We love many things about the iPhone. Most things even. One of the few things we're not so chuffed about is the weird, wacky restrictions Apple places on App Store apps, and the sometimes haphazard way in which those restrictions are applied.

So, one edge we thought the other platforms might have would be the relative openness of their competing app stores. Turns out maybe not so much. How so? Our buddy Phil Nickinson over on WMExperts spent his weekend scouring through Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile restrictions, and at first blush they appear at least as crazy as Apple's:

  • No VOIP apps using a carrier's data. (Will WiFi be OK?)
  • No apps that replace or modify the default dialer, SMS or MMS apps.
  • No apps with an OTA download of over 10MB. (Not sure if that's the app itself, or downloading within the app for, say, a podcatcher or the dreaded torrent downloader.)
  • No apps that change the default browser, search client, or media player on the device. (Does that mean no Opera or Skyfire, which let you choose to set them as the default browser? No Kinoma Play, Core Player or the like for multimedia?)

So pr0n's no problem, but don't go trying to replace the rendering farce which is IE6? Of course, Microsoft mitigates this by allowing apps from multiple sources, not just their on store, but then again, they're apparently going to allow the carriers to get their grubby hooks in branded stores to. Sigh.

With great freedom comes great responsibility, people. Never forget your Spider-Man...