Microsoft Confirms Windows 8 App Store

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Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, has officially confirmed (somewhat subtly) that the upcoming Windows 8 operating system will indeed have an app store. The news was mentioned via a new blog post over on MSDN, where Sinofsky listed the numerous teams which will be contributing to Windows 8′s development.

At the top of the list? A team called “App Store.”

Of course, we already knew a store existed, thanks to Windows 8 screenshots. But it’s still nice to see it in print, along with the confirmation that a team of engineers has been assigned to its development.

Says Sinofsky, “many of the teams listed below describe features or areas that you are familiar with or that you can probably figure out based on the name.”

Yes, “App Store” was an easy one to figure out. Thanks.

The launch of an official app store for Microsoft computers isn’t all that surprising, especially given Windows 8′s mobile-inspired look-and-feel. And let’s not forget that Microsoft’s top competitor Apple already launched its popular Mac App Store 8 months ago.

But what we don’t know about the Windows App Store is how it will differ from Apple’s. After all, fanboyism aside, there are far more programs that run on Windows computers than on Macs. And since Microsoft has publicly stated that Windows 8 will be compatible with all Windows 7 software applications, we’re talking about a lot of potential software applications here.

Surely, not all will be featured in the app store? That could be a mess.

Perhaps only those apps that run on Windows app will be featured?

We also wonder if Windows 8 developers will have to submit their apps for inclusion in the store. Will it be an open market, more akin to Android’s Marketplace, or a curated collection, like Apple’s? Will there be any integration between Windows 8 apps and those that run on Windows Phone?

The only thing we do know from the blog post is that these “feature” teams, as they’re called consist of anywhere from 25 to 40 developers, plus test and program management, all working together.