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