Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Dec 2011 22:24 UTC
Windows Yesterday, Microsoft finally unveiled all the details regarding its Windows Store, which will be the default way to distribute Metro applications on Windows 8. Most of the details are all pretty standard and mirror those of other stores, but there's one interesting twist that is sure to make a lot of you happy: Microsoft has made special exceptions for open source software.
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Great News
by Kasi on Wed 7th Dec 2011 23:04 UTC
Kasi
Member since:
2008-07-12

I applaud Microsoft for the attempt at allowing open source into their store, and ultimately into Windows 8. Hopefully other software vendors will follow suit as well.

Reply Score: 2

Awful
by braddock on Wed 7th Dec 2011 23:36 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

It doesn't make me "happy" that Microsoft will make exceptions to patronize FOSS. The whole app store concept on these terms disgusts me. Enforced licensing and a huge cut into developer revenue for doing nothing but hosting a monopoly.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Awful
by WereCatf on Thu 8th Dec 2011 06:21 UTC in reply to "Awful"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

for doing nothing but hosting a monopoly.


Uh. They are providing a single framework under which developers can easily share their applications, thereby furthering their chances of being noticed. You know, for many a small developer the primary issues are 1) To even be noticed by people and 2) Competing for time against similar applications/games. Also, for small developers even the savings in server bandwidth may be enough to justify using an app store because, well, bandwidth obviously isn't free and maintenance of server hardware costs time and money.

It's easy for you to complain when you're just a user, but start developing something and get your app or game to the market and you'll rather quickly realize the benefits of these things. Not to even mention the benefits of these kinds of things for the non-technically-inclined users who don't where to look for things when they need them or where it's safe to download from. Broaden your perspective.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Awful
by curio on Thu 8th Dec 2011 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Awful"
curio Member since:
2010-05-03

Oh, so we're just the users? No, you're just a developer, and we're the users who are your potential income! You want users to give up their freedoms and privacy so you can have a convenient method of selling your wares? True, a single app store model makes your job easy. But, to do that you feel that end users should give up their privacy and autonomy so you won't have to work to make available your products as every other normal product has to to market their wares.
By your logic bubble gum brands should only be sold at one retailer (Walmart), and also only be made available, too, through credit card purchases and only with special (Walmart (tracked) candy, user accounts. That's total BS, and well you know it!
You have to consider how your distribution model affects your clients, long term.
Listing your wares through major geeks, Softpedia, etc, isn't that difficult and it's still very effective. But, in doing so you preserve the open market and it gives the end user some level of privacy, anatomy and it fosters competition. Paypal type services are your friends.
Download dot com is just an aberration in the general open competition model. It's nothing when compared to the monopoly cell providers foisting their hidden spyware on each and every user of their totally owned (effectively) and controlled cellphones. Or Microsoft and Apple forcing all apps to be bought through their fascist walled-gardens. Get your head out of your self serving hinder parts and start considering the socio-political ramifications of the infrastructure you're espousing.
Single-source ANYTHING (in a so-called democratic capitalist economy) eventually devolves into corporate Fascism.
Like we're not far enough along into that system now, even without your self serving one-stop shopping convenience stance. Your marketing convenience doesn't need to further add to our impending Jack-booted misery. My God, how self interest clouds people's judgment. Wake up!

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Awful
by WereCatf on Thu 8th Dec 2011 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Awful"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

and we're the users who are your potential income!


Indeed. If users aren't aware of the application or game at all then there's also no income.

You want users to give up their freedoms and privacy so you can have a convenient method of selling your wares?


Complain to the appropriate party instead of the developer. Developers aren't responsible for maintaining the app store or its policies.

By your logic bubble gum brands should only be sold at one retailer (Walmart), and also only be made available, too, through credit card purchases and only with special (Walmart (tracked) candy, user accounts. That's total BS, and well you know it!


Oh, really? Where did I say anything even remotely like that? Please, do point me to a direct quote. Besides there is nothing stopping the developer from selling their applications or games on BOTH the app store and on their own website, but in your rage-infuced state you are blissfully ignorant of that fact.

Listing your wares through major geeks, Softpedia, etc, isn't that difficult and it's still very effective.


Perhaps, if your target audience is geeks.

So far I haven't met a single non-geek person who had ever even heard of Softpedia or similar services. Besides, how about e.g. Download.com bundling adware with software ( http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/06/014244/downloadcom-bundling... ), including F/OSS software? A geek would know something's wrong but a non-geek wouldn't. A generic app store that's handled even remotely responsibly protects the users from atleast this kind of stuff, something that you again decide to blissfully ignore.

it gives the end user some level of privacy, anatomy and it fosters competition.


