Microsoft's Windows 8 Plans Include An Online App Store

The plan to develop the online store feature was disclosed late Wednesday in a "Building Windows 8" blog posting by Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live division. Microsoft launched the blog earlier this week to keep customers and partners informed about Windows 8 development progress.

Apple launched its Mac App Store, a digital distribution platform for Mac OS X, in January. Users can use the Web site to download Apple and third-party software for their Mac computers. The store was modeled on Apple's wildly successful App Store for applications that run on the company's iPhone and iPad devices.

While Microsoft operates an online application store where customers can buy Office and other Microsoft products, it doesn't offer third-party software as Apple's sites do. An online Windows 8 store would be a boost for ISVs who build apps for the desktop operating system.

Sinofsky didn't offer details about the planned application store. He referred to it in a blog entitled "Introducing the Team," in which he outlined the structure of the Windows 8 development team. The executive described the development effort as "a fairly broad project made up of a set of coordinated smaller projects." The Windows 8 organization has about 35 feature teams, each with anywhere from 25 to 40 developers, he said. "App Store" was second on the list of feature teams mentioned by Sinofsky.

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