Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2012 15:47 UTC
Windows Casey Muratori dissects the consequences of Windows 8's closed distribution model. "But how realistic is the assumption that the Windows desktop will still be a usable computing platform in the future? And what would be the consequences were it to disappear, leaving Windows users with only the closed software ecosystem introduced in Windows 8? To answer these questions, this volume of Critical Detail examines the immediate and future effects of Microsoft's current certification requirements, explores in depth what history predicts for the lifespan of the classic Windows desktop, and takes a pragmatic look at whether an open or closed ecosystem would be better for Microsoft as a company." The section that details how none - none - of this year's greatest games (or last year's fantastic Skyrim) and only one of this year's Emmy-nominated TV shows pass Microsoft's rules sent chills down my spine.
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ReactOS
by theARE on Tue 16th Oct 2012 15:59 UTC
theARE
Member since:
2006-11-30

If ever there was a time for ReactOS to get their house in order and their product polished this is it.

What the world needs right now is an open windows compatible OS

Reply Score: 7

RE: ReactOS
by Laurence on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:16 UTC in reply to "ReactOS"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I'd very much love ReactOS to become a viable competitor to Windows, but sadly I can't see how that could ever happen as the ReactOS guys are chasing a moving target and with fewer resources too. Not to mention that it's harder to reverse engineer APIs than it is to design them from scratch.

And lets be honest, even the ReactOS devs managed to defy all odds and release a stable, production-ready OS. Microsoft would just sue the project into oblivion (it's impossible to write a clone without trespassing on some design patents).

Realistically I think we only have two options if we want an open platform:
1/ either push developers into supporting Linux, users on to Linux, and Linux distribution developers into making the switch over less painful.

2/ or campaign for governments to step in, preventing Microsoft from closing their platform. Given the scope of Windows, there maybe an anti-competitive argument to be made.

Personally I think both of those options stink.
1/ As a full time Linux user myself, I respect that some people prefer Windows because it's Windows. If they wanted to run Linux then like already would be doing so. So forcing them onto a platform they don't want to run isn't much better than forcing them into a closed ecosystem they didn't want to be part of.

2/ The moment you're relying on the government to competition, then you've already lost. Particularly if the government in question belongs to the US.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: ReactOS
by Chrispynutt on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE: ReactOS"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

As an ex Amiga user I am used to working with the least worst option in order to have a future and do things.

If Linux by default becomes that least worst option then I will move to Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ReactOS
by TemporalBeing on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: ReactOS"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

And lets be honest, even the ReactOS devs managed to defy all odds and release a stable, production-ready OS. Microsoft would just sue the project into oblivion (it's impossible to write a clone without trespassing on some design patents).


And that is why ReactOS is based in Russia...though Microsoft might just employ the Russian Mafia instead...

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: ReactOS
by theARE on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: ReactOS"
theARE Member since:
2006-11-30

Certainly chasing a moving target hasnt helped, but if Windows 7 is to be the last 'good' windows, then the task becomes a little easier as they would no longer need to chase beyond that point.

Still a daunting task I'm sure, but their goal always was.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ReactOS
by Lennie on Wed 17th Oct 2012 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE: ReactOS"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Why do you think it is a moving target ?

It seems Microsoft wants this RT and .Net universe or whatever it is.

That means Win32 is legacy, but that also means development on that API has pretty much stopped.

Thus it isn't a moving target anymore.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: ReactOS
by moondevil on Wed 17th Oct 2012 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ReactOS"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I for one am looking forward to Win32 becoming legacy and say goodbye to Hungarian notation (which Microsoft nowadays admits it was an error to make use of).

If that really becomes true, and Windows Runtime becomes available for desktop applications as well, that would mean that C++ would be the only way to do native applications with Microsoft Languages.

Adding to that, Microsoft's stance on C support, this means C is pretty much dead on Windows, at least from Microsoft's point of view.

Looking to the past, they may take as many years as they took to get rid of MS-DOS, CP/M, Win16, Win32s APIs though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ReactOS
by Lennie on Wed 17th Oct 2012 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ReactOS"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

[q]Looking to the past, they may take as many years as they took to get rid of MS-DOS, CP/M, Win16, Win32s APIs though.[/q>]

Maybe more, but that does mean the development of the Win32 API will stall, which is a good thing for Win32 API support in ReactOS and WINE.

Actually, if you look at DOS, Microsoft stopped supporting it, but dosemu and dosbox seems to deliver pretty good compatibility.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ReactOS
by moondevil on Wed 17th Oct 2012 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ReactOS"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Actually Win32 development of basic APIs has stalled quite considerably since Windows XP release.

