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Why Microsoft Shouldn't Copy Apple's iOS Walled Garden

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the because-hollywood-says-copying-is-wrong dept.

Windows 244

Kethinov writes "Will the computers of the future be tools for freedom or for censorship? An insightful Ars editorial examines this question in depth, concluding that Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is fundamentally flawed and thus Microsoft should reconsider their plans to apply the same model to WinRT. The authors are careful to present a nuanced analysis that adequately weighs the competing interests of security, convenience, and user freedom, ultimately concluding that Mac OS X and Android offer better models because while their walled gardens are on by default, they offer supported mechanisms to opt-out if desired, thereby offering users the same security and convenience benefits without sacrificing user freedom in the process." A similar article by software engineer Casey Muratori looks at the effect Windows 8's closed distribution system will have on game development. The restrictions involved in getting approval for the Windows Store would preclude 2011's game of the year, Skyrim, from appearing there, as well as 2012's top candidates. The requirements contain clauses that would cut out huge swathes of the video game industry, like this one: "Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity."

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This is what Microsoft wants (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675211)

Go buy an XBox if you want to play games. Microsoft doesn't really care if you can't play top-shelf titles on Windows 8, and would probably prefer the hassle of not supporting DirectX for the general PC class systems. They'd be much happier selling you an XBox. Not only does it lock you into their console, it helps lock game developers into their console too.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (4, Informative)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41675337)

the xbox's walled garden makes a good statement about what MS does with walled gardens. drives the devs insane. charging devs to push updates. good idea! lets discourage bug fixes and updates! *sigh*

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41675685)

What about the AV companies? If every program is scanned and explicitly approved, what do you need virus scanning for?

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (4, Funny)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 years ago | (#41676173)

Perhaps because new exploits in existing software are found? Sometimes data has a virus payload etc. Win 8 still has a full blown desktop OS in it that doesn't have a walled garden and has all the registry and other circa 1990 stuff we've all grown to love. MS app compatibility story extends to virus writers :)

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (2)

grantek (979387) | about 2 years ago | (#41676175)

This is actually a good point - Microsoft have gone through decades of pain being the target of malware, have suffered through it, and at this point have something of an immune system developed with Security Essentials and the ecosystem of third-party anti-malware. It's definitely an advantage over Apple, whether or not it's the best way to go.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41675937)

Too bad they've built the OS shell on top of DirectX then. Must be a huge hassle. Must be horrible for the XBox team to have a pretty solid, reliable, tested and supported by major hardware vendors 2D/3D/Audio/Input software stack to work with.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676199)

Go buy an XBox if you want to play games. Microsoft doesn't really care if you can't play top-shelf titles on Windows 8, and would probably prefer the hassle of not supporting DirectX for the general PC class systems. They'd be much happier selling you an XBox. Not only does it lock you into their console, it helps lock game developers into their console too.

Youre right, they dont.

Why? Because they dont make money off playing games on a pc. When you buy a xbox they make money, when you buy an xbox game they make money, when you pay for (laughs at the idea since pc and ps3 is free) the ability to play games online on the xbox they make money, they make money when you buy a avatar shirt, etc. They dont make money when you buy a pc game and play it on your pc, they also dont get you funneled through their marketplace like they do on the xbox.

Micorosft doesnt care about pc gamers.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41676815)

As a side note, MS definitely does care about gamers on Win8; they expressly allow native apps and graphics APIs (they encourage DirectX, of course) int he Win8 store. I'm not a fan of the content restrictions, to be sure, but you could just host those apps on a third-party site and have peopel sideload them (yes, sideloading is totally possible on Win8 / Windows RT).

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (4, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#41676299)

Dude, it's a heavy handed attempt at controlling the market, and Microsoft is going to FEEL the magnitude of its mistake here. Even Apple isn't feeling so hot, as without S. Jobs's charisma field, the company is suddenly sitting out in the open with a target on its back.

MS wants to copy Apple in that respect, which would be fine, except MS isn't Apple. Ballmer doesn't have charisma, and certainly doesn't have S. Jobs's ability to bend reality around 'The Chosen.' As such, he's making a hideous mistake (this is going to hurt, like a blow to the solar plexus).

Between their sad attempts at market segregation (Windows 7 with its dozen or so editions, just spreading confusion), and now their attempt to dictate to developers what will and will not run on their OS (that'll end well), I would short MS's stock immediately after their Windows 8 blowout (I imagine the stock will rise for a few months, after they mention that it now accounts for 80% of their OS sales or something (nevermind that the OEMs will be using the downgrade clause), after which some news report will mention that people hate it, with a sudden drop in stock price, as the bad news press really starts rolling).

MS had a choice between investing in DRM, a wonky GUI, and a walled garden, or a better GUI, better communications, and moving everything out of unmanaged land. Guess which one it chose? If you are thinking "money grab," you would be correct.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677109)

It's risky as hell. I don't know why they didn't just make a different tablet OS for starters. They would have been in the market for at least a year by now and would hold the postion Android has or better. On top of that they could stick to what they're good at on the desktop, refine it some more (a lot more but nonetheless) and stick metro on the desktop later if it works out. All that code (metro apps) isn't native so... It just seems like it's dumb as hell to jeopardize what you have right when competing platforms are catching up, especially since toolsets are so much better these days.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41676813)

Go buy an XBox if you want to play games.

Windows games aren't competing against Xbox. Try getting something like Civ or Supreme Commander playable on an Xbox (cluebat: you cant and THQ ruined the Sup Com series by trying).

Windows 8 for gamers is competing against Windows 7. If Windows 8 sucks for gamers, we'll stick to Win 7. If MS doesn't get the message we'll end up moving to Linux (mac is a non starter due to paying $1500 for a machine with a 5400 RPM HDD and Intel GMA) as Valve is already looking at a Linux version of Steam. Restricting games on Windows will simply be shooting themselves in the foot... Which MS is very capable of doing.

Re:This is what Microsoft wants (1)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about 2 years ago | (#41677085)

Simple logic, and possibly what they are going for, but in no way 100% accurate. The PC gaming industry is still doing just great. I even think there is some statistic about Steam's profits doubling for 7 years running ( [] ). If Microsoft is fine giving that up, they're crazy. Which, I think, is what's happening. There is money to be made from people who just don't WANT an Xbox and so far Microsoft has been in a position to make that money. There is probably some exec at Microsoft who THINKS PC gaming is dead, and logically follows through with the thought that it's ok to give it up. I predict that in a few more years, Microsoft will see their mistake and try to run back way too late, as Steam dominates with Google-like intensity.

Sure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675269)

"Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed"

Skyrim isn't rated over M; it's rated M.

Re:Sure? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675549)

Amazing that you quoted the second page of the article and forgot the part about Skyrim being PEGI 18, which is over PEGI 16. That's what would be in question, not the ESRB rating.

I agree but... (0)

lilfields (961485) | about 2 years ago | (#41675301)

I agree, but Apple has changed things a bit, there still has to be a central marketplace for the average user to find things...that's what Apple changed. Google has a central marketplace, but it's also ridden with viruses, malware, etc and isn't very nice at all. I wish there was some alternative, where maybe Microsoft would merely control people who have other marketplaces, and it would be up to say..CNET to insure that their download was safe, etc. This is sort of what they are doing with listed x86 programs, but because it's centralized it congests wait times. I don't know the answer, I wish it were simple...but even though it hurts developers...Apple doesn't give a shit, and because of this, neither does the customer. As a result any non-centralized strategy will be heavily undermined, because...consumers want simple. So, unfortunately Microsoft and Google both have no choice but to mimic Apple to some degree. That said, clearly Microsoft is more committed to cross platform than Apple is, with Microsoft services running on iOS and Android.

Re:I agree but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675425)

I agree, but Apple has changed things a bit, there still has to be a central marketplace for the average user to find things...that's what Apple changed.

Apple has changed nothing, because such "central marketplaces" already existed with Linux distros (and other mobile devices) in both paid stores and free repositories, years before Apple tried it.

Re:I agree but... (3, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41675427)

In Android, there is no reason that CNET couldn't start their own app market.

Re:I agree but... (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 2 years ago | (#41676801)

God, please, don't give them any ideas. has been the zit on the ass end of the Internet for over 15 years.

Re:I agree but... (4, Informative)

englishknnigits (1568303) | about 2 years ago | (#41675581)

What is all this nonsense about Android being a walled garden? Have you never heard of the Amazon app store for Android? Have you never heard of loading any app you find on the internet onto your Android device? There must be something huge I'm missing here because there have been several articles popping up lately talking about Google's "walled garden" and it has me horribly confused. Will someone please enlighten me?

Re:I agree but... (3, Informative)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41675661)

I actually have seen the 'Walled Garden' in action. I had to root my brother's phone when he found out that AT&T had removed the option to allow 3rd party app installs. He's now happily running CM9, but I was astounded to find out that the option was permanently grayed out.

