Is Windows 8 platform a closed ecosystem. I haven't tried the new OS until now, but willing to do so in near future. Before proceeding, I need to know this very important fact regarding the OS.

Will I be able to install application out of the marketplace or get restricted with it?

The OS looks impressive fast and I use it on my cellphone. Getting restricted on cellphone is bearable but when it comes to PC, freedom is the state of art. If I lose that, then things will get hell lot murkier. Mobiles, tablets are casual business devices but real workspace is and will be PC(notebooks included). So, clear my doubts regarding this very fact


Yes and no. Modern/Metro/Windows Store apps can only be installed from the Windows store for normal users. However, enterprise users are allowed to do what's called "side-loading" to install their own apps without the need for using the store. Also, developers can use their own certificates to install their own apps for testing purposes.

Win32 apps (legacy desktop apps) work just as they did in Windows 7 and earlier on x86/x64 machines. ARM based OS's (Windows 8 RT and Windows Phone 8) do not allow legacy apps to be installed (x86 apps aren't compatible with the ARM architecture, and Microsoft has not licensed the ARM compilers to allow desktop app development on ARM based systems).

  • I am really skeptical of this strategy. This is insane not only for developers but users too. Who is Microsoft to certify any application to be good or not. And why should user follow Microsoft route for doing anything with their PC. – Pankaj Upadhyay Nov 9 '12 at 12:39
  • People far better with security and Windows 8 than myself have already been able to side-load applications on non-enterprise versions of Windows 8. Obviously, it's a hack. ;) – Shaamaan Nov 9 '12 at 13:34
  • @PankajUpadhyay - Microsoft is not certifying that any application is "good" or not, just that it has passed their compliance tests (ie, it runs without crashing on all platforms, adapts to specific screen sizes, etc..). – Erik Funkenbusch Nov 9 '12 at 16:56
  • @PankajUpadhyay: I hope you feel the exact same way about Apple/iOS, which is well-known for its walled garden approach (I believe the words people sometimes use to describe it are "arbitrary" and "draconian"). – Karan Nov 9 '12 at 19:43

You can only install Modern UI Apps (or Windows Store Apps, depending on who at MS you ask) from the Windows Store. But you can install normal desktop applications just fine the old way. In fact, those cannot be purchased or installed at all through the Windows Store.

If you are a developer there are methods of testing your own applications and in companies and other similar environments you can install custom apps without the Windows Store too. But for normal users that's about it.

  • That means down the line, Microsoft will decide the fate on PC usage for all. Applications developed for Windows 8 and future OS will have to come via Windows store or obsolete. – Pankaj Upadhyay Nov 9 '12 at 12:34
  • Normal Windows applications are not affected and I very much doubt that Microsoft will obsolete them in any way (except for ARM devices running Windows RT, which they did already). Modern UI Apps will have to be distributes through the Windows Store, indeed. – Joey Nov 9 '12 at 12:40
  • Yes, that's my point. Why would Modern UI Applications need to pass Microsoft certification. Lets hope they rethink this strategy or people will stick to Windows 7 for once and all – Pankaj Upadhyay Nov 9 '12 at 12:47
  • Because people cannot use Modern UI Apps at all on Windows 7 and can choose to not use them on Windows 8 as well. I'm not sure I follow your line of reasoning. – Joey Nov 9 '12 at 12:53
  • I think the idea is that few developers will have the time and resources to create applications that pass MS certification just so they can get reach a smaller (at this time) group of clients. I agree with Pankaj and I do not like where this is headed one bit. :/ – Shaamaan Nov 9 '12 at 13:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.