Most new Win32 APIs introduced with and after Windows XP, are actually COM objects.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: ReactOS
by Lennie on Wed 17th Oct 2012 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ReactOS"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I don't do Windows programming, I did dable a bit 10 years ago or something like that, it just seems like waste of time.

But what I meant is Win32 and COM together as they are both not WinRT. With Win32 I meant legacy APIs.

And yes I understand that WinRT is basically build on COM ideas.

Edited 2012-10-17 11:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ReactOS
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 17th Oct 2012 16:28 UTC in reply to "RE: ReactOS"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

And lets be honest, even the ReactOS devs managed to defy all odds and release a stable, production-ready OS. Microsoft would just sue the project into oblivion (it's impossible to write a clone without trespassing on some design patents).

That's a pretty grim potential future outcome, but if that happened, couldn't the ReactOS project take the LAME stance? As in, "we're providing instructions (source code) on how to make something... we're not providing any actual patent-infringing software?" It might take a long time to compile and be an annoyance, but they could provide some package that automatically takes the code and builds it and then generates an ISO with it...

Okay, probably overkill, and maybe it wouldn't work across operating systems unless a compiler and iso generator (ie. for Windows) is provided too, and in general it would be a major pain in the ass... but it'd be an interesting solution. One or more scripts would automatically compile and then make an ISO file. It'd be interesting, but probably not very effective (especially at getting the OS to the masses).

But the real solution, I think, would be to get every single ReactOS mirror the hell out of the United States and into a country where such ridiculous laws don't exist anyway. Then, those people from other countries where patents don't apply, they still get to download and use the OS and it doesn't die. Meanwhile, those people in "restricted" areas can choose whether or not they want to break some stupid little law or not.

Edited 2012-10-17 16:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: ReactOS - cloning XP
by tomz on Tue 16th Oct 2012 21:55 UTC in reply to "ReactOS"
tomz Member since:
2010-05-06

XP has drivers, everything supports it, it isn't complex.

It has security holes, but rewriting it should patch them. Then people like Steve Gibson and I will simply switch to that and leave the Windows Bitrot entirely.

Or there's WINE under Linux ;) .

It will probably fail but be long and drawn-out. Microsoft doesn't have an ecosystem, but a series of isolated islands. And archipeligo. The Zune players couldn't run Xbox stuff, which can't run PC stuff, which can run Win8/ARM stuff.

Google/Android has players (Philips/Samsung), Phones (everybody), Tablets (almost everyone), all mostly can share apps even across versions wider than iOS2-6. They have ChromeBooks and the desktop but stuff is in the cloud but is accessed like a filesystem.

Apple is similar, though less desktop-filesystem legacy.

Microsoft is a mess with lots of isolated bits with few bridges.

Reply Score: 2

My Plan
by Chrispynutt on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:17 UTC
Chrispynutt
Member since:
2012-03-14

If Windows 8 doesn't fail spectacularly and we get a move back to sense and reason I will be doing the following.

- Sticking with Win7 for the medium term
- Hoping that Valve's escape boat works, if so move to that
- If not see what alternatives are out there and move probably to a form of Linux.

For my own laziness I hope ME and Vista seem like good times for MS compared to 8.

Reply Score: 5

RE: My Plan
by CapEnt on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:27 UTC in reply to "My Plan"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

Valve's escape boat is Linux. =P

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: My Plan
by Chrispynutt on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: My Plan"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

I just wonder if it will be an existing distro or their own.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: My Plan
by Laurence on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My Plan"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I just wonder if it will be an existing distro or their own.

Nobody but them know their future plans, but what we do know is the public beta's are focusing on Ubuntu compatibility.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My Plan
by the_trapper on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:33 UTC in reply to "My Plan"
the_trapper Member since:
2005-07-07

If Windows 8 doesn't fail spectacularly and we get a move back to sense and reason I will be doing the following. - Sticking with Win7 for the medium term - Hoping that Valve's escape boat works, if so move to that - If not see what alternatives are out there and move probably to a form of Linux. For my own laziness I hope ME and Vista seem like good times for MS compared to 8.


Yeah, it seems like lately MS has to screw up at least every other release of Windows.

2000 (Good) -> Me (Bad) -> XP (Good) -> Vista (Horible) -> 7 (Great) -> 8 (What Are You Thinking???)