Re:I agree but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675681)

That's hardly Android's fault, it's entirely AT&T's fault.

Re:I agree but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675911)

As of today, that is not true. See []

So no, today, AT&T stabbed Android isn't a walled garden either. And the vast majority of Android Phones were already not in a walled garden (AT&T sells what? less than 5-10% of Android Phones?)

Re:I agree but... (2, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41676765)

I actually have seen the 'Walled Garden' in action. I had to root my brother's phone when he found out that AT&T had removed the option to allow 3rd party app installs.

How is this Android "walled garden"?

I have a GNex (bought outright) on Telstra (Australia), previously I've had a HTC Dream, Moto Milestone and HTC Desire Z (all bought outright) and I've never seen the restrictions you speak of.

You even said that the restrictions disappeared when he installed CM9 which would indicate it's not Androids "walled garden" but AT&T's "walled garden".

Re:I agree but... (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#41676841)

Moto Milestone

I had that phone too. We should start a support group or something. Worst tech purchase I ever made.

Re:I agree but... (1, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#41675671)

What is all this nonsense about Android being a walled garden?

People with a tenuous grasp on the concept seem to think the walled garden is referring to the nature of the stores. They miss the fact that the walled garden isn't walled until the user is trapped in by the actions of the store owner.

Android gets around this by simply allowing sideloading.

You can sideload Win8 too... (1, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41676327)

Sideloading is permitted on Win8 as well, though. You don't even have to pay for it. The option is less public than on Android - it requires either having Visual Studio installed or using the command line (Powershell, sepcifically), but it's there, it's free, and the info isn't hard to find if you do a search for it. []

Re:I agree but... (3, Interesting)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#41675739)

Err, you already said it. CNET( and Tucows have existed as central marketplaces for what? 2 decades? And the reason those places still exist is because they vet the software enough for the free market, as it were, to determine that they were a valid central repository for software. The only thing Apple changed was making it their marketplace the only place to get signed applications for their operating system.

Re:I agree but... (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41676137)

I wish there was some alternative, where maybe Microsoft would merely control people who have other marketplaces, and it would be up to say..CNET to insure that their download was safe, etc.

I certainly would hope not. CNET/ is already one of the worst free software curators in the world.

It already takes free (and sometimes open source) software that's already available elsewhere on the internet for free, and most of which is already free of spyware and free of marketing toolbars, and wraps them inside their own installer [] that installs their own spyware and installs poorly-worded half-hidden opt-out internet browser toolbars.

horrible dev panel... (1)

musikit (716987) | about 2 years ago | (#41675305)

wont matter no one will be able to upload there game using the current MS developer panel. constantly times out or "cant read package" on very large size packages. why cant you read the package? did the upload fail? or did i misplace a comma in my text? did the compiler screw up the executable?

MS shouldn't copy Apple (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41675325)

They will do it poorly, but it might be very profitable. And who cares about all that 'freedom' crap? 'Freedom' doesn't sell. It's a very tiny fringe market.

On the contrary (5, Funny)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41675341)

Microsoft should by all means copy Apple's walled garden model. Then they can both proceed straight to hell, holding hands.

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675389)

They should introduce more restriction.

Every restriction in the two big proprietary operating systems will help free and open ones.

Timing (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#41675405)

Why post this now? GA is 10 days away and it's far too late for some whining on slashdot to make a difference. Why not post this a year ago when the dev preview came out?

Re:Timing (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#41675687)

People were complaining about this a year ago as well. It's just taken a long time for the naysayers to realize that, yes, Microsoft is going the iOS route with WinRT.

Re:Timing (1, Flamebait)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#41676817)

Yeah there are a handful of RMS faithfuls that are upset about it. But at this point Windows 8 is going to happen whether slashdotters get their panties in a bunch or not. So I really just don't get the point of having a big circle jerk over it. It's not news anymore.

Re:Timing (0, Troll)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41675943)

WHY is it POINTLESS to have this discussion? It is NOT JUST FOR MICROSOFT's BENEFIT.

CONSUMERS and DEVELOPERS can learn MORE about what they are getting involved with.

And NATURALLY you ASSUME that Microsoft will actually PAY ATTENTION TO SLASHDOT

WHAT is it you are arguing again?

Re:Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676555)

IM ARGUING that capitalizing RANDOM WORDS makes ME not WANT to read YOUR SHITTY post.

They should copy the walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675411)

and in doing so usher in the age of linux. Apple expensive and restrictive, windows, cheaper but just as restrictive, linux, cheapest, and least restrictive.

Re:They should copy the walled garden (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41675505)

That would be great if Linux became an equal monetary platform in the eyes of the commercial entities trying the sell software or hardware.

Re:They should copy the walled garden (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41675641)

Since both Microsoft and Apple insist on a pretty significant cut of the price of an application, it may very well become that.

Re:They should copy the walled garden (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41675787)

That's FUNNY!

VMWare has NO TROUBLE charging EXACTLY THE SAME THING for the Linux version as the Windows version.

Re:They should copy the walled garden (1)

poly_pusher (1004145) | about 2 years ago | (#41675831)

I'll give you that Linux is the cheapest and least restrictive. Windows is significantly more restrictive than Linux but not near that of OSX. A good example is OpenGL support. The newest version of OSX supports OpenGL 3.2. 4.0 has been out for almost 2 years. 4.3 is the latest release and is already supported by Windows graphics cards. It took a year for Apple to support Nvidia-based video cards. So when you bought a GTX 580 for your Mac, the 680's were already out for PC.

There are many examples of this. There are also lots of good reasons Apple implements things the way they do. However, I have a machine here at home that I like to mess with. I like to buy the best graphics hardware when it comes out. I like that my OS supports the latest greatest Specifications like OpenGL 4.3 as soon as the graphics card manufacturers decide to release drivers for it. Windows is far from open but it's a far cry from Apples walled garden...

Balderdash. (1)

Petersko (564140) | about 2 years ago | (#41675975)

"I'll give you that Linux is the cheapest and least restrictive."

Linux is absolutely the most restrictive. They insist you run linux, which bars 95+% of users from participating. :)

There is but one question from Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41675421)

Of all the approaches available to them, which would make Microsoft the most money? Including both direct profits, and any future benefits which might be had by increasing Microsoft's effective influence to further profit in related areas.

That is what the executives at Microsoft are asking. They don't care about openness, or user freedom, or anything else like that - except in so far as it affects the success of the company. So work out the answer to that question, and you can predict Microsoft's future actions.

The answer looks clear to me. A manditory app store would not only make Microsoft a fortune, but save them from the problem of needing to run an eternal upgrade cycle to keep users constantly buying new software. The power it gave them would also open up untold opportunity in other areas - they could use it to mandate support or lack of support for specific technologies (eg, no OpenGL-compatible games permitted), or prohibit software that could compete with Microsoft's own.

Re:There is but one question from Microsoft. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41675479)

Beyond that, the market is already prime for an app store. Both Apple and Google have them, and this is going to be the expectation of most consumers. The market share of those who want greater control to put applications on their devices is probably a very small portion of the total smart device market, so it's not as if make a more open device is somehow going to make Microsoft oodles of extra money, and beyond that, control of the ecosystem has been proven very successful, and incurs certain advantages.

Re:There is but one question from Microsoft. (1, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41675811)


The argument is NOT about the PRESENCE of a garden but rather the WALLS around the garden.


Re:There is but one question from Microsoft. (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41676349)

If those are walls, the gate is awfully big and easy to open. Win8 permits sideloading, and doesn't charge for it. Enabling it requires Powershell (oh the horror, a command line!!!!) but is quick and trivial to do. []

Skyrim would never appear in the Windows Store... (2, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | about 2 years ago | (#41675455)

That's for Metro apps. Skyrim is a Win32 app. Sure, the Metro bit is a walled garden, but the Win32 bit is still as open as ever on x86, you simply just avoid ARM based Win RT devices... job done.

Re:Skyrim would never appear in the Windows Store. (2)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41675553)

One step at a time. If Microsoft can get people entrenched into the Windows Metro OSes by Windows 9 or 10, they will force all apps to come from the Microsoft's store. From a greedy bastard standpoint, they have no reason not to.

The only thing Windows needs to do (3, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41675481)

Windows needs to make "future" applications unable to get out of their install directory, and unable to write to a global registry.

Viruses can't do a whole lot if they can't get to system files, can't modify anything but themselves.

Windows would suddenly catch up with this whole Internet fad if they secured their OS from viruses finally.

Sure allow trusted legacy aps an option to be run, but aps for the future should be basically sandboxed.

I believe if Microsoft made their OS secure against viruses, they'd actually be a step ahead of Apple. The main old reason Apple doesn't have a lot of viruses is that it had a lower market share for a long time.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675557)

The registry was an abortion from the first day it came out. I can't really think of any benefit of having it over .ini files.

I know, lets put all our config files into a giant, unmanageable, unnavigable, proprietary format!

