I watched WMExperts' coverage of Microsoft's big Windows Phone 7 Series keynote at MIX10 yesterday and while I once again wasn't wowed by the hyperactive quadrilateral tiles of the home screen, the workflow/funflow of moving through the panoramic hubs continued to impress. While Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for creating one of the few new, post-iPhone user experiences/interaction models, however, it's interesting to note that they're pretty much copying entirely Apple's closed iPhone App Store model.
That's right, free developer tools (like iPhone), no app distribution outside the market (like iPhone), except for beta and enterprise (like iPhone), which means no side-loading (like iPhone), and little-to-no multitasking (like iPhone... at least until iPhone 4.0), and push-notifications to handle alerts (like iPhone). (They do, however, claim they will be far more transparent than Apple has thus far been with the App Store approva
On one hand that's a huge compliment to Apple's highly successful, if sometimes controversial App Store model. On the other hand, users of previous Microsoft handsets up to and including the most recent Windows Mobile 6.5.x have seen open app installation and ubiquitous multitasking as bragging rights over the iPhone going on 3 years now. The mainstream consumer Microsoft is obviously targeting with WP7S will no doubt find it simple and clear. The traditional base of tinker-happy, ROM-cooking, power users? Likely not.
What think you, is Apple's App Store model something Microsoft should have emulated?