App Store == Crap Store

So not only is Apple bringing the App Store to the desktop OS but now Microsoft is planning to do the same with Windows 8. My response is: meh, *shrug*. 

No, I have not been living in a cave for the last 8 years. However, I don’t give a damn about the app store concept or reality for the same reason I don’t care about software piracy anymore. I don’t need either of them. I have something so much better: Free Software. 

Yep. You read me correctly. Perhaps some folks couldn’t imagine life without hunting up the perfect app to aid in your every activity. However, I have a different viewpoint which contrasts the “app store” “solution” with free software and I can articulate it in bullet point clarity. 

  • Just about all the apps in anybody’s “app store” are complete garbage. Just because the store features a slick format and the device you run it on has a shiny glass screen does not mean the app will be well designed, appropriate, or remotely useful. In contrast, free software is designed by people who had a specific need or idea. If the “market” for free software is smaller, it still exists for a purpose. The authors aren’t trying to get paid, they are trying to scratch an itch. 
  • Free software typically doesn’t make you sign contracts, get spied on, or be used for marketing reasons. There might be a few exceptions, but the ratio isn’t anywhere close with what you’d get from an “app store”.
  • Support for free software is also free. If you must have paid 3rd party support that’s still an option, too. Support for commercial applications is typical an additional cost outside the budget for simply acquiring the software.
  • Documentation for free software is written by people in a hurry who’d rather be writing code. Good. I’m in a hurry, too. Let’s get this application fired up and working pronto and learn the key features post-haste. Give me a readme.txt, online mini-how-to, man page, install.txt, quickstart, or irc channel for a quick setup any day over a corporate professional tech-writer-written document.
  • Free software has had the “app store” concept down for a very, very, long time. It’s called a package repository. You can search for applications, get their descriptions, and automatically install or remove them and all their dependencies without one feature that the “app store” has: the price. 
  • There are no corporate censors of free software package repositories. You are also free to set up your own, for free. 
  •  So, if Microsoft or Apple decide that I don’t really need access to some security related application because only a software terrorist would need to play Postal 2, Grand Theft Auto or some other controversial title then I get the shaft? 
  • Sure, you can still install stand alone applications – for now. How long do you think a company like Microsoft will make that easy ?

 

Jump up and down and do three cheers for the app store? I’ll pass. 

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~ by aliver on January 25, 2012.

One Response to “App Store == Crap Store”

  1. I fully agree with this, I haven’t used paid proprietary software for a long time. kinda stupid that a package manager such as “the app store” would get so much hype, and not a very good one.

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