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41676115)

No doubt the registry was a huge mistake. I think Microsoft was working from the idea: The more of a mess we make the operating system, the more obfuscated it is, and the more obfuscated it is, the more security we have! QED: Its the perfect DRM.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41676637)

Erm, the registry ha sa number of advantages over text config files (.INI or any other kind).

It's centralized. You don't have to search the whole disk, just the registry itself, which is pretty fast.

It's strongly typed. Strings are strings, integers are integers (well, DWORDs), and while arbitrary binary data is permitted, it's not the default.

It's compact. Text files are wasteful of space in several ways (representing numbers as unicode characters, filesystem entries, etc.).

It's hierarchical. A registry key can both contain values and sub-keys. Text config files are flat; unless you use the filesystem itself to provide hierarchy (which then means you have a large number of files potentially per application) you either end up with a long and structureless list, or with a structured file that a slight mistake in editing can break.

It's a standard format. .INI is only one way to store config data; there's other forms of flat files, plus XML and so on. With the registry, you don't have to worry about whether the file needs to have a specific type of newline character or what the character to separate value names from data should be or anything like that.

It's fast. Because registry values are stored with known types and lengths, parsing them is faster than parsing numbers, hex values, etc. out of text files. Back when the registry was first designed (when the 386 was a new and fancy CPU), this mattered more than it does today, but it's still a valid technical point in the registry's favor.

To be sure, the registry has its issues, too. It's definitely less visible than text files are (although settings files are typically marked Hidden...), and it's slightly harder to back up. It also is much harder to find software for general-purpose registry editing than for general-purpose text file editing. Don't pretend that there is no point to the registry, though.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#41677011)

If I could add to that list:

It's transactional, so a properly coded app won't leave you with half written state.

HKCU can be roamed in active directory so settings can follow a user around.

Devs don't have to write a pile of not-so-reusable code for deserializing text files.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41676287)

> I can't really think of any benefit of having it over .ini files.

I hate the registry for all the reasons you list, but you are forgetting the *only* benefit:

A binary file is significantly faster to parse and search then a big-ass text file. HTML is a good example of an over-engineered solution. You have to parse an arbitrary length strength for tags, instead of just using a simple byte tag.

The registry also has a minor benefit that you can guarantee the syntax is valid.

Another reason I hate the registry is that it is retarded for doing backups. Over in the rational *nix land, we store our configs in .foo -- making it trivial to backup and put on another machine. Good luck copying the registry while logged in! Heck ever try to copy you whole Windows color settings, schemes, sounds, etc. from Windows machine to another? Just give me a dam text file already that I can update, copy, and take with me.

Microsoft has consistently failed to learn the lesson "Those who fail to embrace *nix are doomed to re-invent and re-implement it poorly." which is a paraphrase of Henry Spencer "Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." []

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#41676589)

I know, lets put all our config files into a giant, unmanageable, unnavigable, proprietary format!

Soooo an .ini file?

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (3, Interesting)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 2 years ago | (#41676709)

The registry was an abortion from the first day it came out. I can't really think of any benefit of having it over .ini files.

Apps are free to do whatever they want including writing .ini files... that soo many have chosen to use the registry for configuration should speak for itself.

I can think of several possible advantages:

Central configuration store with a common access experience for all applications. .ini files...xml files...binary files...

Configuration store is automatically safe against concurrent access..try rewriting a .ini file by multiple apps at the same time and let me know how it goes. Today bulk registry operations can be fully transactional thanks to windows KTM.

Security ACLs per entry. .ini file security as far as the operating system is concerned is for the whole file.

Common set of tools "regedit" to modify, backup, monitor, restore and search configuration across participating apps.

I love classic centrally controlled systems and I love compartmentalized jails where all configuration and file access is localized. There is no right answer only the best tool for the job at hand after careful consideration of competing tradeoffs.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#41675795)

Windows needs to make "future" applications unable to get out of their install directory, and unable to write to a global registry.
Viruses can't do a whole lot if they can't get to system files, can't modify anything but themselves.

As described, that also wipes out basically everything that makes a computer useful - for starters you can't edit a document in more than one program. You can't back things up because the backup program can't get at files outside its install directory.

You can't record a WAV file in one program then use another to clean it up. Hell, you can't listen to the file afterwards because the media player can't get at it. You can't compile programs because the compiler suite consists of an entire toolchain, you can't have photoshop plugins and even if you could you wouldn't be able to upload the edited image because only photoshop can access it. Something like Dropbox becomes impossible.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41676099)

Fine fine, I left out a detail, you can have a shared memory location, where you share information between programs, but its just details. Most programs don't need to share data with other programs. I didn't want to write a design document, just give an idea.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676297)

Maybe this is why people smarter than you design operating systems and still fail to make them secure.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41676361)

I know you're just trying to jab at me, but I made no mistake. This is actually part of the design, I just left it out of my initial post to have a more compact post and maximize on readability. Well maybe I did make a mistake in not being verbose in my initial post. Heh.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

dog77 (1005249) | about 2 years ago | (#41676387)

I very much wish Microsoft or Linux would take on this challenge. I very much dislike having to fully trust every application I install to be fully vetted.

I would prefer by default that applications are restricted from accessing any directory but their own and that the user can add or remove permissions to directories as needed. So if you want your editor to access only your Documents directory, you can restrict it to that directory tree. Applications you trust like file explorer or backup you allow unrestricted access. Other applications like games probably don't need access outside themselves. Most applications don't need to modify exe files. While not perfect it would give me much more peace of mind than what the current situation is.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676609)

You mean like groups in posix compliant systems? Is Windows so backwards that it doesn't have fine-grained permissions? I find that hard to believe, although my last interaction with MS software was Win 3.11. Perhaps it doesn't.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (3, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41676729)

NT permissions are actually much more fine-grained than POSIX; you can for example permit all logged-in users to read, and all users of a specific group to write as well, but deny one specific user (who might even be a member of the aforementioned group) the right to do anything at all with the file. Write, append, and delete are different permissions. The same permission can be applied to multiple users and/or groups. The owner of a file (or other securable object; in POSIX these would all be files so I might as well call them that) can overwrite any permissions, as you'd expect, and the Administrator ("root") can take ownership of any file, but it's also possible to allow multiple users/groups the ability to take ownership of files. By default, directories use inherited permissions, but it's possible to add additional permissions (or to deny permissions, which overrides "allow" behavior), and it's possible to disable permission inheritance on a directory or file entirely.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (4, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41676749)

Point #1: You just described AppArmor or SELinux. These already exist. They're a pain to configure, but they do what you want.

Point #2: This is, in fact, one of the things that "Metro-style" apps do. It's not just a "touch-first" UI; it's also a per-app sandbox with restrictions on the locations and access that each app has, independent of other apps or of the permissions of the logged-in user.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#41676717)

You might be interested in the share charm. []

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41675847)

Oh yes what a GREAT way to make a collaborative platform: make it so the apps CANNOT share data with each other

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676111)

But then they would destroy the multi-billion dollar industry of antivirus software. Why do you hate America?

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41676381)

Isn't the best Antivirus Russian? And aren't they working on their own OS now? It'd be hilarious if Windows gets replaced with an OS that would have never been if only Windows secured their OS to begin with.

Re:The only thing Windows needs to do (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 2 years ago | (#41676563)

Windows needs to make "future" applications unable to get out of their install directory, and unable to write to a global registry.

Hey great idea Microsoft should have done that with their metro/RT apps. Apps could even come with a manifest declaring access required of the app, enforced by the operating system ahead of time before the app even runs... hey that would have been awesome.

Windows would suddenly catch up with this whole Internet fad if they secured their OS from viruses finally.

It is not that difficult to protect the OS...problem is the operating system is not what users really care about.

If you fence a browser from the rest of the OS..great the OS is safe from the browser...but wait a second...I don't care about the OS!! I care about my browser not siphoning off my banking details to some foreign server.

If you fence your word processor off from the rest of the OS...great the OS is safe but what about the documents word processor has access to? IE my work... my documents I actually care about? Does the OS also protect me from a macro virus in the word processor?

I believe if Microsoft made their OS secure against viruses, they'd actually be a step ahead of Apple.

Don't run as root. Aint that difficult and really doesn't solve anything either.

Hays Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675537)

Catch 22 (4, Interesting)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about 2 years ago | (#41675575)

The fact that Apple is very strict (not talking about the mature content thing which I find ridiculous) regarding how an app should behave or designed, makes that a lot of apps are easier to use because the learning curve is low. You don't need to learn things over & over again. Hence the reason - and imho correct - that a lot of users find it a more user friendly platform.

If I read the passages about why Steve Jobs was against Apps in the first place, he had the fear that it could lead to tainting the user friendly experience in which they invested a lot. Which I think - after seeing my share of bad designed software - was a valid fear.