Linux and Mac seem to always gain a little from these bad releases because they cause people to look at alternatives, but ultimately most people just use the last good version of Windows as an alternative.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: My Plan
by Chrispynutt on Tue 16th Oct 2012 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE: My Plan"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

I agree, but there is always that seed of doubt that the rubbish version of Windows won't go away and you start planning your escape.

Reply Score: 2

First Valid Argument
by franksands on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:02 UTC
franksands
Member since:
2009-08-18

Okay, so this is the first valid argument I find against windows 8 and it's a really scary one. I honestly think win8 has great potential, but only if it remains primarily open. It really suck if the only games available are Disney Universe, Rayman and Farmville.

Reply Score: 2

RE: First Valid Argument
by RobG on Wed 17th Oct 2012 12:52 UTC in reply to "First Valid Argument"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

I'm running Win8, no problems with games on the desktop. I run Steam there.

I really don't see the desktop disappearing any time soon, if ever. It may (hopefully) change, but the Open ecosystem would never adopt Win8 Metro UI.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: First Valid Argument
by zima on Sat 20th Oct 2012 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE: First Valid Argument"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I really don't see the desktop disappearing any time soon, if ever. It may (hopefully) change [...]

Yeah, it may change into ~Metro (Metro 2.0 or 3.0 should be very decent, just like Win 3.x was and took over by storm; many types of apps could be awesome - anything that manipulates images, audio, drawings (also CAD and such), for example)

Reply Score: 2

If, but
by quackalist on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:16 UTC
quackalist
Member since:
2007-08-27

All very true if only the formally known as Metro bit succeeds and I doubt it has a chance in hell. Apple somehow managed it but I have my doubts even that ecosystem will last. Certainly not twenty years of competition from Android, or whatever, and I just can't see Microsoft being able to foist any ecosystem more closed than already exists. The opposite if anything. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it'll be a "bad thing" if they do.

Reply Score: 1

RE: If, but
by Alfman on Tue 16th Oct 2012 20:02 UTC in reply to "If, but"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

While microsoft and apple are the most visible corporate players today who are aiming to strip consumers of traditional software rights such as homebrew development, side-loading, self-modification, etc, their success (which remains to be seen in the long term) will only encourage others to adopt the same role of software gatekeepers. The closed ecosystems, over time, could snowball to include the majority of consumer devices in the future.

Even with android devices, which typically permit application distribution outside of app stores, there is already clear evidence of corporate pressure to ban end user sideloading.

http://crackberry.com/alec-saunders-clears-debate-future-side-loadi...
http://htcsource.com/2011/02/slideloading-apps-on-the-att-htc-inspi...
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Barnes-Noble-NOOK-Tablet-side-loading-A...

And this is just for sideloading of apps. We aren't talking about the idea of root on one's own hardware, where the battle is already lost even with android devices. Once the root exploits are fixed and hardware restrictions such as those in UEFI become more mature, the ability to root devices will forever be lost to history. "Is it true grandpa? You used to be able to install & run your own operating system?"

The thing I find really sad is that more knowledgeable people won't stand up against sideloading bans on account of the existence of root exploits today. It's a short term temporary "solution" to the long term problem which is corporate gatekeepers and walled gardens.

Edited 2012-10-16 20:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

So long, Windows.
by tomchr on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:48 UTC
tomchr
Member since:
2009-02-01

With over a decade of experience it is shocking how little talent has gone into Windows 8. Perhaps Microsoft management consisting of apathetic old men is the gordian knot that needs to be removed before crap like this stops happening.

While I have been a Windows user over 20+ year, I am so utterly tired of the lack of refinement in the GUI. This is proverbial final nail in the coffin. I am flipping Microsoft the bird and choosing Mac OS X.

Fcuk this, I'm done.

Edited 2012-10-16 17:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: So long, Windows.
by darknexus on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:09 UTC in reply to "So long, Windows."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

While I have been a Windows user over 20+ year, I am so utterly tired of the lack of refinement in the GUI. This is proverbial final nail in the coffin. I am flipping Microsoft the bird and choosing Mac OS X.

Fcuk this, I'm done.

From an open/closed perspective, you're no better off supporting Apple than Microsoft. However, I suspect both Windows and OS X are in the same situation. Both companies would love to close them completely off, but simply won't be able to do so without losing 99% of their business customers. I certainly hope that Apple won't be able to close off OS X like iOS, because I absolutely love OS X and really don't have an alternative. At least, so far, Apple has known where to draw the line in both closing by default (Gatekeepr) and not to tabletify (if that's not a word, I just coined it) their os too much. What features they have merged into OS X from iOS have actually been mostly complete and well thought out and, from both a keyboard and mouse perspective, OS X is simply a pleasure to use in my opinion. I'm sticking with OS X as long as possible, the nice GUI coupled with the Mach/BSD underpinnings is perfect for me. As long as Apple doesn't go the Metro route, and keeps their os locked down to exactly how it is now, I'll be happy for a good long while. Now, if only they'd open iOS up to the OS X level: yeah, it's a pipe dream, but I can dream right?

