back to article How Project Centennial brings potentially millions of desktop apps to the Windows 10 Store

The Windows 10 Store will include traditional Windows desktop applications, thanks to Microsoft's Project Centennial (Project C). It was iOS and Android support in Windows 10 that grabbed attention when announced at Microsoft's Build developer event last week, but Project C may be more significant. The thinking behind it goes …

  1. thtechnologist

    As long as I can "sideload" anything I want, they can do what they will with the store. It seems that people like a single place to get software these days anyway.

    Are people really still having issues with app dependancies and "vomit" all over the system? I haven't dealt with any issues like that in YEARS while supporting a few thousand users in several environments in that time.

    1. SecretSonOfHG

      "I haven't dealt with any issues like that in YEARS while supporting a few thousand users in several environments in that time."

      You have been very, very lucky. From inept government agencies mandating the use of ancient ActiveX technologies to submit tax forms to specialized niche apps that still want to read its configuration from .ini files in the C:\Windows folder, there are many, many examples of vomit inducing Windows apps out there.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        many examples of vomit inducing Windows apps

        What, METRO?

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      "Are people really still having issues with app dependancies and "vomit" all over the system? I haven't dealt with any issues like that in YEARS while supporting a few thousand users in several environments in that time."

      Was thinking the same myself. Seems like someone is stuck in the Windows 95 days!

  2. MooJohn

    Choices? Who needs choices?!

    "We really got it mixed up with Win32. We kinda let you do anything," Sheehan said.

    You mean that for 20+ years we could do what we wanted to with out computers, without needing Microsoft's approval? Oh, the horror!

    MS knows that their only profit will come from an app store and they'll do anything to force that upon us. Nothing provides full control over what people can do like a single point of access -- just ask Apple.

    1. Neil Alexander

      Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

      "You mean that for 20+ years we could do what we wanted to with out computers, without needing Microsoft's approval? Oh, the horror!"

      Microsoft are not stopping you from doing what you want with your computer. They are just putting what you want to do with your computer into logically isolated sandboxes. That way when you do something with your computer, it will not be as likely to break other things on your computer. Makes enough sense in my mind.

      1. Craigness

        Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

        I'd like to see a Venn diagram of "people who think all 3rd party applications should be able to install drivers and rootkits, read any file and connect to the internet silently" and "people who don't trust their data in the cloud".

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

        The thing is, though, that many of us don't trust MS to stop there. They get a cut of each program sold through the MS store, but not from ones that don't. See where they could be going with this? They've already got an update framework that delivers updates whether you want them or not, and if you want to use "unofficial" means to block them, you're also skipping every bug fix and security update. It would be really easy for them to slip in some changes that make it more of a pain to run those Win32 programs that "let you do whatever you want," then some more, then some more.

        MS has squandered any trust they had earned back since the dark days of the browser wars. The new Microsoft is a lot like the old Microsoft; the main change is that it directs its ugliness toward its core customers rather than its competitors. Yay?

    2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

      Well it's not only that under Win32 you can do what you want with your computer. You can also do what you want with your users' computers, which is not so cool.

      Windows Store puts some limits to that, and being able to package your application to Store means that your users will, well, have little less to worry about when installing your application.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

      "We really got it mixed up with Win32. We kinda let you do anything," Sheehan said.

      Because Win16 and DOS had highly-structured sandboxed applications.

    4. joed

      Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

      It's not only an issue of MS approval to get an app(lication) and getting revenue cut (as if they deserved mnore) but also the issue of constant supervision that comes with centralized store model. I don't enjoy the idea of another big brother having complete overview of all my activities. They better work harder to know it all.

    5. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

      >You mean that for 20+ years we could do what we wanted to with out computers, without needing Microsoft's approval? Oh, the horror!

      I think he means apps can mess with the OS rather than being segregated. e.g. install as admin, overwrite ntkernel.exe. Admin might get the rights to do anything, but software installers (he was talking to devs) should not.

      He's right. I seem to think Nokia's IPSO mounts the OS partition read-only, which I always thought was a good idea.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

        For one, I'd like to see submissions to Windows Store accepted free for free code. Given that you can also have current Visual C++ for free, allowing users to build the binary from the sources downloaded from Store, this could be even in the source form. This would make it more similar to code repository of a typical Linux distribution.

        Well, one can only dream.

    6. j0rdan

      Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

      "You mean that for 20+ years we could do what we wanted to with out computers, without needing Microsoft's approval? Oh, the horror!"

      and you still can do what you want with your own computers, they arent removing that ability one bit.