I have an Android smartphone as I find iPhones ridiculous expensive. But if I look at the quality difference between what is available in the Google Play store on my smartphone & the iOS store on my iPad, there is a difference. And I do - personally - think that this is because Apple does run a very strict ship in guidelines, how an app should work, what you expect as behavior, etc. I don't think it is because iOS developers are so much more talented then their android counterparts.

This may come over as a nightmare for those who like to tinker or loves freedom to design or develop an app like they want it, but reality is that when it comes in designing good and consequent interfaces, 90% of the developers can't do it even if their live depended on it. Give them to much room and you really get some of the horrendous software available on the Google play store. Sometimes I find it a pity that Google doesn't enforce some basic guidelines because it is the only way some developers would put some sense in what they are developing.

So no is not the iOS concept that is flawed, it is that stubborn idea that a lot of techies have that they have the same needs or mindset as the general public.

it is about the USERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675801)

I will first date myself as having to take a mandatory course in slide rule use as a Freshman EE major at an ABET school. ..."the learning curve is low."
That ABSOLUTELY is the most important issue when it comes to being the "help desk" for every non-EE peer, family member, aquaintance, etc. since purchasing my first Apple IIc many years ago.
I have my own personal hard copies of the original Apple programming guidelines, NOT because I ever wrote any application programs, but because I wanted to be able to explain to USERS how the software responded to THEM, and that THEY were not mice in a maze being expected to respond in a certain way to the software; sadly, I see many arrogant programmers and IT self-proclaimed professionals out there who do NOT get the idea that the USER is the purpose for the technology.
I still think that Hypercard is the BEST overall application program EVER produced for general purpose computer use, without any exceptions.

Re:Catch 22 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676045)

Perhaps next time you should read the linked article first. Then you could have addressed some of the reasons why this is bad, instead of completely and totally ignoring them and going on a one sided apple fanboy pr fest with stubborn ideas and ad hominem attacks against "techies".

Re:Catch 22 (2)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41676165)

This really has nothing to do with open and not open, nor the freedom to develop of design. The phone is closed system. The number of people who buy a computer and actually tinker with the insides is small. The number of people who write code for their computer is tiny. This has to do with overall cost and easy availability of free applications, which is why MS beats *nix on the desktop, and Android beats iPhone on the mobile.

Writing code for the Mac has been free since around 2000. Visual studio express has been available only since 2005, and is still very limited. Yet the PC is considered more open than MS. The SCSI and USB and Firewire port has allowed driver free installation of common devices for ever, yet Windows XP which still needed to install a driver for USB drivers is considered more open.

I think if we have a free IDE and open standards, that is open. After that it is pretty much about whether you need every application one can imagine, or can live with a more limited selection. This is why a closed garden is a mistake for MS. MS customers do not expect limitation in choice, only limitations in what MS will let them install. Further, MS is not likely to do the job Apple does in vetting Apps, so it will be more likely that malware slips though, which negates the consumer benefit to the walled garden.

Re:Catch 22 (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41676881)

The fact that Apple is very strict (not talking about the mature content thing which I find ridiculous) regarding how an app should behave or designed, makes that a lot of apps are easier to use because the learning curve is low. You don't need to learn things over & over again. Hence the reason - and imho correct - that a lot of users find it a more user friendly platform.

IOS is not an easier platform to learn, there's just less to learn. A user, even an average user will run into the "No, Apple says you cant do that" wall very quickly. Less functionality does not equal easier. Just look at the difference between going from a web browser to the SMS application on IOS and Android, it's faster and easier on Android

So people will be restricted in what they can do, this was fine when it was just a phone with a basic web browser but as people start to use phones for more complex purposes these restrictions become a serious issue. This is the inherent flaw in the concept of a walled garden.

Fortunately this is a self correcting problem. Android is competing against IOS and quite successfully, as people become constrained by Apple's inflexible nature they will move away from Apple's platform. The only thing Apple has in their favour is the fact they have convinced users to spend a lot of money in their ecosystem creating a (psychological) barrier to exit. This is also self correcting as people overcome the sunk cost fallacy. If Microsoft creates the same restrictive environment they will suffer from the same problem (minus the financial disincentives to leaving).

why? this is why: (1, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41675611)

Why Microsoft Shouldn't Copy Apple's iOS Walled Garden

Microsoft should not copy Apple, it should sue Apple for copy right infringement. The idea of proprietary file formats, making switching costs high, getting people and making it difficult to leave, monoculture, etc etc were all invented by Microsoft and pushed for decades. Of course it is sad people jump out of one walled garden and jump right into another in the form of iOS. But still, if Microsoft copies Apple it will be a xerox copy of a xerox copy.

Re:why? this is why: (1)

Dreamlandlocal (978245) | about 2 years ago | (#41675749)

Microsoft should not copy Apple, it should sue Apple for copy right infringement.

That's almost a paradox. Did you mean "maybe Microsoft should copy Apple and sue for copyright infringement." ?

Re:why? this is why: (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41675881)


IBM invented these things in the 1960s

And of course these things have been STANDARD PRACTICE in many many other industries for DECADES.

Re:why? this is why: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675923)

"if Microsoft copies Apple it will be a xerox copy of a xerox copy."

I see what you did there.

This is what I get (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675657)