Reply Score: 2

RE: So long, Windows.
by franksands on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:24 UTC in reply to "So long, Windows."
franksands Member since:
2009-08-18

And how is Mac OS X any different? Every new version brings the os closer to iOS. Furthermore, the last version brought out "Gatekeeper" which is a application that checks from where other apps can be installed in your mac. Right now it's possible to say "allow from everywhere", but there's another saying "only from Mac App Store", and the way things are going, it looks like it'll be the only option 2 or 3 versions down the road.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So long, Windows.
by _txf_ on Tue 16th Oct 2012 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE: So long, Windows."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Furthermore, the last version brought out "Gatekeeper" which is a application that checks from where other apps can be installed in your mac.


But they are providing a way out. Plenty of osx developers and apps do not use the app store.

MS is pushing people hard to Metro by making the regular desktop paradigm harder to use, yet it isn't providing a way out to create apps for an open system.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: So long, Windows.
by franksands on Wed 17th Oct 2012 02:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So long, Windows."
franksands Member since:
2009-08-18

But they are providing a way out. Plenty of osx developers and apps do not use the app store.

MS is pushing people hard to Metro by making the regular desktop paradigm harder to use, yet it isn't providing a way out to create apps for an open system.


Apple is still providing a way out. But, as I said, who knows for how long. The way OS X is being dumbed down, I wouldn't be surprised if a future OS X version forced to only install applications through the Mac App Store.

Reply Score: 3

I don't think ...
by WorknMan on Tue 16th Oct 2012 17:56 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't think we'll ever get to a point where the Windows desktop becomes a completely closed ecosystem. If it did, it would utterly fail in the enterprise. Not to mention that some VSTs are bigger than 20gb; that wouldn't exactly be convenient to download from the cloud.

If anything, Windows will probably become like Android is, and I believe OSX too - you will download mostly from the app store, with the option to side load. IMO, this is how it should be done. It keeps tech tards in the walled garden and away from the malware, but allows power users who know what they're doing to venture outside the garden.

Now days with Windows, I will rarely ever install anything that is labeled 'FREE', since I don't know what it will do to my system. Personally, I welcome the option of an app store. At least I know somebody has vetted the app before it goes live.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't think ...
by l3v1 on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:07 UTC in reply to "I don't think ..."
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think we'll ever get to a point where the Windows desktop becomes a completely closed ecosystem.


Well, it might not become closed down, but it might simply disappear at one release, leaving Metro and the Windows Store to become the new Windows desktop.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't think ...
by WorknMan on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Well, it might not become closed down, but it might simply disappear at one release, leaving Metro and the Windows Store to become the new Windows desktop.


Even assuming you're right, it'll be 10 years at a MINIMUM before that happens, and I would guess more like 20. Remember, Windows' bread and butter is its huge app ecosystem. Take that away, and watch its users disappear faster than a pizza at a Weight Watcher's convention. Hell, we're still trying to get businesses off of IE6.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't think ...
by RobG on Wed 17th Oct 2012 12:47 UTC in reply to "I don't think ..."
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

I agree with all that, to a point.

The point is the censorship implications. Why should we allow MS (or Apple, or Google) to determine which apps are fit for market? That's the area I'm concerned about.

There seems to be a lot of FUD here as well. Some WinRT API's CAN be used for desktop development, there's a list of them up on MSDN. I hope this list increases over time, and that the Market becomes less restrictive on editorial policy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I don't think ...
by WorknMan on Wed 17th Oct 2012 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The point is the censorship implications. Why should we allow MS (or Apple, or Google) to determine which apps are fit for market? That's the area I'm concerned about.


I believe we need app stores in order to protect the tech tards from themselves. I don't even bother to install a lot of apps I'd like to try on Windows anymore, simply because I don't know what they're going to do. Things have gotten way out of hand with these 'toolbars' and such. Even Linux distros have distro repositories. And as long as these things exist, SOMEBODY has to decide what gets included, and users may not always agree with their decisions.