      They are however providing an avenue for users to install applications with assurance that it wont brake other things.

      Not all users are confortable with the install, update and removal process for applications, and anyway to make this simpler for those users can only be agood thing and in the end will help keep all of our systems more secure.

      Although Im sure I will continue with the traditional method of obtaining and installing my software (as Im sure most reading this will), I really hope the Windows store turns out a success, that way my future visits to friends and family will no longer include a half hour segment of me updating Adobe Flash, again.

  3. Irongut

    If an app bloats your registry and screws qith other apps when uninstalled it should be black listed. There is no reason to do any of these things except bad developers who don't understand the system. I'm looking at you ArcMap.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      You are, of course, perfectly right.

      Sadly you are also in the minority as developers go, in particular if you have XP-era (or older) software that you need to run. Even a lot of MS's older stuff flouted their own "good practice" guides!

    2. Craigness

      Reviews

      It's hard to find reviews for software not in an app store. Where would your blacklist be, and who would control it?

  4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Interesting development. But for now I will stick to a handful of VMs with XP and the strange win32 stuff I can't get on other platforms.

  5. JP19

    Copying vmware again?

    AppV sounding pretty much identical to vmware ThinApp.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Copying vmware again?

      Actually other way around, sort of. They both bought companies, MS in 2006 (Softicity), VMware in 2008 (Jitit). I liked the Softricity Softgrid right off the start. It took a while for Microsoft to actually do anything with it and I still believe they bought it to kill a competitor to Terminal Server. Guess you can't keep a good notion down, especially when VMware makes the "same thing" available in the marketplace. I still like it, it's the insane cost for the hardware and software requirements before looking at the licenses that puts it on the next continent rather than on the table.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copying vmware again?

      except App-V was around a while before ThinApp - MS bought Softricity in 2006, whence App-V comes. interwebs say thinapp was launched in 2008.

  6. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Of course there is a thing like an App

    Unless you are a total idiot using really bad tools, it's trivial to create a statically linked win32 executable which does everything you want it to do. Delphi and Lazarus do it by default and I'm sure most other IDEs will allow you to do the same easily.

    And while you may be excused in the 1990s for thinking that using the "Registry" is a good idea, you should have learned by now that it's not.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Of course there is a thing like an App @Christian Berger

      Please explain why the registry not a good idea. Is it the binary nature that scares thee?

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: why the registry not a good idea

        Because it get f#&ked up so easily.

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Of course there is a thing like an App @Christian Berger

        "Please explain why the registry not a good idea. Is it the binary nature that scares thee?"

        Well first of all since it's binary it cannot be easily edited. If the GUI on your Windows machine won't load, you cannot edit your registry. If your GUI won't load properly because of a problem in your registry you cannot mend it without huge effort.

        Then there are obvious usability aspects. The registry is not really discoverable. You can only see entries that are there and there is no way to write comments. If you look at a typical configuration file it'll have all of its documentation inside of that file.

        Ohh and BTW, since the registry is Windows only, you are giving yourself a mayor hurdle when you want to port your software. Since there are now very decent cross platform RAD solutions out there, limiting yourself to just one platform is rather disadvantageous.

  7. Bassey

    Sounds good, but

    I see a conflict between this approach and MSs current sales drive towards low-end hardware for tablets. There are currently a load of $150-$300 Windows 8.1 tablets that work perfectly well, performance wise, as long as you are very careful with your storage. They all come with just 32GB of storage built-in plus MicroSD expansion. But the expansion can only be used for data. You have to install apps into storage. By the time you've done a full install of Windows and Office, and the manufacturer has taken up space with the recovery drive, you are often left with just 7GB or less.

    If apps are no longer sharing resources (and that is clearly a good thing) and are now being wrapped in a virtual container they are just going to get bigger and bigger. That's fine for your desktops and laptops which come with almost limitless storage but could make your "Windows 10 capable" tablet rather less capable than you'd been anticipating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds good, but

      Can't you hack it a bit and put a junction in to point to the sd card?

      1. Bassey

        Re: Sounds good, but

        Yes, but do you want to try explaining that to Bud and Britney who just bought a $150 windows tablet from Walmart for little Bud Jnr, accepted the Windows App Store's recommendation to automatically install the free update to Windows 10 (hell, it's free, right?) and are now getting frequent crashes and "out of Memory" errors?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much more confusing options can Microsoft add to developing windows apps?!

    So am I right in saying Project C apps are Win32 (although have universal app API somehow)? and there for are not so hardware agnostic as true universal apps?

  9. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    Portableapps.com

    problem solved

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