I hope that's a typo.

Get your head out of your self serving hinder parts and start considering the socio-political ramifications of the infrastructure you're espousing.


Pot calling kettle black.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Awful
by Morgan on Sat 10th Dec 2011 11:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Awful"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Or Microsoft and Apple forcing all apps to be bought through their fascist walled-gardens.


I had to stop reading there before I burst out laughing. Fascist, really? So Apple and Microsoft are engaging in a geopolitical plot to ensure their ancestors' bloodlines rule the world, by use of military force and possibly genocide?

Jesus, but you need to check back into reality. Try "monopolistic", except that term really doesn't apply either. Both Apple and Microsoft are behind Android in installed units (an open source OS lest you forget). On their own phones, sure they have the advantage of the only officially supported application path, but it's really easy to avoid being "trapped" in it: Buy an Android phone! If you were truly that worried about it, you wouldn't own a WP7 or iOS device in the first place.

So you see, there's plenty of choice, and you should show Apple and Microsoft how you feel by exercising your freedom to purchase a device they don't have an iron grip on. After all, they aren't holding a gun to your head and making you buy their stuff. That would be...fascist. ;)


* Disclaimer: I now use a WP7 based phone, and I absolutely love it! I still don't like Microsoft, but between this phone and my Xbox 360 (obtained used and broken, and rebuilt by me) I'm really starting to think they know what they are doing this time around, though I'm still wary. Let's hope they continue on this F/OSS friendly path.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Awful
by tony on Fri 9th Dec 2011 18:47 UTC in reply to "Awful"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't make me "happy" that Microsoft will make exceptions to patronize FOSS. The whole app store concept on these terms disgusts me. Enforced licensing and a huge cut into developer revenue for doing nothing but hosting a monopoly.


From an average user perspective (i.e., no us) app stores are wonderful. They make finding apps easy, installing them a breeze, and updating them automatically hassle free.

It makes computers far more accessible to those that aren't computer savvy.

I don't necessarily disagree with your sour assessment of application stores, however I think it's important to understand why they are so popular and successful (which is why Microsoft is ripping it off).

Reply Score: 2

Free vs adware/trialware
by WorknMan on Wed 7th Dec 2011 23:48 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

On Android (and I assume iOS), there are a lot of apps that are labeled 'free', and so you download them, only to discover that they are infested with adware, or 'trialware', such as games that allow you to play one or two levels for free, but then start demanding in-app purchases to continue.

Does MS differentiate between these types of apps in their WP7/Windows 8 app stores? Honestly, I don't mind paying for apps, but as far as I'm concerned, adware is unacceptable under ANY circumstances. All I want is to know if an app is labeled free, that it's really free.

Edited 2011-12-07 23:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Free vs adware/trialware
by Spiron on Thu 8th Dec 2011 11:03 UTC in reply to "Free vs adware/trialware"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

there might be an aditional label to point to foss software, but we shall have to see what the beta brings

Reply Score: 1

RE: Free vs adware/trialware
by bert64 on Thu 8th Dec 2011 11:56 UTC in reply to "Free vs adware/trialware"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Yes, plenty of distributors misuse the word "Free"...
Applications should be more accurately described, as "Ad supported" or "Demo version / Shareware"...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Free vs adware/trialware
by Morgan on Sat 10th Dec 2011 11:18 UTC in reply to "Free vs adware/trialware"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

From what I've seen in the few weeks that I've owned a WP7 phone, nearly all "free" apps beyond the big guys like Evernote, Twitter, Facebook etc are ad-supported or to a lesser extent, demo quality. However, with the full version paid apps you can try them out before committing to purchase. I think that's a very nice alternative to the Android and iOS way of doing things, where (if there's no "lite" version) you must buy the app and if it sucks, you have to petition to get your money back.

As such, I've only seen a relative few apps with separate demo or trial versions. Microsoft's "try before you buy" model for paid apps makes that redundant and unnecessary. It appears the few app makers who do have such redundant versions are just porting from their already established Android or iOS offerings, where two versions of the same app are the accepted norm.

Reply Score: 2

Naming of licence agreement
by Hexadecima on Thu 8th Dec 2011 00:00 UTC
Hexadecima
Member since:
2010-09-01

Microsoft's "Standard Application Licensing Terms" expressly forbid sharing apps normally (except for OSS apps, as the article says.) I guess they're SALTing the earth.

