Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)
Microsoft’s education-centric Windows 10 S has caused some controversy for its inability to run apps from outside the Windows Store, but as we’ve argued it does have the potential to attract developers to the Windows Store and create a healthier app ecosystem for all Windows users.
Today at its Build conference, Microsoft mentioned two major additions coming to the Windows Store and Windows 10 S: Spotify (already announced at the Surface Laptop event last week) and Apple’s iTunes.
Of the two, iTunes is the bigger win for Microsoft’s ecosystem, given Apple’s general reluctance to bring most of its apps and services to competing platforms.
There’s a version of the Apple Music app for Android, but aside from the standard Windows version of iTunes and a limited version of the iCloud client for Windows, that’s pretty much it. Microsoft says that the Windows Store version of iTunes will be able to do everything the regular version does, including accessing the iTunes Store and Apple Music and supporting syncing for iPhones and iPads.
At this point it’s possible to use iPhones and iPads without ever touching iTunes, but you can still use the app to do software updates, make encrypted local backups, and do general app and data management.
Even if the Windows Store version of iTunes is functionally identical to the regular downloadable version (and that’s pretty likely, given that Microsoft’s Centennial technology makes it fairly easy to repackage regular Win32 apps for the Store), it gives all Windows users the option to use iTunes without also using Apple’s standalone software updater or iTunes’ system service.
It could also make iPhone and iPad users more receptive to buying and using Windows 10 S devices as they begin to come to market in the next month or two.
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