The recently announced Windows 8 platform will have exclusive access to Metro apps. These apps are meant for the Windows Mobile user interface, called the Metro user interface.
The company feels that the move will ensure better discoverability, easier enforcement of software trials, and the facilitation of in-app purchases. The move mirrors what Apple does for iPhone and iPad while it is in contrast to Android, for which apps are available across different stores.
The Android eco-system is very open, and is facing a problem in the security area as a lot of malware attacks have been reported since users download apps from other app stores. Similarly, there is also the problem of user experience being inconsistent on different applications.
The regular desktop apps, which will also work on Windows 8, will continue to be available from both Microsoft controlled stores (Windows Store will also have a “free listing service” for non-Metro Windows apps,) as well as from developer sites.
Also, enterprises can still bypass Microsoft’s Windows store to test apps before using them by side-loading ((i.e. downloading them onto a computer before installing on other devices).
Microsoft has also disclosed that it will share revenue on a 70:30 ratio with 30 per cent for Microsoft and the rest for the developer. There will also be a small annual fee that developers on the Windows platform will have to pay. This is very similar to what Apple does on its iOS platform.
What impact will it have on the pricing of apps? Well, that only the future can tell us, when more details about terms and conditions emerge.