Why doesnt Microsoft Windows have central repositories like Linux?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by wearetheborg, Aug 17, 2010.

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  1. wearetheborg

    wearetheborg Registered Member

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    Why doesnt Microsoft Windows have central repositories like Linux?

    It would make security simpler --- MS could test the external applications like mad, and users would get a central database to get apps and automatically keep everything updated.

    Or do Linux repos based on some model which cannot be applied to the windows world?
     
  2. katio

    katio Guest

    I think one reason is indeed that Linux is based on another model: open source. Distros can make changes to 3rd party upstream software. The Windows "ecosystem" is more based on pay, share and closed freeware. But this new fad called appstore is working for other closed players as well so it must be more of a historical thing.
    FOSS devs reuse code from other projects so if you install one app you need to get several other libs and stuff, tracking down dependencies manually is no fun which is often the case with cross platfrom open source software when installing on Windows or OS X.

    There might also be a legal aspect to it. If Windows made a repo I guess they'd just get into more antitrust issues again.
     
  3. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    ^ What he said.

    Windows is already catching hell for not including browsers from competing companies in its default install. If they created repos, can you imagine how it would go over for companies whose software was left out? The truth is repositories and closed source just don't go together, especially when more than one company has to be involved. With Apple's appstore, it's pretty much Apple running the show (most of the developers are volunteers and they have to sign an agreement with Apple prior to submitting software, so Apple has 100% control). This wouldn't be the case with a Microsoft appstore since Microsoft would have to include copyrighted software from competing companies. It would be an IP nightmare and would most certainly cause anti-trust issues as katio said.

    Long ago Microsoft made the choice to be essentially an OS company without userland software. That decision has made them billions but it has also caused a lot of security issues since MS has no control over most of the software people install.

    One more thing: the Linux repos are also sort of a necessity rather than a convenience or security thing. They are necessary because, as katio said, FOSS software usually does not come in binary format (because there are too many formats), which means it has to be compiled. And compiling is not something an average user wants to mess around with. Therefore, the distro compiles it and tests it to make sure it works with the way the distro is setup. (BTW, this "diversity" of Linux formats can sometimes be a PITA, but it is also a strength, especially where security is concerned because an attacker would have to put his malcode in a dozen different binary formats, etc.) With Windows, there is one well defined binary format and a well defined API for Windows developers. Combine that fact with the fact Windows holds 90% of the market, and you have easy pickings for the malware authors. Linux does not have a single binary format, nor a stable API. It's a moving target.
     
  4. wearetheborg

    wearetheborg Registered Member

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    So to avoid anti-trust the solution is to not include ANY third party apps? That doesnt seem right...
    Having repos does not prevent apps outside the repos from being installed.

    How about some outside company (or a an organisation funded by industry) creating a windows repo?
     
  5. tlu

    tlu Guest

    If it comes to automated updating of your installed Windows apps, Secunia has announced such a mechanism with the coming version 2.0 of Secunia PSI. This approach is of course not equivalent to Linux repos but a step into the right direction. We'll see how reliable and user-friendly this will be.
     
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