Today is a big day for Microsoft as they will announce and possibly open the Windows Store. The Windows Store will be the equivalent to the Mac Appstore for Windows but will only include Metro Style apps and not legacy Apps (everything we use today…). Interestingly also today we will get the Fall Update for the XBOX Dashboard which is supposedly also connected to the same Store Backend.
At the same time Microsoft now officially announced there will be Office for the iPad, but still without a date.
I assume it will be comparable to a Metro Office coming together with the first Windows 8 Tablets and therefore not cannibalizing Microsoft's own market. And interestingly enough those first tablets might run on ARM without the legacy desktop – it seems that is now the most plausible rumor as MS has stated before that todays applications would not run on ARM – so why not get rid of the desktop altogether and just sell a real tablet OS.
And finally licensing will get confusing as Office for iOS will be priced similar to the iWork Apps from Apple (9,99$). This would mean also the Metro Apps would be around that price range – but Metro Apps from the Windows Appstore are allowed to be installed on 5 machines. So this falls between the free Office products of today (Office Starter, Office WebApp, Office Mobile) and the Home/Student and the Small Business Editions. However all of these have different licensing rules (and that does not include yet any Office version we run in the Enterprise). It will be interesting how Microsoft puts it altogether.
So, possibly today we’ll get to see the Windows Store, tonight I am downloading the Dashboard Update on my XBOX and supposedly not at CES in January but in February we will see the first Beta of Windows 8. Last rumor I heard is that Windows 8 is not late and will be general available in August – to be honest I still believe it will be 2013.