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If you buy Windows 8, the only place you will be able to download software that integrates with its new user interface will be the official Windows Store [] . Microsoft will have complete control [] over what software will be allowed there.";"left";"18px";v614=(v293+0);v293+=15;v620=(v293+0);d50=fL(d1);"14px";d50.innerHTML="Microsoft has stated that applications for the older desktop interface will remain unaffected by these policies. As long as they only use applications that run on the old desktop, users will still be able to buy, sell, develop, and distribute software without interference from Microsoft. Many Windows users have taken this as an assurance that the open distribution model that they enjoy today will still be available in future versions of Windows, and as a result, there has been far less public concern about Windows 8 than there might have otherwise been.";"left";"18px";v636=(v293+0);v293+=15;v642=(v293+0);d51=fL(d1);"14px";d51.innerHTML="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.";"left";"18px";v658=(v293+0);v293+=30;v664=(v293+0);d52=fL(d1);d53=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d52.innerHTML="Game of the Year 2032 [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v684=(v293+0);d54=fL(d1);d55=fL(d1);d54.innerHTML="&nbsp";d55.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d55.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d55.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v719=(v293+0);d56=fL(d1);"14px";d56.innerHTML="According to PC Gamer Magazine [] , and many sources which agree, PC Game of the Year 2011 was Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [] . In a move that surprised absolutely no one, Skyrim for the PC shipped on Windows, not MS-DOS. Even if the developers had wanted to, they couldn’t have shipped a modern PC game like Skyrim on DOS because none of the past fifteen years of graphics hardware innovation is available there. It’s absurd to even consider shipping commercial consumer software on MS-DOS today.";"left";"18px";v735=(v293+0);v293+=15;v741=(v293+0);d57=fL(d1);"14px";d57.innerHTML="Hypothetically, let’s assume it becomes equivalently absurd, 20 years from now, to ship consumer software on Windows desktop. There are no desktop games in 2032 much like there are no DOS games in 2012. Everything runs in some much more refined version of the Windows 8 modern user interface.";"left";"18px";v757=(v293+0);v293+=15;v763=(v293+0);d58=fL(d1);"14px";d58.innerHTML="Because no software can ship on this future platform without it going through the Windows Store, the team that built Skyrim would have to send it to Microsoft for certification. 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Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed.";"left";"18px";"italic";d62.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d63.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v902=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v904=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v906=(v904-v902);v910=(v293-17);v915=fM(((v293+fG(d64,v906))-35),v910);v293+=fG(d64,v906);"14px";"18px";v926=(v293+0);v293+=20;v932=(v293+0);d65=fL(d1);"14px";d65.innerHTML="And that’s the end of it. No Skyrim for the Windows Store, unless of course the developers go back and remove all the PEGI 18-rated content.";"left";"18px";v948=(v293+0);v293+=15;v954=(v293+0);d66=fL(d1);"14px";d66.innerHTML="That’s 2011’s Game of the Year, banned from the Windows Store. How about 2012? With several highly anticipated games yet to be released, it’s anybody’s guess which game will be selected. But a random sampling of internet predictions suggests some of the leading contenders are Max Payne 3 [] , The Witcher 2 [] , Mass Effect 3 [] , Assassins Creed 3 [] , Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 [] , and Borderlands 2 [] . Of the four of those that have already shipped and been rated by PEGI, how many could be shipped on Windows Store?";"left";"18px";v970=(v293+0);v293+=15;v976=(v293+0);d67=fL(d1);"14px";d67.innerHTML="Zero.";"left";"18px";v992=(v293+0);v293+=15;v998=(v293+0);d68=fL(d1);"14px";d68.innerHTML="Now, there are certainly many people out there, perhaps even the majority, who believe that games aren’t culturally relevant. They are not great art, they might say, and therefore it is irrelevant if a major platform prevented their dissemination.";"left";"18px";v1014=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1020=(v293+0);d69=fL(d1);"14px";d69.innerHTML="In the interest of illustrating the importance of an open platform more broadly, let’s give our games a cultural facelift. Let’s pretend we magically have a bunch of games with content equivalent to no less than the Emmy nominees for 2012 outstanding drama series [] : Boardwalk Empire [] , Breaking Bad [] , Mad Men [] , Downton Abbey [] , Homeland [] , and Game of Thrones [] .";"left";"18px";v1036=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1042=(v293+0);d70=fL(d1);"14px";d70.innerHTML="Odds are that Downton Abbey would be the only one to clearly pass the PEGI rating test, but even if somehow the rest of them did, they’d be banned from the store for a variety of other reasons, such as section 5.3:";"left";"18px";v1058=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1064=(v293+0);d71=fL(d1);d72=fL(d1);d73=fL(d1);"14px";d73.innerHTML="Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity.";"left";"18px";"italic";d71.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d72.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v1115=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v1117=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v1119=(v1117-v1115);v1123=(v293-17);v1128=fM(((v293+fG(d73,v1119))-35),v1123);v293+=fG(d73,v1119);"14px";"18px";v1139=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1145=(v293+0);d74=fL(d1);"14px";d74.innerHTML="section 5.6:";"left";"18px";v1161=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1167=(v293+0);d75=fL(d1);d76=fL(d1);d77=fL(d1);"14px";d77.innerHTML="Your app must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons.";"left";"18px";"italic";d75.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d76.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v1218=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v1220=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v1222=(v1220-v1218);v1226=(v293-17);v1231=fM(((v293+fG(d77,v1222))-35),v1226);v293+=fG(d77,v1222);"14px";"18px";v1242=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1248=(v293+0);d78=fL(d1);"14px";d78.innerHTML="or section 5.8:";"left";"18px";v1264=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1270=(v293+0);d79=fL(d1);d80=fL(d1);d81=fL(d1);"14px";d81.innerHTML="Your app must not contain excessive or gratuitous profanity.";"left";"18px";"italic";d79.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d80.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v1321=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v1323=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v1325=(v1323-v1321);v1329=(v293-17);v1334=fM(((v293+fG(d81,v1325))-35),v1329);v293+=fG(d81,v1325);"14px";"18px";v1345=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1351=(v293+0);d82=fL(d1);"14px";d82.innerHTML="This vision of a future Windows heavily censored by Microsoft is chilling. But how likely is it to actually occur?";"left";"18px";v1367=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1373=(v293+0);d83=fL(d1);"14px";d83.innerHTML="For Windows RT [] , the version of Windows for low-power tablets and phones, this future begins on October 26th. Each and every Windows RT device sold will only be able to run software from the Windows Store, and all Windows Store apps must follow the certification requirements quoted above, as well as dozens more. Windows RT users won’t have ten or twenty years before they can no longer play the world’s most highly acclaimed games on their Windows devices. Those games will have been forbidden from day one.";"left";"18px";v1389=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1395=(v293+0);d84=fL(d1);"14px";d84.innerHTML="But for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, the versions that most desktop users will have, the timeline is not yet certain. Unlike Windows RT, these versions include the classic Windows desktop that still supports open distribution. Is it possible, then, that desktop users will never have to experience this future?";"left";"18px";v1411=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1417=(v293+0);d85=fL(d1);"14px";d85.innerHTML="A brief examination of Microsoft’s own history suggests quite the opposite.";"left";"18px";v1433=(v293+0);v293+=30;v1439=(v293+0);d86=fL(d1);d87=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d86.innerHTML="Anatomy of a Microsoft Platform Shift [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v1459=(v293+0);d88=fL(d1);d89=fL(d1);d88.innerHTML="&nbsp";d89.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d89.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d89.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v1494=(v293+0);d90=fL(d1);"14px";d90.innerHTML="In the late 1980s, much of the consumer computing world was already using graphical user interfaces. Machines like the Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, and Atari ST had grown dramatically in popularity, and each shipped with a modern graphical operating system pre-installed. PCs, on the other hand, still typically ran MS-DOS, a command-line environment where applications had to individually implement their own rudimentary interfaces.";"left";"18px";v1510=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1516=(v293+0);d91=fL(d1);"14px";d91.innerHTML="Despite this drawback, the PC was nonetheless flourishing. Because it was an open hardware platform and had achieved wide adoption in the business space, many of the era’s most famous productivity programs— like Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect— treated MS-DOS as a flagship business platform.";"left";"18px";v1532=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1538=(v293+0);d92=fL(d1);"14px";d92.innerHTML="Then on May 22nd, 1990, Microsoft shipped Windows 3.0. This version of Windows could do something no previous version could: it could run MS-DOS programs alongside native graphical apps. For the first time, people could run standard business applications without leaving a consumer-friendly interface. The Windows GUI itself may not have been as flashy as what was available on other platforms, but it gave people the option of using just one OS for everything, and customers wanted that. Adoption rates soared.";"left";"18px";v1554=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1560=(v293+0);d93=fL(d1);"14px";d93.innerHTML="Over the next five years, Microsoft continued adding new APIs to Windows. Although people still developed MS-DOS programs, it became increasingly difficult to ship a business application that didn’t integrate with things like the Windows font manager, printing services, standard dialogs, and rich clipboard. Customers came to expect these things, and MS-DOS applications simply couldn’t use them.";"left";"18px";v1576=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1582=(v293+0);d94=fL(d1);"14px";d94.innerHTML="As most apps either transitioned to native Windows versions or became defunct, games were the one major holdout. They lived and died by performance, and couldn’t afford the overhead Windows introduced. But eventually Microsoft found a way to give games the hardware access they needed, and slowly but surely, native Windows games became increasingly common. By the time Windows 2000 was introduced on February 17th, 2000, only ten years after the release of Windows 3.0, running MS-DOS programs had gone from the key feature that made Windows what it was, to a tacked-on compatibility mode only meant to support legacy software. MS-DOS as a platform, and any programs still tied to it, had faded into obscurity.";"left";"18px";v1598=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1604=(v293+0);d95=fL(d1);"14px";d95.innerHTML="On July 22nd, 2009, nearly two decades after the release of Windows 3.0, Microsoft introduced the version of Windows most of us use today, Windows 7. If you try to run an MS-DOS application on Windows 7, you get a dialog box that says:";"left";"18px";v1620=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1626=(v293+0);d96=fL(d1);d96.innerHTML="";v1638=(v293+0);v293+=20;v1644=(v293+0);d97=fL(d1);"14px";d97.innerHTML="You may still be able to run the program, but you’ll have to download and install a special “Windows XP Mode” package from Microsoft’s website or use third-party emulation software to even try.";"left";"18px";v1660=(v293+0);v293+=30;v1666=(v293+0);d98=fL(d1);d99=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d98.innerHTML="The Return of 1990 [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v1686=(v293+0);d100=fL(d1);d101=fL(d1);d100.innerHTML="&nbsp";d101.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d101.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d101.