So I don't have an issue with these stores, as long as you can side load. And currently you can side load on the desktop, which is the only part of Windows 8 that actually matters to me. As for Windows RT, well... that ain't Windows 8 ;)

Edited 2012-10-17 17:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I don't think ...
by Alfman on Thu 18th Oct 2012 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think ..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"So I don't have an issue with these stores, as long as you can side load. And currently you can side load on the desktop, which is the only part of Windows 8 that actually matters to me. As for Windows RT, well... that ain't Windows 8"

Agree, if sideloading is possible (along with competing stores, etc), I have no problem with software distribution stores.

The thing is, they desperately want to monopolise 3rd party software distribution, which they cannot do on the windows desktop. It's technically impossible for microsoft to control the distribution of new desktop applications without breaking compatibility with existing ones. That's a real catch-22 for microsoft. This is the reason MS is pushing the label of "legacy" for desktop and shoving us towards metro so hard, even to the point of making desktop usage less friendly.

If they sold a windows 8 standalone desktop (no bundled metro), I am positive it would sell very well, probably even better than with metro, but it wouldn't help microsoft transform into the software gatekeepers they want to be.

Edited 2012-10-18 15:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't think ...
by WorknMan on Fri 19th Oct 2012 04:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Well of course if being gatekeepers of an app store would make them more money, that's what they'd want to do. They ARE a business, after all. And before they can officially ditch the desktop and make Metro the new thing, they first have to make Metro not suck. And we're at LEAST 10 years away from that happening ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't think ...
by Alfman on Fri 19th Oct 2012 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think ..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"Well of course if being gatekeepers of an app store would make them more money, that's what they'd want to do. They ARE a business, after all."

There's no arguing that they want to do it, but I'm extremely worried about actively banning competing software distribution channels and consumers loosing access to software-only vendors who have no choice but to submit to microsoft's gatekeepers in order to reach them. I guess since we already agree here, the debate becomes whether we believe government should step in and declare that all app stores must permit competing app stores. I think it would be in the public's interest.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I don't think ...
by WorknMan on Fri 19th Oct 2012 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't think ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I guess since we already agree here, the debate becomes whether we believe government should step in and declare that all app stores must permit competing app stores.


Oh HELL NO!! We are NEVER going to agree on that. Repeal the DMCA and get the government as FAR AWAY from tech as humanly possible. Not only is the idea of competing app stores impractical, but it can also be a pain in the ass for users. I've heard of horror stories on Android where the Google Play store and the Amazon app store were duking it out as to which one should be updating a certain app, when a user (either accidentally or on purpose) installs the same app from both stores. As an OS vendor, why should I have to support somebody else's app store?

You might see MS (and other companies') desire to rule the ecosystem as inherently evil and a power move to take over the world, but I see it as a business decision that also has practical benefits for them (such as added security). If the majority of consumers desire a walled garden, than it shall come to pass. If people want an alternative that is open, I think such an alternative will always exist. Unless these companies buy laws to outlaw anything that isn't locked down. Which is exactly why I say keep the government OUT of the tech.

Edited 2012-10-19 18:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I don't think ...
by Alfman on Fri 19th Oct 2012 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I don't think ..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"Oh HELL NO!! We are NEVER going to agree on that. Repeal the DMCA and get the government as FAR AWAY from tech as humanly possible."

Well, the DMCA was pushed into law by corporate pressure, I don't even think there was a pretence of having been for the public good. If the law must be decided by corporate interests, then I'd agree that we're better off not having it. In principal though, there ought to be rules to disallow anti-competitive tactics and enable the market to compete on merit. It wouldn't be telling consumers what they can or can't buy, it would be telling corporations that they cannot block consumers from choosing alternate distribution channels after the devices are sold. Of course the devil may be in the details, but I think unlike the laws which are passed by and for corporations (DMCA), it would be good to have some for consumers. Just my opinion, but I can accept that we'll never agree.


"I've heard of horror stories on Android where the Google Play store and the Amazon app store were duking it out as to which one should be updating a certain app, when a user (either accidentally or on purpose) installs the same app from both stores."

Technically wouldn't whichever app store the app was downloaded from be responsible? At least they wouldn't have to use a buggy app store if they didn't want to, it'd be their own choice. They'll get no argument from me if they are happy with the default one.


"As an OS vendor, why should I have to support somebody else's app store?"

I hope you understand that's not what I meant at all. They just couldn't employ technological means to prohibit competitors, they wouldn't have to provide any support.


"You might see MS (and other companies') desire to rule the ecosystem as inherently evil and a power move to take over the world, but I see it as a business decision that also has practical benefits for them (such as added security)...If the majority of consumers desire a walled garden, than it shall come to pass."


