The problem with Microsoft trying to be Apple

“Microsoft is aiming to do something wildly different to beat Apple. At the same time, Microsoft is also trying to copy a very successful business model to be Apple,” David Goldman writes for CNNMoney. “When Windows 8 debuts this fall, Microsoft will launch a curated app store for Windows software. For the first time, the primary way Windows users will get third-party applications will be through Microsoft itself.”

“Though lucrative, the app store model can also be restrictive. Apps have to be approved, and cynics point out that app store curators could block competitors’ apps. For instance, it took Apple more than a year to allow Google Voice on the iPhone, a move it only made after government regulators started asking very pointed questions,” Goldman writes. “When Windows RT users switch to desktop mode, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer will be the only browser option. That’s similar to how Apple once operated — Safari was the only browser it allowed on the iPhone for years — but developers cite it as an ominous sign. Welcome to the curated world of Windows.”

Goldman writes, “There’s something uncomfortable about Microsoft, convicted a decade ago of using its monopolistic power to illegally squash rivals, holding veto rights over its customers’ computing experience. Apple, the benevolent tyrant ruling the iEverything universe, has trained us to cede control on tablets and smartphones — something millions of customers do happily. The twist here is the way the device lines are blurring. Apple still keeps its Mac and iOS realms separate. Microsoft wants to collapse mobile devices and the desktop into one ecosystem. Will the Apple model work on traditional PCs? Thanks to Microsoft, we’re about to find out.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. The problem with Microsoft trying to be Apple is that you can’t lead by following. Anyone who drives on the interstate knows that.

    Copying Apple means you are always one version behind.

    Complaining about Apple’s secrecy is pointless. Every company has the right to keep its proprietary and competitive information private.

    To Microsoft, Samsung, Dell, and the others: Get an original thought.

  2. The purpose of the company is to make money for its investors. They don’t need to kill Apple to do that. That’s sales rally talk out of control. All they need is a growing market share.

    Why would I buy a product that is designed to be a weapon in a war between corporations? I don’t want to buy a product that meets Microsoft’s needs or Samsung’s needs. I need a product that meets my needs. Make one of those, and you’re set.

  3. The problem with Microsoft is that it is the Titanic waiting for the iceberg. It can’t maneuver, it can’t speed up, and it can’t call for help. It’s just steaming forward rearranging deck chairs until a large enough hole gets blown in its side that it sinks.

  4. I hope for MS’s customers sanity they either dump the submission process and/or give up taking 30% out of every developers pocket.

    That is the one aspect of Apple that no one needs to emulate. biggest scam ever.

    1. Totally disagree with you saying it is the biggest scam ever. Some would even argue that it is the best deal out there. Millions of people have access to your apps by going to the app store, and you don’t even need to spend any money in advertising, promotion, or web design. If it’s such a scam, then why did Amazon, google, RIM, Microsoft, and every other phone/tablet manufacturer copy Apple’s app store? The main difference between them is that there are dozens of so called app stores but there is only one App Store. You can grab any apple device and find top quality apps all in one place. With android, there are dozens of places and they all provide sub par applications. Total fragmentation from their O/S to their apps. Really!

      1. Id agree with this if as a dev you weren’t completely locked into apples model.

        You have no choice in their scheme.

        Everyone copied it because it cut them into 30% of all software profits

        1. But everyone knows this going in, both the developers and the customers. And for many this is part of the attraction…

          It’s like buying a really nice coffee machine: you can’t buy a really nice coffee machine that uses the nespresso-licensed capsule system and then complain that you can’t put senseo coffee pads or your own ground coffee in it instead. You’ve got a capsule coffee machine; deal with it and enjoy the coffee.

    2. Did you know that before Apple, it was 30/70 with the developer getting the 30%.

      Also the fee to become a developer was much higher and you’re limited by how many apps you can submit. They charged developers to submit updates too.

      It was so difficult that the creators of Angry Bird couldn’t even get in on the mobile app action until Apple came and changed everything.

    3. I’m a developer. Still not an iOS developer.

      But I can say, I’m willing to pay a 30% sales comission to Apple (or any sales rep) to sell my product. Considering the Apple Store market size, I dont see it as a scam, but as a fair business deal: I make it, they sell it. It’s a win-win situation.

    4. Scam? Back in the 1980’s I wrote software and licensed it to a company that sold about 20K copies at $24.95. My royalties? About $5K, about 1% of the gross. The marketer did the production, distribution, and marketing for me, so they could demand that kind of an arrangement. Compare that to Apple doing all the production and marketing and leaving 70% for the author. You gotta be kidding me! Scam? Hardly!

    5. They’re not taking 30% out of developers’ pockets… They’re putting 70% into their pockets.

      Do you think advertising, distribution, and hosting cost nothing?

      Add up the cost of a traditional sales model, whether it be brick and mortar, or some other third party, and they are way better off with Apple.

      If that were not true, do you really think there would be this many developers offering their goods in the App Store?

  5. Okay, is there anyone out there who didn’t know Microsoft would do this the instant they laid eyes on the Mac App Store? Anyone?

    Monkey boy see, monkey boy do. That’s Microsoft’s way.


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.