1By Daniel Eran Dilger
Published: 05:35 PM EST (02:35 PM PST)
New Metro-style apps designed to run on Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8
for tablets will copy Apple's App Store business model of charging a 30
percent fee from developers, allowing the potential for Microsoft to regain
control over software in segments it has lost to Apple's iTunes and Google
At its BUILD conference with developers, Microsoft has made it clear that
while existing Windows 7 desktop apps will continue to move forward in
Windows 8 with few changes, the new Metro layer of "touch first" apps that
will be targeted at consumers in new PCs and in particular new ARM-based
tablets, will be sold through Microsoft's Windows 8 app store with the same
fees Apple charges in both its iOS and Mac App Stores.
Windows 8 = Windows 7 + Metro
Recapping Microsoft's announcements, Windows bloggers Mary Jo Foley and Paul
Thurrott explained that Microsoft said it will allow its enterprise
customers to use Windows 8 essentially as a minor update to the existing
Windows 7 by turning off the Metro layer via an IT policy across their users.
For consumer PCs, Windows 8 will ship as essentially Windows 7 overlaid with
a new layer of Metro animated graphics capable of running new Metro apps.
On standard x86 PCs, this will allow users to run both existing Windows apps
as well as downloading new Metro apps from Microsoft's new Windows 8 app
On ARM tablets running Windows 8, only the new Metro apps will run, as the
president of Microsoft's Windows unit, Stephen Sinofsky, pointedly clarified
earlier this week. While PC makers can continue to sell x86 tablets, these
devices, ranging from Tablet PC to UMPCs to Slate PC to convertible
notebooks with tablet features, have never sold well in the past due to
their performance and efficiency compromises and their significant cost
premium over modern ARM tablets.
Ported classic apps not likely on Metro tablets
While it's technically possible that Microsoft could allow existing Windows
7 apps to be recompiled to run on ARM processors, Microsoft has carefully
avoided promising anything along those lines.
Thurrott noted that "months ago they [Microsoft] did an unfortunately
confusing demo where they showed an old version of Office running on ARM,
which is never going to happen. And I think the reason they did that is
because they wanted to say, 'look, this isn't [Windows] Compact, Embedded or
some other weird thing that looks like Windows, it's Windows.' […] That's
actually not going to happen in real life. I don't know why they did that
In a statement to blogger Joanna Stern, Mike Anguilo, Microsoft’s vice
president of Windows planning said "there is a significant amount of
marketing that we are capable of doing that can get through — we can afford
to tell a story and tell it long enough and clearly enough. We will make
sure it is absolutely clear where your legacy apps will run.”
Stern added that "he followed that up with a kicker: 'porting things and
whether we open native desktop development are either decisions that are
either not made or not announced yet.'”
Microsoft now appears to be willfully skirting the question, preferring to
leave the decision of whether to support the potential for porting existing
Windows apps to ARM tablets in a nebulous, unknown state. However, it is
known that today's x86 apps will simply not run as well on ARM chips,
because those chips currently lack the same horsepower and work differently,
making the real world migration from the desktop Intel architecture to the
mobile ARM architecture far more complex than a simple recompile.
Microsoft has previously supported the ability to deploy Windows XP apps on
both Intel x86 and Intel's Itanium hardware, but porting software titles
from one processor architecture to a very different one involves lots of
optimization work tied to the design of that architecture, particularly when
porting in the direction of a slower, simpler architecture optimized for
efficient operation rather than raw speed.
Additionally, the potential possibility for developers to port their Windows
apps to ARM doesn't mean they would, as the dearth of Itanium-compatible
Windows apps illustrates. Windows 8 tablet sales would need to justify the
porting effort. Apple would be unlikely to be in any rush to port iTunes to
Metro, for example, making it more complicated for Windows 8 tablet users to
seamlessly use iOS devices with their tablet.
Microsoft needs a Metro app store
Another factor involved with porting classic Windows apps to ARM is that
Microsoft does not appear ready to impose the same App Store-like policies (
and fees) on classic Windows apps that it plans to require for Metro apps.
Microsoft would be hard pressed to push the entire existing Windows app
ecosystem into an app store bottle within the next year, but if it allowed "
side loading" of ported, classic apps on new Windows 8 tablets, it would
erase the momentum behind the first step of that effort: pushing developers
to submit their apps to its new Windows 8 store for at least Metro apps.
Apple similarly didn't allow developers to port apps to the iPhone or iPad
using native Mac Cocoa APIs (or Flash, or Java, or BSD APIs), leaving the
iOS App Store as the only option for distributing native apps to iOS users,
apart from the open HTML5 web platform. The success of the iOS App Store was
then brought to the Mac, where it remains an optional, not compulsory, way
to deliver Mac software.
Microsoft has attempted to copy Apple's iOS App Store before, first with its
Marketplace for Windows Mobile, an effort from 2009 that it abandoned
within months of requiring developers to modify their apps to fit certain
specifications and pay to list them in the store. It then resurrected the
store as the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, this time requiring developers to
rewrite their software entirely in Silverlight using the Metro UI.
For the Windows 8 store, Microsoft is asking developers to again rewrite
from scratch using a revamped Metro UI and a new web-based development
environment. Allowing developers to skirt the store to sell their existing
Windows apps to Windows 8 tablet users would defeat the entire premise of
delivering the new Metro environment.
Using Metro to push iTunes and other competitors off the PC
Speaking to analysts, Microsoft said it would support the idea of allowing
competitors to add their own Metro-style apps to the Windows 8 store,
providing examples such as an Amazon Kindle ebook reader or Apple's iTunes.
If Microsoft refuses to allow existing Windows apps to run on ARM tablets,
that would force Apple to convert iTunes to a Metro app and begin paying it
a 30 percent cut unless iTunes remained free, if Apple decided it made sense
to distribute iTunes on Windows 8 tablets in the first place. Microsoft has
not yet spelled out any plans to charge a 30 percent fee on in-app
purchases, but such a policy would suddenly become possible on Windows once
Microsoft erected its own Apple-like software store.
That strongly suggests Microsoft hopes to use Metro to win back the market
for content from iTunes, which rapidly became the most popular media player
and store among Windows PC users. By pushing out Metro first as a tablet UI
and slowly converting the Windows PC desktop into an app store-only software
model, Microsoft could begin to impose far more control over all software
sold within the Windows PC environment, something it originally sought to do
under Palladium Trusted Computing, an effort that sparked a tremendous
backlash given Microsoft's already dominant position in PCs.
If Microsoft established its own app store for Windows, it could then favor
the use of its own services and software, ranging from Windows Media Player
to Bing web search, two products that have failed to gain traction in the
market, losing to Apple's iTunes and Google's search. Unlike Apple,
Microsoft's app store would gain software control over every PC maker
globally, leveraging the company's existing monopoly position of Windows and
raising new anticompetitive issues.
【在 r******y 的大作中提到】
: By Daniel Eran Dilger
: Published: 05:35 PM EST (02:35 PM PST)
: New Metro-style apps designed to run on Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8
: for tablets will copy Apple's App Store business model of charging a 30
: percent fee from developers, allowing the potential for Microsoft to regain
: control over software in segments it has lost to Apple's iTunes and Google
: At its BUILD conference with developers, Microsoft has made it clear that
: while existing Windows 7 desktop apps will continue to move forward in
: Windows 8 with few changes, the new Metro layer of "touch first" apps that