CES: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

CES: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

Summary: On the day Microsoft is expected to show off its first public glimpse of Windows 8 (at the Consumer Electronics Show this evening), there are a couple of new Windows 8 codenames circulating: Mosh and Jupiter.

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CES 2011

On the day Microsoft is expected to show off its first public glimpse of Windows 8 (at the Consumer Electronics Show this evening), there are a couple of new Windows 8 codenames circulating.

Windows Supersite's Paul Thurrott published a few tidbits about "Mosh" and "Jupiter" on January 5. Mosh is the alleged tile-based shell which will be part of Windows 8, and "Jupiter" is a new application model for Windows 8, according to Thurrott.

The tile-based shell concept is intriguing, if true. (I did a quick search for "Mosh" references and found a number of incoming "Mosh" search terms pointing to a Windows8Beta page about the Windows 8 UI, lending at least some credence to the idea that "Mosh" is real.) If Microsoft does add a tile-based interface to Windows 8, Microsoft will go some way toward addressing the folks, like yours truly, who really wanted to see a Windows Phone 7 experience on tablets and slates, rather than a pure Windows one. Microsoft so far has balked at allowing OEMs to port the Windows Phone operating system to slates and tablets, requiring them to use full-fledged Windows, instead.

But I'm even more interested in the rumored Jupiter information. Thurrott has heard that Jupiter is a new app model for Windows 8. What does this mean? From Thurrott's post:

"The (Win 8) app store will provide access to new, Silverlight based 'immersive' applications that are deployed as AppX packages (.appx). The Windows and Office teams are betting very heavily on this new app type, according to my source, and development has already begun using a beta version of Visual Studio 2012. These apps can be written in C#, Visual Basic, and even C++."

I have checked a bit and hear that Jupiter is, indeed, real (though the Softies aren't commenting on it officially). Microsoft has used Jupiter as a codename a few times previously, but this is supposedly something new and different and Windows 8 related.

Why is Jupiter potentially a big deal? We know, thanks to some leaked Windows 8 slides from last April, that Microsoft is readying an app store for Windows 8. The company has to do this if it really does plan to optimize Windows 8 for slates and tablets, among other form factors. But how does Microsoft populate this store -- especially if it wants to avoid the "Armageddon" that Apple is about to launch among its own developers (as my ZDNet blogging colleague David Gewirtz described it)?

If Microsoft could find a way to package up Silverlight apps, including possibly those that are being built for Windows Phone 7, and make those available alongside HTML5 apps and sites in the Windows 8 store, it could potentially make a lot of Windows 8 store apps available when Windows 8 launches. (I'd expect the Softies to ban Windows Presentation Foundation apps from the store, so as to avoid the pricing nightmare and developer cannibalization threatning Apple's developers.)

We also know from the Windows 8 slide leak that Microsoft is working to improve the servicing model with Windows 8. Servicing, in this case, means the way applications and services (remember the mysterious "Windows Web Services" that are part of Microsoft's future plans for Windows?) are installed and updated. If Jupiter can help Microsoft streamline this updating process for its own and third-party applications, that would be a big win for Windows 8, as well.

From what I hear, Microsoft isn't going to have a single app store (that will be common to Xbox, Windows 8 and Windows Phone) any time soon. That's a longer-term goal, but unlikely in the Windows 8 timeframe. I wonder if the idea is to have Jupiter establish the groundwork for all of these app stores, as Microsoft works on merging them....

Do I think CEO Steve Ballmer is going to show off the Windows 8 UI or talk about Jupiter during his CES keynote tonight? I'd be very very surprised. I'll be watching (and blogging it) starting at 9:30 p.m. ET tonight.

Topics: Microsoft, Apps, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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23 comments
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  • It's too early

    To show off any kind of UI changes.

    But this does sound intriguing, hopefully we'll see a dedicated tablet version of Windows here. Might look nice on the new ASUS EEE Pad that was just shown off too.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Interesting

    Hard to tell with all the information coming out about Windows 8 today what is real or not...<br><br>http://www.windows8update.com
    Ammalgam
    • Jupiter

      I am more certain about Jupiter being real than Mosh... I can get internal nods about Jupiter; I don't know anything beyond what I posted re: Mosh... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • WOW HOW INNOVATIVE!!!

    A Windows App store!!! Gee, Ballmer you are so innovative!!!
    cyberslammer2
    • You talk as if your brains are bubble gum.

      @cyberslammer2

      "A Windows App store!!! Gee, Ballmer you are so innovative!!!"

      Hmmm...

      If I gather the implications in your comment I gather it was sarcasm you are shooting for, if thats the case you got it. I also suspect that it just wasn't supposed to be sarcasm for nothing more then mindless pointless sarcasm, if thats the case you missed by a country mile because that comment really has nothing to it beyond sarcasm.

