updated 02:00 pm EST, Thu January 22, 2009
MS Win 7 App Store Survey
Microsoft has issued a survey to Windows 7 beta users that suggests the software developer may create a central repository for downloading and updating apps besides its own, Ars Technica notes. The questionnaire asks users to rank the importance of various features for a single location for "finding and managing updates" for programs, including the option of downloading, installing and updating non-Microsoft software.
The survey lists a number of potential extras that typically haven't been available from Microsoft's existing in the past and point directly to a storefront, such as the ability to filter outside apps to those from trusted developers as well as checking ratings and reviews. Software downloaded through the portal could also auto-configure themselves, such as getting permission from the firewall or copying directly to a USB drive for launch from the removable drive.
There are no indications that Microsoft is beyond the early exploration stage for the feature, and whether the update would be available for Windows 7 or else a future edition of the software. Adding the feature would nonetheless give Microsoft a rough Windows parallel to centralized app portals such as those in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions as well as mobile fronts such as iPhone's App Store or RIM's BlackBerry Application Center.