The only way that could be true is if you gave consumers a choice for each device: sold with the non-elective walled garden, or sold with an elective walled garden. Only then could you factually claim they desire a walled garden. However there's every reason to indicate that consumers are buying them for other factors such as style, performance, capabilities, etc. I doubt a single iphone has been sold BECAUSE it was in a walled garden. We just cannot use device sales as evidence that consumers somehow want or benefit from walled gardens. It's more a reflection of what corporations want to sell.


"If people want an alternative that is open, I think such an alternative will always exist."

Perhaps, but if it becomes too marginalised there's a serious risk that fewer and fewer consumers will have any access to independent software vendors. It would be the equivalent of a black hole, we'll have no choice but to move into the walled gardens under the approval of some of the most powerful corporate gatekeepers, who are in fact competing against us in the software field. Hopefully it's clear why this is bad for open computing. It might not be the end of the world if all consumer devices would be under corporate control, but it would be bleak.




"If people want an alternative that is open, I think such an alternative will always exist. Unless these companies buy laws to outlaw anything that isn't locked down. Which is exactly why I say keep the government OUT of the tech."

So, alternatives will always exist unless we have laws that ensure alternatives can exist? I'm not really sure what you are trying to say...but I'll concede this: governments often screw up everything they touch. There's no guaranteeing they wouldn't screw this up as well. But if we don't do anything to stop corporations from controlling our own devices, then we shouldn't be surprised if that's where we end up.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't think ...
by Alfman on Thu 18th Oct 2012 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think ..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

RobG,

"The point is the censorship implications. Why should we allow MS (or Apple, or Google) to determine which apps are fit for market? That's the area I'm concerned about."

Exactly! There's tremendous concern with allowing these corporations control consumer access to software.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't think ...
by Laurence on Thu 18th Oct 2012 08:32 UTC in reply to "I don't think ..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Now days with Windows, I will rarely ever install anything that is labeled 'FREE', since I don't know what it will do to my system. Personally, I welcome the option of an app store. At least I know somebody has vetted the app before it goes live.

Yet weirdly you'd install Iron over Chromium? :p

I do get what you mean though, I tend to prefer open source software on Windows when downloading free applications because even though I wouldn't personally vet the code, I can sympathise more with why the application is free. I know it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference and that my A/V should catch most nasties, but psychologically I feel "safer" with GPL over freeware binaries.

Reply Score: 3

I doubt games would be banned
by Yamin on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:03 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

I understand the author's point and agree with it. It's just the gaming example really doesn't resonate.

Does anyone seriously believe Microsoft is going to ban all adult games? More than likely, they are bringing in their app-store and are unsure what to do with adult content. Do they have parental controls? Is there a separate repository for sensitive content...? What are the legal consequences...? All unanswered questions that I'm sure they're going through and will make available in due time. They don't NEED to do it now as they have a compatibility mode for current applications. You really don't want to allow things, and then break them later.

I think it is clear that Microsoft is moving towards a more controlled eco-system. Getting it right will be just as determining as the technology itself.

But I think the author is jumping the gun a bit. We're not even at the first version of Windows 8. They could certainly screw it up. They could also find a nice balance.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I doubt games would be banned
by Lennie on Wed 17th Oct 2012 01:01 UTC in reply to "I doubt games would be banned"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Microsoft answer to gaming is simple:

xbox.

Reply Score: 3

Oh please...
by whartung on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:08 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

Because we certainly know that whatever guidelines these folks come up with are CAST IN STONE FOREVER AND EVER.

That they never react to market forces, that they never listen to customer input, that they never consider what happens when their rules first hit the wide scary world of reality. Never. NEVER!

MS is going to draw a line in the sand right now. I am 100% confident that MS's policies will not change ONE IOTA in 20 years. It'll never happen.

We all know how Apple never changed any of its policies. Apple is an oak and doesn't bend to anyone. Every guideline and store policy that was chiseled in to sacred tablets back in 2007 has remained stoic and resolved and unchanged.

Woe is us.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by l3v1
by l3v1 on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:09 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Does anyone seriously believe Microsoft is going to ban all adult games?


Well, what about inserting a Steam-like app into the Windows Store, which in turn would allow in-app purchases of all kinds of games and content? How would current Windows Store rules apply to such an app?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by l3v1
by RobG on Wed 17th Oct 2012 12:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by l3v1"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

It would not be allowed under the rules of elligibility.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 16th Oct 2012 18:29 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I don't think the Windows desktop will disappear, or become closed.

