Windows 8- The App Store

September 26, 2011

Windows 8- The App Store Microsoft, through Windows 8 has come up with a very innovative way of introducing the long awaited app store. We are well aware of the ‘app store’ concept from Apple. Microsoft has decided to incorporate this concept with the new Windows 8 OS. The difference between Microsoft and Apple ‘app store’ is their security. What is an App Store? You will be familiar with this concept if you have used an Apple computer or a smartphone. An App store is a place where in you can download all applications that work only on the underlying platform. You can consider it a supermarket of applications that only relate to the platform you are using. Apple first came up with this concept and it has become a huge hit ever since. The latest Windows phones 7 handset too have incorporated this idea and the feedback is overwhelming. How is sandbox related to securing my PC? Windows 8 introduces the sandbox technique to maximize the security of the system against corrupt applications. It is easy to understand the working of the sandbox concept. Have you ever watched children playing in a sandbox? The child is only allowed to play within the sandbox and does not have to make a mess around the sandbox. In the same manner, applications are sandboxed or guarded so that if a particular application fails it does not affect the entire system. To sandbox an application is to create a whole new dimension for the application. It is like in a big room, a small corner is provided for the application, and if anything goes wrong with the application, it will only affect that corner and nothing else. It is important to note that because Windows 8 is making use of the sandboxing technique and the applications available in the Microsoft App store will have very limited access to them.

Yes the chances of a failed or corrupt application causing hindrance to the underlying platform is one in thousand. It may only take place if the application is huge or the crash is a severe one. With the sandbox technique, the chances of your system crashing because of an application failure are all the more negligible. Is it worth for Microsoft to do so much then? All I can say is that everyone is entitled to his own opinion. At least they are providing an App store in Windows 8 that is something to look forward too. Security has its advantages and disadvantages. As security increases, user-friendliness of the operating system reduces. Let me put this in simpler terms. If you want to increase your security, you have to reduce your internet access. However, if you access internet frequently, then your system is more open to attacks and you stay with your fingers crossed regarding the security. The other downfall of having top-notch security is that it affects programmers. Programmers need full authority over the system. They need their freedom to experiment and innovate. However, the problem that arises with high security is that it blocks majority of applications and services thus asking programmers to design and create using only limited features. Will Windows 8 finally make life easy for an application programmer? The answer is not out yet. Microsoft is launching Windows 8 in two different versions, the Desktop one and the Metro one. The Metro based OS is very strict when it comes to security. The desktop version is the familiar version that we are well aware. The Metro version put more restrictions on programmers since the applications have to be developed and created keeping the sandbox technique in mind. The sandbox model is rumored to be only available on the Metro version of windows 8 OS.]]>

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Mike Johnson is a writer for The Redmond Cloud - the most comprehensive source of news and information about Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Cloud. He enjoys writing about Azure Security, IOT and the Blockchain.

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