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v1721=(v293+0);d102=fL(d1);"14px";d102.innerHTML="The PC’s situation in relation to consumer computing is very much the same today in 2012 as it was in 1990. On the PC, we are still using the “Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers” (WIMP) interface that has been standard for almost three decades (if only on PCs for two). But on the rest of the world’s popular computing devices— smart phones and tablets— WIMP interfaces no longer exist. OSes like iOS and Android have replaced WIMP with touch-centric interfaces, much as the Macintosh and Amiga eschewed command lines for GUIs in the 1980s.";"left";"18px";v1737=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1743=(v293+0);d103=fL(d1);"14px";d103.innerHTML="But on October 26th, Microsoft will release their first touch-centric operating system, Windows 8. Rather than jettison WIMP entirely, they have chosen to include it as a subset of their new touch interface. Just as Windows 3.0’s interface ran alongside MS-DOS, Windows 8’s new interface will run alongside a traditional Windows 7 desktop.";"left";"18px";v1759=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1765=(v293+0);d104=fL(d1);"14px";d104.innerHTML="Also just like Windows 3.0 and DOS, the integration between the two is largely superficial. Some parts are integrated, but most parts aren’t. You can create tiles in the new UI that launch programs in the old UI, just like Windows 3.0 could have icons that launched DOS programs. But just as DOS programs ran in a special container window, and couldn’t do things like opening other windows, presenting dialog boxes, using fonts, or transferring graphics to the clipboard, desktop apps are segregated in a special container desktop in Windows 8, and they can’t access most of the new Windows 8 UI features.";"left";"18px";v1781=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1787=(v293+0);d105=fL(d1);"14px";d105.innerHTML="For example, desktop apps can’t be part of edge-swipe task switching. They can’t be snapped to the side as sidebars. They can’t participate in charm interface elements like extended search or share. They can’t present lock screen notifications. They can’t use live tiles. And these are just some of the features in this version of Windows. Who knows what new features Microsoft will add in future versions that will make desktop apps even less able to compete with native apps?";"left";"18px";v1803=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1809=(v293+0);d106=fL(d1);"14px";d106.innerHTML="In short, the desktop in Windows 8 is where MS-DOS was in Windows 3.0. This brings us to a pivotal question: if Microsoft is as committed to the new Windows 8 user interface as they were to the GUI of Windows 3.0, what will desktop support in Windows look like going forward?";"left";"18px";v1825=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1831=(v293+0);d107=fL(d1);"14px";d107.innerHTML="If you believe that history repeats itself, the answer is unambiguous: it will be relegated to obscurity in ten years, and it will cease to exist outside manually installed compatibility software in twenty.";"left";"18px";v1847=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1853=(v293+0);d108=fL(d1);"14px";d108.innerHTML="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.";"left";"18px";v1869=(v293+0);v293+=30;v1875=(v293+0);d109=fL(d1);d110=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d109.innerHTML="The Promise of Windows 8, Dead on Arrival [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v1895=(v293+0);d111=fL(d1);d112=fL(d1);d111.innerHTML="&nbsp";d112.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d112.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d112.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v1930=(v293+0);d113=fL(d1);"14px";d113.innerHTML="For present-day developers, the world of consumer computing pre-Windows 8 is a bit of a mess. There’s iOS, a platform where you can’t ship anything native without the haphazard and capricious permission of Apple [] . There’s Android, a pleasantly open platform plagued by mismanagement of hardware specifications, lack of commitment to native code support, and the threat of being seriously damaged by obstructionist patent lawsuits. And then there are platforms like Blackberry, WebOS, Kindle Fire (based on Android), and Nook which have yet to see adoption in significant numbers.";"left";"18px";v1946=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1952=(v293+0);d114=fL(d1);"14px";d114.innerHTML="Enter Windows 8. It’s designed for touch input, has well-specified hardware requirements, features a well-documented native code interface, can be used directly as a development environment with no need for cross-compiling, and yes, it’s backed by a notoriously devious company which holds a patent portfolio five times the size of Apple’s. So if Apple did try to take the same litigious approach with Windows 8 that they took with Android device suppliers, we’d see a return salvo of infringement claims so massive it’d bury Apple’s fancy new headquarters in obtusely worded paperwork.";"left";"18px";v1968=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1974=(v293+0);d115=fL(d1);"14px";d115.innerHTML="Perverse as today’s computing landscape may be, this could actually be a step forward for developers. Assuming developing for Windows 8’s new ecosystem followed the same rules as developing for the old one, any developer could simply install Windows 8, develop software that targeted the consumer touch market, then distribute it for free or as a paid piece of software via their website or a third-party distributor. Fewer platform headaches, no unreliable provisioning requirements for testing, no weird developer fees or subscriptions, and most importantly, no domineering Apple standing between developers and their customers.";"left";"18px";v1990=(v293+0);v293+=15;v1996=(v293+0);d116=fL(d1);"14px";d116.innerHTML="But there’s just one problem. Microsoft has decided not to make the new Windows 8 ecosystem follow the same rules as traditional Windows. Unlike the transition from MS-DOS to Windows 3.0, Microsoft isn’t planning to expand the Windows ecosystem. They are planning to bifurcate it.";"left";"18px";v2012=(v293+0);v293+=30;v2018=(v293+0);d117=fL(d1);d118=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d117.innerHTML="Monopoly [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v2038=(v293+0);d119=fL(d1);d120=fL(d1);d119.innerHTML="&nbsp";d120.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d120.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d120.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v2073=(v293+0);d121=fL(d1);"14px";d121.innerHTML="The problem begins with the Windows Store [] . If the name makes it sound like the Apple App Store, that’s because it essentially is the Apple App Store. It’s a centralized distribution mechanism that Microsoft controls which allows end users to purchase software from a catalog of titles explicitly approved by Microsoft.";"left";"18px";v2089=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2095=(v293+0);d122=fL(d1);"14px";d122.innerHTML="This, by itself, might not be all that bad. There are valid arguments against the owners of a platform controlling the default marketplace for that platform, but if the platform allows people to develop and distribute software freely outside the store, then other companies can bypass the store altogether. Developers can distribute their software through other channels, or even provide competing stores, reducing via healthy competition the danger of abuse or obstruction by the platform owner.";"left";"18px";v2111=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2117=(v293+0);d123=fL(d1);"14px";d123.innerHTML="However, it is clear from Microsoft’s publications on Windows 8 that in order to participate in the new user interface, you must distribute your application through the Windows Store. That means as of October, Microsoft itself will become the sole source of software for everything you run on a Windows machine that isn’t relegated to the older desktop ecosystem. Unlike the historical transition from MS-DOS to the Windows GUI, although the old platform (the Windows desktop) will likely remain open, the new platform (the Windows 8 UI) will be closed. This will put Microsoft in a wholly new monopoly position: that of sole software distributor for the majority of the world’s desktops.";"left";"18px";v2133=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2139=(v293+0);d124=fL(d1);"14px";d124.innerHTML="Now, this is apparently a point of some contention. Perhaps because Microsoft has not made a bigger deal about it in their press releases, not everyone believes that distributing software for the modern UI will require developers to get Microsoft’s permission. But they are wrong. In order to set the record straight once and for all, a complete, thoroughly researched analysis of Microsoft’s official publications on the subject is included as Appendix B [] to this article. It demonstrates that there is no method for developers to distribute modern UI applications to the internet at large without receiving explicit approval from Microsoft.";"left";"18px";v2155=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2161=(v293+0);d125=fL(d1);"14px";d125.innerHTML="So, with that in mind, it’s time to ask the fundamental question: if the new Windows 8 interface does come to completely replace the desktop, and Microsoft has complete control over what software can be published on that new interface, how dramatically would this affect the future of Windows? Will games designed for adults be the only casualties of a closed Windows, or is there even more at stake?";"left";"18px";v2177=(v293+0);v293+=30;v2183=(v293+0);d126=fL(d1);d127=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d126.innerHTML="The Future Could Be Anywhere [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v2203=(v293+0);d128=fL(d1);d129=fL(d1);d128.innerHTML="&nbsp";d129.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d129.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d129.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v2238=(v293+0);d130=fL(d1);"14px";d130.innerHTML="Banning today’s most acclaimed game software from the new Windows 8 ecosystem— which also happens to be the only ecosystem that will be available to Windows RT users— is just one of the many negative consequences of Microsoft’s app certification guidelines. Other parts of the guidelines would have prohibited things like Flash, JavaScript and the dynamic web, even the app store itself, from ever being shipped if they hadn’t already existed today and thus been included by Microsoft in the platform itself. So it is clear that Microsoft has ensured that the new Windows ecosystem will only ever host the same narrow band of applications that Microsoft already believes is important.";"left";"18px";v2254=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2260=(v293+0);d131=fL(d1);"14px";d131.innerHTML="But just because Microsoft has done a terrible job defining the boundaries of the new ecosystem, does that necessarily mean that the only alternative is to make the ecosystem completely open? Couldn’t Microsoft simply set new, better guidelines?";"left";"18px";v2276=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2282=(v293+0);d132=fL(d1);"14px";d132.innerHTML="The answer is not unless they can see the future. And not just in a broad sense, but literally see it at full resolution, with clarity on every last detail. In the absence of such perfect foresight, how could any company possibly dictate the rules for future software without accidentally prohibiting things on which revolutionary new software might rely?";"left";"18px";v2298=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2304=(v293+0);d133=fL(d1);"14px";d133.innerHTML="The reality is that even the world’s most successful companies are rarely able to accurately predict the future. Computing history is littered with examples. Digital Equipment Corporation [] , once the second largest computer company in the world, failed to foresee the desktop computing revolution and now no longer exists even in name. Silicon Graphics [] , once the world’s leading 3D graphics hardware company, failed to foresee the consumerization of that hardware and was eventually forced to declare bankruptcy. ";"left";"18px";v2320=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2326=(v293+0);d134=fL(d1);"14px";d134.innerHTML="Despite thus far avoiding a similarly dire fate, Microsoft’s track record on predictions is no better. As Bill Gates famously admitted in the late 1990s:";"left";"18px";v2342=(v293+0);v293+=20;v2348=(v293+0);d135=fL(d1);d136=fL(d1);d137=fL(d1);"14px";d137.innerHTML="Sometimes we do get taken by surprise. For example, when the Internet came along, we had it as a fifth or sixth priority.";"left";"18px";"italic";d135.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d136.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v2399=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v2401=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v2403=(v2401-v2399);v2407=(v293-17);v2412=fM(((v293+fG(d137,v2403))-35),v2407);v293+=fG(d137,v2403);v293+=10;d138=fL(d1);"14px";d138.innerHTML="- Bill Gates, speaking at the University of Washington [] in 1998";"right";"18px";v2432=Mr((v2403/2));v293+=fG(d138,v2432);"14px";"18px";v2443=(v293+0);v293+=20;v2449=(v293+0);d139=fL(d1);"14px";d139.innerHTML="And Microsoft’s subsequent change at the helm hasn’t brought with it any improvement:";"left";"18px";v2465=(v293+0);v293+=20;v2471=(v293+0);d140=fL(d1);d141=fL(d1);d142=fL(d1);"14px";d142.innerHTML="There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.";"left";"18px";"italic";d140.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d141.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v2522=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v2524=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v2526=(v2524-v2522);v2530=(v293-17);v2535=fM(((v293+fG(d142,v2526))-35),v2530);v293+=fG(d142,v2526);v293+=10;d143=fL(d1);"14px";d143.innerHTML="- Steve Ballmer, in an interview with USA Today [] in 2007, where he predicted the iPhone would capture \"2 or 3%\" of the smartphone market";"right";"18px";v2555=Mr((v2526/2));v293+=fG(d143,v2555);"14px";"18px";v2566=(v293+0);v293+=20;v2572=(v293+0);d144=fL(d1);"14px";d144.innerHTML="Without accurate knowledge of the future, by definition the only way to avoid accidentally prohibiting innovation is to not meaningfully prohibit anything. So the only certification requirements Microsoft could draw up that would fully support the future would be ones that effectively certified anything developers could possibly create.";"left";"18px";v2588=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2594=(v293+0);d145=fL(d1);"14px";d145.innerHTML="At its heart, that is the very definition of an open ecosystem.";"left";"18px";v2610=(v293+0);v293+=30;v2616=(v293+0);d146=fL(d1);d147=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d146.innerHTML="A Small Concession [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v2636=(v293+0);d148=fL(d1);d149=fL(d1);d148.innerHTML="&nbsp";d149.