Reply Score: 1

The big difference
by aaronmcohen on Thu 8th Dec 2011 00:51 UTC
aaronmcohen
Member since:
2011-09-19

I think the big difference is that MS will not be making money from the store. Rather they are going to be protecting the revenue from Windows.

Personally I feel their entrance into the Market will make other AppStores better. I wonder how other Windows Specific App stores like Steam are going to survive.

BTW... Yes I know Steam is also on the mac.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The big difference
by Spiron on Thu 8th Dec 2011 11:08 UTC in reply to "The big difference"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

Probably the same way as they always have, this most probably won't be offering alot of those products. You must also keep in mind that this won't be the only way to install programs on Windows (except for Metro ones i believe) there shall still be other ways including the ones available now

Reply Score: 1

Regarding OpenSource Software
by drcoldfoot on Thu 8th Dec 2011 01:16 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

As long as Opensource Software is used on Windows in the Enterprise, Microsoft has no choice but to include and exempt it in their store.

Reply Score: 3

App store model is troubling
by curio on Thu 8th Dec 2011 03:27 UTC
curio
Member since:
2010-05-03

Though I use Windows because those I support use Windows, I've always (since 200 or so) hated Microsoft as a company. It was nice to only have to deal with Microsoft for their core OS and that all further software programs could be sourced outside of their direct control.
Like Apple, we should never be comfortable having to buy or get our third party software through their monopoly app stores. As Tom has eluded to, there is still the question of whether Windows 8's normal end users will be able to easily side-load apps, or if Microsoft is going to follow Apple's lead and lock everything down to being under their strict controls.
Even with Android, if you visit the app's developer's website, they send you to the Android market to download their apps instead of just letting you download the app from them. You pretty much have to get all legitimate apps through the Android market. And, no, apps store will not allow downloading even free apps without an easily(tracked) user account. Amazon's app store even requires a credit card (a fake one works though)in order to download free apps, or anything else.
This one stop app store model is troubling because the totality of what you do, or what apps you use with your smartphone or tablet are easily tracked by these commercial entities. Not good from a freedom and privacy prospective. CarrierIQ might be the extreme but normal use of an Apple product or Android devices are pretty intrusive too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: App store model is troubling
by bert64 on Thu 8th Dec 2011 11:59 UTC in reply to "App store model is troubling "
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Apple don't lock down OSX, it is only iOS which doesn't allow side loading by default, and Microsoft have already followed Apple by not allowing side loading in Windows Phone.

If MS disallow side loading in desktop windows then they will actually be taking it a step further than Apple.

Reply Score: 2

I love that cut
by Neolander on Thu 8th Dec 2011 07:05 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

"So, if you're a rich b-tard, we allow you to become even richer by making you pay less for the hosting of your software on our services. Don't worry, the poor developers will pay 10% more to fund this generosity."

Reply Score: 2

RE: I love that cut
by Spiron on Thu 8th Dec 2011 11:17 UTC in reply to "I love that cut"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

if you have a product that is bringing in the sort of income that is necessary for the cut then chances are you have a website ANYWAY so there really wouldn't be anymore money saved on that one.

Reply Score: 1

v Clarification - OSS but not FOSS
by lemur2 on Thu 8th Dec 2011 09:18 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Windows Phone Store != Windows Store.

Reply Score: 3

jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

Yer on the desktop, they would be crazy to exclude copyleft stuff.

Reply Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24



That article makes no sense, it states the following from the Microsoft agreement :

“If your app includes FOSS, it must not cause any non-FOSS Microsoft software to become subject to the terms of any FOSS license.”

This is Microsoft adding a safety disclaimer, but there's no reason why any Microsoft software would 'become subject to the terms of any FOSS licence' as the only thing any Microsoft software will do is distribute an unmodified (by Microsoft) binary. This is no different from hundreds of sites which already distribute binaries of GPL licenced software, fully in compliance with the licence. As long as Microsoft does not add any restrictions as for distribution/copying of the FOSS apps (which is what Apple did) then there's no problem with them distibuting GPL licenced software.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Windows Phone Store != Windows Store.


Ah, OK. Point taken.

<sarcasm>Forgive me for getting a bit confused, I don't know how I could possibly have got that mixed. Obviously if software is for a phone it makes the world of difference if it is copyleft, compared to software for a desktop.</sarcasm>

Err, WTF?

