. This should also sound familiar.

While this is a big change in what Windows developers are used to, the key takeaway here should be that normal desktop apps will not be affected by this. It’s only the new Metro style live tiles and apps that are subject to the new Windows Store approval process. I don’t see this helping the poor reception of Windows 8 by the tech community though.

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