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I am having a really hard time figuring this out. I am in the process of buying a new gaming computer, and I am trying to decide if I should jump to windows 8.

What I can't figure out is this: Is windows 8 a closed platform? Which is to say, can you install non-certified applications? I can't quite google a decisive answer it seems.

I have read that you can't install non-certified applications on the os, is this correct? What exactly are the limitations?

Ok, it seems I was confusing windows RT for tablets and windows 8 for pcs. That explains my confusion when I was reading up on this. I did not catch that they are seperate entities.

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closed as off-topic by Canadian Luke, Tog, gronostaj, Dave M, Breakthrough Jul 31 '13 at 17:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about computer hardware or software, within the scope defined in the help center." – Canadian Luke, Tog, Dave M
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You can install apps the old fashioned way with no issues. You do have to deal with metro apps (through the store) which are supposed to be approved by MS, but you shouldn't have too many issues gaming on windows 8. – Journeyman Geek Jul 30 '13 at 16:00
@JourneymanGeek - "Deal with" is pretty strong. You can get away with NEVER running a single metro application if you want. The applications on the Windows Store and the default applications provided by Microsoft ( Skype, Mail, ect ) will only get better with time. – Ramhound Jul 30 '13 at 16:14
@Martin could you edit your question to make it a bit more clear what you mean by "a closed platform"? An open-source advocate might argue that all Windows OSes are "closed platforms" because the source code is not available. On the other hand, if you're just wondering whether you can run arbitrary apps, that's a different question. It's not quite clear at the moment what you mean. – nhinkle Jul 30 '13 at 16:46
Metro is the only 'closed' aspect of windows from the OP's point of view I suspect. I think the main point I was trying to make is that there should be no issue whatsoever running games or anything else that would run on windows 7 or older, outside 16 bit software on a 64 bit spin of windows – Journeyman Geek Jul 30 '13 at 23:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You are confusing Windows 8 with Windows RT (which is a variant of Windows 8 family), which is running on some tablets with ARM processors, which can't run Win32 apps (all usual ones), only Windows Store apps, which is indeed is a closed platform, similar to Apple iOS.

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro can run both Win32 apps and Windows Store apps, so you are fine.

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I edited your answer - not all Microsoft Surfaces run Windows RT, and not all devices that run Windows RT are Microsoft Surfaces. The Surface Pro runs normal Windows 8 Pro, while the Surface RT (and a handful of other devices) run Windows RT. – nhinkle Jul 30 '13 at 16:45
@nhinkle k, what's was worth clarifying indeed. – Petr Abdulin Jul 31 '13 at 2:07
The one problem I had was that one day, you will install a standard 32/64 bit Windows program and suddenly Metro will totally collapse and most of your "apps" will fail to run. As long as your normal workflow doesn't depend on Metro, you should be ok till you have time to reinstall Windows 8. – Fiasco Labs Jul 31 '13 at 3:01

I'm not 100% sure, but it sounds like you're confusing Apps for Windows 8 with regular programs. Apps are the little helper programs and the like, inspired by all the various mobile apps. These do need to be approved and come through Microsoft's store, the same way that apps on an iPhone or OS X need to go through Apple.

Regular programs and applications have the same limitations as Windows 7 - you might see unverified warnings and the like, but you can generally install whatever you want (for better or worse).

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You cannot publish a non-certified app to the Windows Store. You cannot use the Windows logo on your packaging and marketing if your app/desktop application is not certified.

You can run non-certified programs on Windows 8 though.

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You could never use a Windows logo on your packaging without Microsoft's permission. You can also run your own unpublished Window Store applications if you want. – Ramhound Jul 30 '13 at 16:13
Ramhound, I don't disagree. I was only saying what the difference in Certified vs non-certified was. You are 100% correct, you have always since Windows started, needed certification to use the logo. The only thing unique to Windows 8/RT is the store (which existed before, but is now central to the use of Windows) which requires certification. I do believe I said that you can run an unpublished (and even uncertified) app. – Rod MacPherson Jul 30 '13 at 16:20
You can only run unpublished/uncertified if you have a Windoews Store Certificate which is free. What costs money is the rights to publish the application. I took your non-certified statement as a reference to the fact Windows 8 supports unsigned Windows Desktop applications. – Ramhound Jul 30 '13 at 17:16

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