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d149.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d149.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v2671=(v293+0);d150=fL(d1);"14px";d150.innerHTML="For any developer keen on creating the breakthrough software of the future, it should be abundantly clear that the closed nature of Windows 8’s new ecosystem will be catastrophic for the platform. There’s no question it should be opened. But developers aren’t the people in charge of the policies for Windows 8.";"left";"18px";v2687=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2693=(v293+0);d151=fL(d1);"14px";d151.innerHTML="So the more relevant question might be, can Microsoft afford to change course and allow Windows 8 apps to be distributed by anyone, not just the Windows Store?";"left";"18px";v2709=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2715=(v293+0);d152=fL(d1);"14px";d152.innerHTML="Taking the long view, Microsoft can’t afford not to change course. They are already behind in every consumer market category beyond the desktop, so there’s no room for error. If a new software innovation comes around and, say, Android is its primary platform because it has open distribution [] , that could easily lead to another “lost decade” for Microsoft as they once again play catch up.";"left";"18px";v2731=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2737=(v293+0);d153=fL(d1);"14px";d153.innerHTML="But corporations today don’t usually take the long view. Short-term profits and shareholder opinions are pressing, immediate concerns, and Microsoft is a public company held by numerous outside interests. So the question becomes, can Microsoft allow open distribution in Windows 8 without sacrificing revenue?";"left";"18px";v2753=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2759=(v293+0);d154=fL(d1);"14px";d154.innerHTML="Surprisingly, the answer is that there will be little or no revenue sacrificed from allowing open distribution in Windows 8. That may sound absurd, but if you read Microsoft’s publications carefully, you will find that it is true. Although Microsoft has closed the distribution system of the new Windows 8 ecosystem, they didn’t close the payment system. From Microsoft’s own developer agreement [] :";"left";"18px";v2775=(v293+0);v293+=20;v2781=(v293+0);d155=fL(d1);d156=fL(d1);d157=fL(d1);"14px";d157.innerHTML="In-app Commerce. You may elect to support purchasing options from within your app. You are not required to use Microsoft's commerce engine to support those purchases. If you choose to use Microsoft's in-app purchase commerce engine, purchases will be subject to the terms of this Agreement, including without limitation the Store Fee and licensing and roaming requirements.";"left";"18px";"italic";d155.innerHTML="“";"right";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d156.innerHTML="”";"#E0E0E0";"70px";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";v2832=(v30+(0.100000*v505));v2834=(v32+(-0.100000*v505));v2836=(v2834-v2832);v2840=(v293-17);v2845=fM(((v293+fG(d157,v2836))-35),v2840);v293+=fG(d157,v2836);"14px";"18px";v2856=(v293+0);v293+=20;v2862=(v293+0);d158=fL(d1);"14px";d158.innerHTML="As strange as it may sound, if a developer offers a limited application for free in the Windows Store, they may then sell, directly in the app, an upgrade or unlock to the full version for which they can accept payment directly. They do not need to pay Microsoft 20-30% royalties as with a Windows Store purchase. Thus any developer who wants to use a non-Microsoft payment system is free to do so. The only thing they can’t do is use a non-Microsoft distribution system, such as their own web page or store.";"left";"18px";v2878=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2884=(v293+0);d159=fL(d1);"14px";d159.innerHTML="So it is almost impossible to conceive of a circumstance where Microsoft would lose significant revenue by opening the distribution system since it has already opened the payment system, and substantively all the revenue comes from the payment system. The only revenue Microsoft would still make from the store for an application that did not use their commerce engine would be the variable one-time application fee of less than $100 per app (not per purchase). The Windows Store would have to lose 10,000-20,000 apps to open distribution every day in order for this to amount to even 1% of Microsoft’s revenue. For reference, the most popular app store in the world, Apple’s, is estimated to receive a total of fewer than 500 per day.";"left";"18px";v2900=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2906=(v293+0);d160=fL(d1);"14px";d160.innerHTML="Furthermore, the potential for migration of Windows Store customers from Microsoft to third party providers wouldn’t be any greater under open distribution. Anyone using the Windows Store as currently specified will be able to create an account with a third-party payment processor as part of any in-app purchase that supports it. Once they decide to make such an account, they can trivially use that account to pay for any other in-app purchase in all apps that support the same payment processor. The inertia of purchasing through a third party is only present the first time the user needs to use it. Open distribution would be no different. The Windows Store would remain the default source for Windows 8 apps, and only once the user decided to install and create an account with a third-party distribution source would the Windows Store lose its inertial advantage.";"left";"18px";v2922=(v293+0);v293+=15;v2928=(v293+0);d161=fL(d1);"14px";d161.innerHTML="Thus Microsoft has almost no financial incentive to disallow open distribution. Presumably, there must be other concerns underlying their decision to keep distribution closed. Is it to mitigate the threat of malware? Is it to prevent piracy? Is it to better manage their brand? Until Microsoft is explicit about its goals so its decision can be assessed against them, we can only speculate on the motives, and all the likely candidates have other straightforward solutions that don’t involve draconian policies like forcing users to only install Microsoft-approved software.";"left";"18px";v2944=(v293+0);v293+=30;v2950=(v293+0);d162=fL(d1);d163=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d162.innerHTML="Where We Go from Here [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v2970=(v293+0);d164=fL(d1);d165=fL(d1);d164.innerHTML="&nbsp";d165.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d165.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d165.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v3005=(v293+0);d166=fL(d1);"14px";d166.innerHTML="Experimentation on open platforms is one of the primary sources of innovation in the computer industry. There are no two ways about that. Open software ecosystems are what gave us most of what we use today, whether it’s business software like the spreadsheet, entertainment software like the first-person shooter, or world-changing revolutionary paradigms like the World Wide Web. It will be a much better world for everyone if this kind of innovation continues.";"left";"18px";v3021=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3027=(v293+0);d167=fL(d1);"14px";d167.innerHTML="Developers, consumers, and even Microsoft should want the next twenty years to look like the last twenty: year after year of great new and previously unattainable things, brought to you by motivated, creative developers who were free to go wherever their vision took them, knowing full well that if they made something great, there was no barrier between them and disseminating it to the world.";"left";"18px";v3043=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3049=(v293+0);d168=fL(d1);"14px";d168.innerHTML="With Windows 8, Microsoft is in a pivotal position to help make this future a reality. They could become one of the primary forces fighting to make tablet development as open as desktop development was under traditional Windows. They could take market share from the completely closed (and thoroughly dominant) iPad, and help restore to that space the freedom to innovate that developers lost when Apple imposed its restrictive policies.";"left";"18px";v3065=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3071=(v293+0);d169=fL(d1);"14px";d169.innerHTML="Or, Microsoft can ship Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro with their current policies in place, and be just another player in the touch device space, with their own set of ridiculous hurdles that severely constrain software possibilities and waste developer time with ill-conceived certification processes.";"left";"18px";v3087=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3093=(v293+0);d170=fL(d1);"14px";d170.innerHTML="Why take this risk? Why not bend over backwards to give developers an open platform, so that each and every one of them will be not just supportive, but actually enthusiastic to help Windows make inroads into the tablet space?";"left";"18px";v3109=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3115=(v293+0);d171=fL(d1);"14px";d171.innerHTML="The success of Windows 8 in the tablet and phone space is far, far from a sure thing. Does Microsoft really want to go into that battle without some of their biggest assets? Do they want the likes of Valve, controller of over 50% of all PC game sales, deciding to throw their weight behind Linux [] because the Windows 8 ecosystem completely prohibits third-party app stores like their flagship Steam? Do they really want the launch of Windows 8 plagued by story [] after story [] of notable developers coming out against the platform? And above all, are they willing to risk alienating developers to the point where they actively promote and foster competing operating systems as their flagship platforms because Windows no longer offers them the freedom to develop and distribute their software the way they choose?";"left";"18px";v3131=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3137=(v293+0);d172=fL(d1);"14px";d172.innerHTML="Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, they will realize the only sane answer to all of these questions is “no”.";"left";"18px";v3153=(v293+0);v293+=20;v3159=(v293+0);d173=fL(d1);d174=fL(d1);v3163=(v32-v30);v293+=fG(d174,v3163);d175=fL(d1);"#FFFFFF";"10.5pt";d175.innerHTML=" [] [] [] ";"right";v293+=fG(d175,v3163);"14px";d174.innerHTML="- Casey Muratori []
2012 October 8th";"right";"18px";v3193=(v293+0);v293+=30;v3199=(v293+0);d176=fL(d1);d177=fL(d1);"18pt";"Georgia,Georgia,serif";d176.innerHTML="Appendix A [] ";"140%";"#B23022";v3219=(v293+0);d178=fL(d1);d179=fL(d1);d178.innerHTML="&nbsp";d179.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d179.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d179.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=10;v3254=(v293+0);d180=fL(d1);"14px";d180.innerHTML="This appendix provides some brief statements about Windows 8 which were not explicitly covered in the article.";"left";"18px";v3270=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3276=(v293+0);d181=fL(d1);"14px";d181.innerHTML="All versions of Windows 8 are closed for Metro apps, not just Windows RT. Although aggressively disputed by a number of people outside Microsoft, the truth according to Microsoft itself is that no final version of Windows 8 will allow free dissemination of Metro apps outside of enterprise domains. I have documented this meticulously in Appendix B [] .";"left";"18px";v3292=(v293+0);d182=fL(d1);d183=fL(d1);d182.innerHTML="&nbsp";d183.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d183.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d183.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=15;v3327=(v293+0);d184=fL(d1);"14px";d184.innerHTML="But even if Windows RT was the only version of Windows with a closed ecosystem, this would still be extremely troubling. Windows RT could turn out to be the most popular Windows version in the tablet or phone spaces, and we need openness in those spaces just like we need it on the desktop. There is no reason to believe we should care less about the policies Microsoft implements on Windows RT than on rest of the Windows line.";"left";"18px";v3343=(v293+0);v293+=15;v3349=(v293+0);d185=fL(d1);"14px";d185.innerHTML="Even if the Windows 8 UI debuts poorly, that does not mean it won’t eventually become standard. In 1990, many (if not most) serious computer users probably thought Windows 3.0’s interface wasn’t very good either. But ten years later, its direct descendent was ubiquitous. So regardless of what Windows 8’s UI looks like today, simply because people don’t like it or don’t see its future doesn’t mean its grandchild might not be the dominant paradigm down the road. By that time it will be far too late to convince Microsoft to open its distribution model.";"left";"18px";v3365=(v293+0);d186=fL(d1);d187=fL(d1);d186.innerHTML="&nbsp";d187.innerHTML=" [] ";"0";"1";d187.onmouseover=function() { = 1.00;};d187.onmouseout=function() { = 0;};v293+=15;v3400=(v293+0);d188=fL(d1);"14px";d188.innerHTML="People who do not prefer to use the Windows 8 operating system may still be hurt if it remains closed. If Windows 8 becomes popular, most users will be forced to use it at least occasionally (such as at work), and most developers will be forced to support it due to market pressure. People who dislike the operating system will need it to be as open as possible so that they can install software that replaces features they feel are implemented poorly, something that may well be disallowed by future Windows Store policies (policies similar to these exist in the Apple App Store requirements already, for example).";"left";"18px";v3416=(v293+0);d189=fL(d1);d190=fL(d1);d189.innerHTML="&nbsp";d190.innerHTML="