There are way too many use cases where Metro absolutely won't cut it. In many of these situations, Linux is already a good fit. In some, it is even an excellent fit.

It's possible Microsoft is willing to sacrifice a few desktop licenses in exchange for a larger share of the tablet market, but I doubt it. These desktop installs are what necessitates Windows in the server room. If your core business can't use Windows, it becomes less necessary on the periphery.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Lorin on Tue 16th Oct 2012 21:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

A few licenses? My company alone is equal to 200k and more will follow, now take $100 - 150 per and multiply that lost revenue.

We are deciding which Linux distro to support and will put all that money into that one.

Edited 2012-10-16 22:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 16th Oct 2012 19:56 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

the impetus difference between the old way of doing things and the new way is convenience. the convenient digital stores built into every new operating system are great. that they're closed and proprietary is a bonus exploit by the businesses concerned.

to me that means the new way provides less selection and allows less competition. to me, there needs to be separation between content and delivery, just like there should be with media and data connections. the way you acquire software should not be so completely controlled by the device you use it on.

what I'm talking about isn't radical. having to choose where to get your stuff is the way the physical world works. digital tech allows a tighter stranglehold on people than this physical world we enjoy. thus the netscape antitrust case forcing microsoft to make access to other browsers convenient in windows. thus net neutrality forcing businesses to treat you the same as someone they like better than you.

to me, digital stores built into operating systems are an antitrust problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by r_a_trip on Wed 17th Oct 2012 12:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

It is a problem in proprietary operating systems. Centralised software solutions have been a stock feature in FOSS systems for years and they haven't been accompanied with arbitrary exclusionary policies.

Reply Score: 3

Vote with your Wallet
by Lorin on Tue 16th Oct 2012 21:49 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Simply do not buy Windows 8 or any machine that is preloaded with it, there are many sources to buy clean machines.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Vote with your Wallet
by Morgan on Tue 16th Oct 2012 23:00 UTC in reply to "Vote with your Wallet"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

But, what happens when Microsoft stops selling licenses for Windows 7 and earlier? That "clean" machine you just bought is now limited to Windows 8+ for a Microsoft OS.

I don't disagree with you; indeed I prefer to buy off-lease business machines for the reliability, and so that I can install what I want. But there will come a time when Microsoft will no longer offer licenses for Windows 7, and it may be sooner than you think given their aggressive push to version 8.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Vote with your Wallet
by Lennie on Wed 17th Oct 2012 01:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Vote with your Wallet"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

That will happen soon enough ? In a year ?

Because this is their deadline:

Mainstream support until January 13, 2015

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Vote with your Wallet
by Morgan on Wed 17th Oct 2012 04:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Vote with your Wallet"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You may be right. For Vista, end of retail sales was nearly two years before end of mainstream support. For XP, it was less than a year.

So far Microsoft says "to be determined" for an end of sales date for 7, but based on their current pattern, I can see them dropping sales of 7 any day now.

Then again, they know for a fact that 7 is the best OS they've ever put out, and while they may be betting the farm on 8, I have a feeling they may keep 7 alive long enough to gauge the market for 8. We may still be able to purchase 7 for a few more years yet.


Edit: Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/lifecycle

Edited 2012-10-17 04:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 17th Oct 2012 04:53 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Anyone who thinks the desktop is going to disappear any time soon is a complete fool and anyone with any common sense already knows that.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Wed 17th Oct 2012 06:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"Anyone who thinks the desktop is going to disappear any time soon is a complete fool and anyone with any common sense already knows that."


Define "soon", the article is actually looking some 20 years ahead. The article is really worth reading in it's entirety since it gives a lot of historical context that should not be ignored, but the following quote seems especially relevant here:

"Now, clearly any prediction about the future is uncertain. Many people out there probably don’t believe there’s any way the future of desktop computing looks like a much-revised-and-refined version of the new Windows 8 UI. But if you take a step back and realize that people thought the same thing about Windows 3.0 when it came out, I hope you can appreciate how real a possibility it is."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 17th Oct 2012 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

ilovebeer,

"Anyone who thinks the desktop is going to disappear any time soon is a complete fool and anyone with any common sense already knows that."


Define "soon", the article is actually looking some 20 years ahead. The article is really worth reading in it's entirety since it gives a lot of historical context that should not be ignored, but the following quote seems especially relevant here:

I didn't reference the article specifically as my comment was intended to be taken in general. Some people seem to think the Windows desktop could and will vanish at any point. Also, I can't imagine why the definition of "soon" would need to be clarified but I guess I'll play along:


soon
   [soon]
adverb, soon·er, soon·est.

