“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.”
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