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New possibilities to Open with…

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Apple recently opened the doors of the Mac app store and you can read about it everywhere on the internet. What interests me more is the ability to find a program to use for an unknown file type, as aptly explained on the Download Squad:

Sometimes, though, the search option can be overkill. The fact that you haven’t assigned an app to open a certain file type doesn’t mean none of your currently-installed apps will do the job. Also, only some of the applications you downloaded from outside of the App Store will show up as "installed" in the App Store app. That means the search could easily miss a solution you already have in your Applications folder.

I am interested in this because if the rumors of a Windows 8 app store are true, then Microsoft should not fail to implement something similar. Anyone who has ever tried to use the ‘Open With…’ functionality on Windows knows that option to ‘Use web service to find and appropriate program’ is of limited usefulness.

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Until not long ago, the web service couldn’t rightly identify even very simple file types. Apart from a a few popular file types or those tied to Microsoft programs, the service was not very helpful. Right now, it takes you to a page that looks like this:

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When you click the link, you will be redirected to the Free Text Pad website where you can download the application. With a Windows app store, you will (hopefully) be linked directly to an app which you can directly download and install with (hopefully) one click and use. This will be a boon to everyday Windows users who come in contact with strange file types.

I, for one am excited about that possibility.

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