Just deserts (2)

Dreamlandlocal (978245) | about 2 years ago | (#41675659)

This is probably very obvious, but the market is ultimately going to decide what is and what isn't a good idea. If the "walled garden" will be generating more profit for Microsoft than the (relatively) unrestricted status quo, then it flourishes and continues. If enough people reject the approach and go looking elsewhere for an OS, then perhaps Microsoft learn their lesson and revert.

I doubt that enough people are going to be annoyed by the restrictions and move to another platform. "It really isn't worth the hassle."

Nevertheless, if the gamer crowd can provide enough support for commercial linux game deveopment, my selfish self will be more than satisfied with the freedoms (or lack thereof) granted by Windows 8.

OT: x86 tablets (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41675677)

anyone got a list of x86 based tablets that can run Linux distros.

Re:OT: x86 tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675853)

All the ones that run windows8 should be bootable with another os...

Re:OT: x86 tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676625)

Most major linux distros have ARM port.

in the end (1)

heracross (2706015) | about 2 years ago | (#41675711)

in the end the best thing to benefit Microsoft's competition will not be anything they did but the dumb things Microsoft did

Sure, why not? (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41675779)

Why complain if Microsoft wants to shoot itself in the head?

Re:Sure, why not? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41676077)

Because the insides of heads make a huge mess.

Impact on online marketing (1)

mcolom (1202735) | about 2 years ago | (#41675783)

Nowadays everything goes through the search pages of google, thats why business everywhere spend milions on SEO and SEM. What will happen in an App store centric world?. Take for instance the travel industry, which relies heavely on online marketing. In the coming years the users would switch from searching for travel offers through google, to using their preferred travel apps. With the added benefit that apps have the potential to be more attractive and dynamic than HTML/Ajax websites. I think in the coming years there will be a transition, a switch from the browser to the app store as a mean to access the internet.

Imagine if IE was the only browser choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675805)

And you had to jailbreak to get another browser. But Apple gets away with it due to fanboys in government (look at the Google FTC threat).

If the EU forces Microsoft to disable secure boot on Windows RT devices and allow alternative apps then they will deserve their Nobel peace prize.

censorship, EU, anittrust, and other laws may stop (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41675841)

censorship, EU, anittrust, and other laws may stop MS from being able to lock it down.

MS is to big for them to get away with big time lock down and at best the only lock should be that the app does messes the rest of the system up.

I don't any 3rd party DRM system will work in MS s (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41675901)

I don't any 3rd party DRM system will work in MS store will work so no EA origin, no steam, no SafeDisc, , no StarForce, no SecuROM, no Impulse / GameStop App , no game tap.

we need to make windows 8 bomb so hard that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41675913)

we need to make windows 8 bomb so hard that they may need to have a SP 0.5 rushed out to have the old UI to come back.

Re:we need to make windows 8 bomb so hard that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675985)

Does anybody even care what Microsoft do any more ?

Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676007)

Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is fundamentally flawed ... in a way that is earning them millions and millions of dollars. Developers are putting up with it; consumers are putting up with it; there is no reason to think that other tablets shouldn't emulate the same walled garden approach.

Re:Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41676309)

Apple is like a supermodel. It (she) may be flawed, but nerds will always come back for more.

Microsoft is like the eldest daughter. The king has to pay some schmuck to marry her (so the knight in shining armor can sweep the hot younger sister away).

Re:Apple's walled garden approach to iOS is... (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41676975)

Apple is like a supermodel. It (she) may be flawed, but nerds will always come back for more.

Microsoft is like the eldest daughter. The king has to pay some schmuck to marry her (so the knight in shining armor can sweep the hot younger sister away).

Apple is like an ordinary girl who thinks she's a supermodel. Not that hot but has a terrible attitude, (princess/superiority complex). You pretty much cant ask her to do anything without a huge argument.

Microsoft is the girl with a serious self esteem problem. May not be good looking but wont say no to anything you want.

Linux is like a girl from SE Asia. Good attitude, good looks and reliable but occasionally can be very hard to understand.

duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676339)

not having any walls is more flawed. Nothing is perfect, but personally I'd rather have apps vetted rather than having to worry about it myself, if something is going to corrupt my system or is malware.

Incorrect Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676407)

Short version: MS has said anything OVER ESRB- Mature won't be allowed (aka Adults Only games):

Skyrim (and every game currently on the XBOX) would be allowed. I'm pretty against walled-gardens, but this is just plain wrong.

"Where am I?" "In the Village." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676899)

Walled? You can scale walls.

You can escape, never to return.

There is no escape from the Village.

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