      Was your point that because Apple has an App store and became famous for it first that nobody else should have one because it wouldn't be innovative because its been done? If so, thats ghastly illogical. You know who had an App store long before Apple, and still does, and it smashes the crap out of Apples App store and probably always will?

      http://download.cnet.com/windows/

      Thats who. of course the Apple Jacks will discount that in any way they can, but it matters little because reality does exist despite the protestations of the "We Hate Windows Gang".

      I guess when Jobs came out with the Apple App store it really wasn't so innovative and he just shouldn't have bothered. I guess Google should just roll up in a ball and die too as no way no how can they hope to compete with Apple.

      NOT.

      You know, sometimes people who do have some intelligence just seem too easily ready to let their brain drift away when they see an opportunity to make a snide or sarcastic remark, even when that remark has absolutely zero value beyond its own scathing sarcasm. And just like bubble gum those kinds of comments have so little value in the long run, after you have got out of it what little it had to offer you spit out what is almost the entirety of what it started out as. And thats because its tasteless and has no value.
      Cayble
      • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

        @Cayble
        I like you.
        Darkninja962
      • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

        @Cayble

        Well said and I am guessing you are new here since Cyber*er* (there are several incarnations of this person) has the IQ of the pen sitting in front of me, so save your fingers from typing replies to him and just let him get back to his shift at Denny's... :-)

        Pat
        omdguy
      • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

        @Cayble I think what he means with the sarcasm is not that Apple is any better but that while an app store is a good thing, Microsoft should have had it in place already. Apple and Android both had the store first, then the phone; Microsoft released a phone and then brought out the app store to support it, this shows a lack of understanding about what drives the smart phone market. It is another botch up comparable to releasing a Windows OS (even phone OS) without the benefit of cut and paste and many other things that proved disappointing. Certain things are just expected to be there. Contrary to your statement Windows "bashing" is not just Apple fans anymore. Many Windows fans have been equally bitter about Ballmer's apparent lacks of good judgment; especially in regards to marketing. He's an old school salesman and technology unfortunately is not a car. You can't use those kinds of sly sales tactics and keep figuring once the software and hardware leaves the lot it isn't your problem anymore.
        Socratesfoot
      • @Cyberknobslobber

        OWNED. TWICE.
        SonofaSailor
  • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

    No.
    james347
  • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

    .....now 'Uranus'...maybe...
    james347
    • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

      @james347 Ewww...hopefully it's not Ballmers.
      cyberslammer2
      • OH?

        @cyberslammer2

        You would prefer another man's anus? So long as it's not Ballmer's?

        I'm not surprised.
        SonofaSailor
  • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

    Windows 8 sounds great and all, but I actually hope that Ballmer doesn't show it off. It certainly won't be released this year so it won't steal any potential momentum Apple or Google have this year.

    Here's to hoping Ballmer pulls MJ's Surface guess out of a hat.
    Rich Miles
  • RE: WOW HOW INNOVATIVE!!!

    Aah, it took cyberspammer such a long time to respond :-)
    Gee Jobs an mp3 player, a phone and a tablet. How innovative, that really didn't exist before you came along!
    Cyrus_V2000
    • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

      @Cyrus_V2000

      Where ever there is a Microsoft article that needs bashed in, there's where you'll find him.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

    I don't think the stores have to be merged just yet anyway. As long as its consistent between the individual stores (Xbox/WP7/MS TV/Zune/Windows 8) with similar update systems and features - all will be fine. Yes, eventually, you want to have one place from the PC that acts as a super store and wirelessly syncs and queues items purchased to their proper device(s) but more than anything, they want consistency. Xbox Live, Kinect capable with messenger chat, Xbox Avatars, Zune Pass music, Zune movies with video streaming etc.
    timotim
  • Since when did selling software online, or in a &quot;store&quot;..

    Become such a big friggin deal? All it means is that one person now controls the ads you see when you visit these stores.

    I bought a home network backup app by doing a Bing search in about 5 minutes (Acronis True Image) and a DVD ripping program as well (CuCuSoft) and didn't need a "store" or anything else.

    Apple Microosft, Good nor anyone else invented this concept, nor is it innovative or interesting so can we please move on to more interesting topics like if there will ever really be an Arrested Developent movie? :-)

    Pat
    omdguy
  • So when did online &quot;Stores&quot;

    become such a big friggin deal? All it means is that one person now controls the ads you see when you visit these stores.

    I bought a home network backup app by doing a Bing search in about 5 minutes (Acronis True Image) and a DVD ripping program as well (CuCuSoft) and didn't need a "store" or anything els, I just visited their websites, filled out the form and that was it!

    Apple Microosft, Good nor anyone else invented this concept, nor is it innovative or interesting so can we please move on to more interesting topics like if there will ever really be an Arrested Developent movie? :-)

    Pat
    omdguy
  • RE: Will 'Jupiter' be key to Microsoft's Windows 8 app store's future?

    By Jupiter, big is good? Or merely a long way off and crushingly heavy?
    Perhaps one day MS will choose a codeword that implies "small" as a portent that they intend to abandon bloatware for their general-market product. Until then it will doubtless continue to be horses for courses.
    shtromer