All about apps
It looks very much like Microsoft have taken a look at Apple and just thought "ooh yeah, app store" in the same way uk.gov looks over the pond, sees ideas that appear to work, but only pick the headline components rather than the bits that make it work as they take time and money. They've seen Apple taking a slice of the post OS sale profits action and want a slice, only in typical MS fashion they haven't thought it through very hard at all, leading to a mish mash system designed to support something they want to sell (surface + app store), rather than designing something punters actually want. Inevitably, nothing really joins up properly and as usual users are expected to do things the MS way for no better reason than 'just because' - the ribbon in office still causes much wailing, and for no real gain I can perceive.
They might just change their minds for Windows 9; they have recent form here. Having discontinued their incredibly successful (and profitable) Flight simulator series with the tenth version - a successful ecosystem, but one in which MS did not profit from the addons, only the original game. Then, out of the blue, MS suddenly did a bit of an about turn and released "Flight" . Yes, a flight sim with an attached "Marketplace, AKA app store. It looked pretty, but the underlying model was extremely poor and simplistic, there were virtually no add ons at launch (meaning you were stuck in a rather pretty Hawaii), and with the "we approve add ons and take a fat slice of your profits for no benefit to you devs" model, the small developers - often working for free - that had made previous FS iterations a success were clearly not biting at all. To nobodys real surprise (after an extremely lukewarm public response), only 6 months down the track, they pulled it entirely, after what must have been a great deal of work and money spent.
I think it says a great deal about where MS are; except in fits and starts (kinect for one) they don't really have any big, quality ideas of their own any more, and they don't even have the attention to detail to get the ones they borrow from elsewhere to work properly. They're happy to routinely dump things without thought (MSFS; visual basic in Mac office, now reinstated four years later,; WHS; prior to that Drive Extender in WHS 2011) or put out half baked, half finished ideas (app store with everything) as finished product, then like as not pull it. The list of swift 180s is endless, and as for Windows mobile...
If Win 8 is "incoherent" as the article subhead suggests, its a good metaphor for pretty much everything MS does these days. The real danger, with everyone so sadly reliant on their output, is that they become like a steroid charged Yahoo from hell; another vast, cash rich, influential company with no sense of direction rampaging across the IT landscape, picking up and dropping ideas without rationale and doing very real damage to users, businesses and IT as a whole on its way to the grave.