Apple release of iTunes on Windows Store foreshadows 'tipping point,' Microsoft exec says

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Touting the benefits of Windows 10 S in a recent interview, Microsoft CVP of Windows Joe Belfiore said Apple's decision to list iTunes in the Windows Store suggests the platform is approaching a "tipping point."

Speaking with Business Insider at Microsoft's Build conference last week, Belfiore said the current state of computing requires Windows to integrate with products marketed by rivals, like iPhone and Android handsets. As part of the approach, the tech giant is looking to expand into education with Windows 10 S, a move meant to target young users already accustomed to a multi-platform lifestyle.

While not implicit in Belfiore's commentary, the executive alludes that Apple, too, must play ball if it wants to build on newfound success in the services industry. In particular, Belfiore mentioned Apple's decision to release a version of iTunes on the Windows Store.

As AppleInsider noted last week, Apple is looking to address the forthcoming Windows 10 S operating system, which restricts app downloads to titles distributed through Microsoft's official digital storefront. A streamlined OS, Windows 10 S needs built-in app regulations to ensure fast boot times, easy deployment and reduced "software rot," Microsoft says.

These same restrictions are helping Windows Store grow. As Windows 10 is only two years old, its app store is far from mature and boasts only a small sampling of titles compared to the iOS and Mac App Stores.

For companies like Apple, however, the Windows Store limitation meant it had to update its iTunes distribution policy to market music, movies and other wares to those students using Windows 10 S PCs.

Other companies keen on addressing what Microsoft considers a potential growth market followed suit. Spotify, for example, announced it would offer a Windows Store version of its streaming music app.

Belfiore says the ability to attract apps like iTunes and Spotify is a sign of things to come, the report said.

"We're starting to get to the tipping point," Belfiore said.

As Windows 10 continues to grow, so will the Windows Store and its potential to entice app developers. Microsoft is hoping at least some of those looking to code for Windows will be enticed by the Windows 10 S program, and not out of sheer market dynamics.