1. within a short period after this or that time, event, etc.: We shall know soon after he calls.

2. before long; in the near future; at an early date: Let's leave soon.

3. promptly or quickly: He came as soon as he could.

4. readily or willingly: I would as soon walk as ride.

5. early in a period of time; before the time specified is much advanced: soon at night; soon in the evening.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Thu 18th Oct 2012 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"I didn't reference the article specifically as my comment was intended to be taken in general. Some people seem to think the Windows desktop could and will vanish at any point."

Your post had no context, if not the author of the article, then who are you talking about? I don't think anybody here said the desktop would get dropped any time "soon".

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 18th Oct 2012 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

"I didn't reference the article specifically as my comment was intended to be taken in general. Some people seem to think the Windows desktop could and will vanish at any point."

Your post had no context, if not the author of the article, then who are you talking about? I don't think anybody here said the desktop would get dropped any time "soon".

I said very clearly "my comment was intended to be taken in general". By doing so I am giving you the context. Also, this is not a new discussion.. It's been said many times over in many threads by various individuals that the Windows desktop is being killed, dropped, or is already dead. Let's not pretend this is the first you're hearing it... Do you honestly have no clue how that relates? ...................

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Thu 18th Oct 2012 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

Fine, if you don't want to give context then don't, but that means your post was a straw-man: you posted a counter-argument to a fictitious argument which was never made.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 19th Oct 2012 03:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

ilovebeer,

Fine, if you don't want to give context then don't, but that means your post was a straw-man: you posted a counter-argument to a fictitious argument which was never made.

Why are you playing these games.. I'll go ahead and quote my previous post, bolding all the relevant text.

I said very clearly "my comment was intended to be taken in general". By doing so I am giving you the context. Also, this is not a new discussion.. It's been said many times over in many threads by various individuals that the Windows desktop is being killed, dropped, or is already dead. Let's not pretend this is the first you're hearing it... Do you honestly have no clue how that relates?

Now, if you think anything about that is fictitious then you're either very very new here, or you're basically just trolling....

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Fri 19th Oct 2012 04:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"Why are you playing these games.. I'll go ahead and quote my previous post, bolding all the relevant text."

Please don't repeat yourself, I realise that you weren't addressing anyone, that is my point. You love to criticise and insult the image you have of an enemy, even when there is no enemy there.

"Now, if you think anything about that is fictitious then you're either very very new here, or you're basically just trolling...."

Maybe we (you and I both) just need to work on laughing things off better. With this in mind, here's a joke about an engineer, physicist, and mathematician:

http://www.ahajokes.com/m018.html

Edited 2012-10-19 04:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I think the article is interesting and raises some valid points but is marred by the general portrayal of the app store model as being somehow fundamentally bad. In reality the huge success Apple's app store, which pretty much set the whole big app store dynamic in motion, is a very good thing for consumers and developers. Consumers were, and are, far more worried about their computers crashing due to crappy software and getting infected by malicious code than anything else. For consumers the effect of the app store has been to vastly increase the amount of cheap, useful, imaginative, and above all safe, software for their devices. For developers the app store, at least Apple's one, has been a huge success, triggering revenues counted in billions and opening up the process to many new developers.

The article descends into absurdity when a link labelled "haphazard and capricious permission of Apple." leads to someone moaning about the lack of Flash on iOS in a two year old article. Flash is a failed technology on mobile platforms which Adobe itself has abandoned and which Apple had the courage to be the first to call out as crap it didn't want on it's devices. If Flash was so great and if consumers were crying out for it then it would be thriving on non-Apple devices: it isn't.

Trying to portray the curation mechanism of the app store as generally dysfunctional weakens the valid arguments in the article because it is untrue hyperbole. The Apple app store curation generally works pretty well given how rapidly it had to scale to a monumental size due to the success of the App Store model.

Reply Score: 0

Reality check will come
by pysiak on Wed 17th Oct 2012 14:57 UTC
pysiak
Member since:
2008-01-01

Having exhausted all other options, Microsoft will do the right thing.

Whether it means allowing free market competition between both software delivery models or sticking to the windows store model, but making the best of a controlled environment and not being a restrictive douchebag.

On the other hand. In 5 years time, I can't imagine businesses running business class metro apps on windows servers and workstations. They will have to be normal apps and I trust this being a constant force for a reality check for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

Great article
by benali72 on Thu 18th Oct 2012 18:41 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Excellent thoughtful article. Thanks for posting the link.

Reply Score: 2