Microsoft copies Apple in Windows mobile lock in

Microsoft has decided that it is a rather good idea to copy one of Apple’s most annoying features.

The people at Vole will restrict general distribution of Metro apps to the Windows Store, just like Apple does with its iTunes.

Redmond will grant exceptions to enterprises and developers, allowing them to side-load applications onto Windows 8 devices, but it does mean that users are going to be locked into one site for software.

According to Microsoft’s website the distribution of traditional desktop software will be the same as it ever was.

But when it comes to Metro apps, the world has a different face. They will only be distributed through the Windows Store and must pass certification so that users download and try apps with “confidence in their safety and privacy.”

What this means is that Microsoft will have to censor the applications. If it makes a rule that it checks software, then it opens itself to every religious nutcase in the world who wants people to live their lives according to their rules. No mention of ladies’ ankles, nothing which talks about evolution or the use of curs’n and cuss’n.

Parents groups can also lobby for the exclusion of software which they believe will damage their precious little snow flakes. This is exactly what happened in the iTunes world.

It also leaves Microsoft vulnerable to the risky world of jailbreaks and workarounds to allow side-loading.

Meanwhile, Google’s Android makes it a doddle for any user to install non-market applications from either third-party app stores such as Amazon’s or by downloading software directly from an app maker’s website.

There are questions about how much cash Vole will take from app payments. At one point a 30 percent figure was originally posted, but was later pulled.