No Apple iTunes App For Windows 8 Because Of Tablet War

By James Geddes , May 10, 2013 02:11 PM EDT
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Windows 8 users shouldn't expect an updated version of iTunes that takes advantage of Microsoft's latest version of its Windows operating system anytime soon. The news comes straight from Microsoft's mouth. Windows 8 users have still been able to use iTunes but the software only works in Windows 8 "desktop" mode. Desktop mode allows Windows 8 users to use the operating system and or apps in the more familiar way most Windows users have used since Windows 95.

Windows 8 brought with it a new UI called Metro, which borrowed from Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system. The main features are a touch-optimized version of Windows, Live Tiles that update automatically and allows users to pin apps to the screen instead of using the classic Start Menu and icon-based desktop.

While iTunes can run on Windows 8, customers who purchased Windows 8 tablets are forced to run the software in a way that is not ideal for a touchscreen device. Desktop mode is much easier to use with a keyboard and mouse than a touchscreen-only device. Microsoft Surface RT and Windows RT users don't have access to iTunes at all because the devices can only run applications from Microsoft's Windows app store. It's very important for Microsoft to have many popular apps in the Windows Store for this very reason.

Microsoft has received support from almost every major software company to offer apps with Metro support. Microsoft has even tried to get Apple to offer an updated version of iTunes that supports Windows 8's Metro UI. When speaking to CNN Tami Reller, chief financial officer of Microsoft's Windows division said:

"You shouldn't expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon. ITunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It's not for lack of trying."

It is believed that Apple's decision to not offer a version of iTunes to support Windows 8's Metro UI is due to Apple not wanting to help Microsoft in the tablet market. Apple already owns the tablet market with the iPad, which includes iTunes out of the box. iTunes is a very important cross-platform application, so don't expect to see a version that is optimized for Windows tablets. Apple loved to highlight the differences between itself and Microsoft with the "Get a Mac" campaign, and it's not about to help Microsoft in the tablet wars anytime soon with an iTunes advantage.

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