Reply Score: 0

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Phones are a strongly locked-down hardware ecosystem, and software always adapts itself to the hardware it runs on ;)

Reply Score: 1

Still not package management
by jabjoe on Thu 8th Dec 2011 12:45 UTC
jabjoe
Member since:
2009-05-06

This will provide a trusted source to install from, plugging a infection vector, least for stuff free anyway.
It might provide a single update source.
But I doubt it will provide dependency (and reverse dependency) systems. If it did though, that would be a big step in the stripping of bloat from the system. WinSxS (and System32, etc) need only have what is used. I doubt they have done this though because of the need to install stuff outside the App Store.
What I'm sure it doesn't do is provide build dependencies and source delivery. (like apt-get build-dep package && apt-get -b source package). That would make doing open source stuff on Windows soooooooooooooooo much easier.

Step in the right direction though.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Still not package management
by braddock on Thu 8th Dec 2011 22:45 UTC in reply to "Still not package management"
braddock Member since:
2005-07-08

This will provide a trusted source to install from, plugging a infection vector, least for stuff free anyway.


I'm sure Microsoft will make exactly that point when the day comes that they prohibit unsigned apps from other sources on a trusted Windows platform.

An app store is not required for a web of trust. It is a monopolistic security architecture.

Reply Score: 1

jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

It's not monopolistic if you can add/remove/swap repositories (at you're own risk of course).
Of course, I bet that isn't done either.

Reply Score: 2

SideLoading
by DarrkAssassin on Thu 8th Dec 2011 23:11 UTC
DarrkAssassin
Member since:
2010-04-10

According to Winrumors and Arstech, MSFT will support sidelaoding. This will be for developers and enterprises only.

http://www.winrumors.com/windows-8-improvements-for-business-custom...

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/09/only-enterprise-and-de...

Reply Score: 1

RE: SideLoading
by Spiron on Thu 8th Dec 2011 23:31 UTC in reply to "SideLoading"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

this ONLY applies to Metro apps, normal desktop programs will most likely be able to be side-loaded

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: SideLoading
by DarrkAssassin on Fri 9th Dec 2011 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE: SideLoading"
DarrkAssassin Member since:
2010-04-10

If you read the ars tech it clearly states Metro Apps. The other apps will use the same model aka same as the world of Windows 7 as it is the same core dlls behind the scenes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: SideLoading
by WereCatf on Fri 9th Dec 2011 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE: SideLoading"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

this ONLY applies to Metro apps, normal desktop programs will most likely be able to be side-loaded


I personally think that Microsoft will only limit or disable side-loading of Metro applications on mobile platforms, for business reasons obviously. But on the desktop it wouldn't make sense as there is no limit as to how large a Metro application can be and thus sometimes it would make more sense to distribute the application on physical media or download at another location and install from removable storage than to always have to download everything on the same computer you're going to be using it on. In the future more and more applications will be going Metro, including the large, professional ones, so Microsoft would only be shooting themselves in the foot by denying those from being distributed and installed the traditional way.

Now, I've seen some people claiming that Microsoft will eventually also disable the traditional ways for software packages to be distributed and install for the traditional non-Metro desktop.. well, that's not going to happen. To those people: if they did that they'd lose Steam, Origin, millions of brick'n'mortar game stores and so on as customers AND they'd have to actually start hosting all that stuff themselves.

Reply Score: 2

only commercial and open source?
by zhulien on Fri 9th Dec 2011 04:13 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

it's sort of sad that they only allow commercial or open source software, no chance of public domain, or licence free software anywhere mentioned...

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I've never understood the appeal of writing true public domain software. That's basically saying "Here, I worked my ass off on this and not only do I not expect to get paid or even acknowledged, but you can steal it and claim you wrote it, then sue me if I try to stop you".

Licenses exist for a reason: To protect the author's interests. If the author's interest is to create a program that is useful and helpful without risking litigation, a simple license stating "no warranty express or implied" is absolutely necessary. If the author wants the world to be able to benefit from his software and doesn't mind modification but wants credit, he can use a BSD style license.

And of course there's the GPL, which in my personal opinion actually restricts rights in certain cases, but taken as a whole it serves its purpose well.

In short, anyone who releases software as true public domain is bound to suffer for it later, one way or another. A couple of lines covering credit/attribution, warranty (or lack thereof) and distribution rights isn't that hard to write and can go far to keep you out of legal trouble.

Reply Score: 2

Very, very late to the party
by benali72 on Fri 9th Dec 2011 04:21 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

This is being introduced so very, very late compared to its competitors. Traditionally a big advantage to Windows has been its huge apps base and developer fanbase. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can pull this off so late in the game.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 11th Dec 2011 05:58 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I agree with you Morgan, but there's one small correction to be made. Licenses do not protect authors interests, they protect copyright holders interests. Often times the copyright holder is the author, and often times it is not. Either way it's an important enough detail to point out.

Reply Score: 1