updated 12:15 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Windows 8 app store shown as real
Previously challenged rumors of a Windows 8 app store were proven to be real on Tuesday after a code check found numerous references. Like the Mac App Store it would be cloning, the shop would have ratings, reviews, and developer feedback, Windows8Italia found. Microsoft's emphasis on having a single download on Windows Phone 7 and Xbox would carry over and make it more unique, letting users get the trial version of an app and unlocking it rather than forcing a second download.
Developers would have to include the usual descriptions, screen captures, and system requirements. In a break with the usual, the Windows store would require that apps tell users what specific hardware features they need to work, such as a GPS receiver or a webcam. Support links could also point to forums and not just e-mail.
No clues emerged of the final interface, though it's not expected to look like the Chinese tips shown earlier.
Microsoft has only fleetingly talked about actual Windows 8 features and hasn't committed to a release date, though it's known to be working on a tablet-native UI and to expose its once-buried versioned backup system through History Vault. Most predictions have it launching in late 2012.
The store would ostensibly play off of Microsoft's non-PC stores but would at least superficially appear to be an acknowledgment of the appeal of the Mac App Store. Microsoft may face complications with its store, since its dominance of the desktop OS market could lead to complaints of antitrust abuse by favoring its own shop or individual apps over others. Apple has been criticized for its own policies towards app stores but, as a typically minority platform, hasn't faced the same scrutiny. [via TNW]