And that's another reason that Ubuntu usershare is shrinking. First, it was the Unity interface, then it was the Amazon adverts installed on the system, that one can disable, but not totally remove (as of last time I researched). I don't have an issue with the Ubuntu developers wanting to make money, as they have paid staff & expenses to pay. Rather, it's the way that they've gone about it (the implantation of spyware on the OS) that's a turn off for me. We can just leave Windows installed & have that with no extra trouble (well, except the threat of malware).
What the Ubuntu devs has done was create a way to keep up with it's user's shopping habits & through a partnership with Amazon, now delivers ads according to what products & services it's users purchases or searches for. So if one cares about their privacy, say "No" to Ubuntu. Start topics on their forums over the issue, even if 50,000 others has done so already.
Those items aren't displayed on Linux Mint & many other Linux OS's built on the Ubuntu platform, however I don't know about the versions that ends with "buntu". Haven't tried these in the last couple of years. Fortunately, in the Linux world, we have many choices,
Though there are a few paid apps available for most Linux OS's & even some subscription based OS's (such as RedHat), it's not the norm & it's not shoved in one's face.
As to these Apps in the Windows Store, MS is only showing it's greed, or is trying to recoup the untold amounts of cash wasted on Windows 8. Rather than throwing in the towel though, they have another release planned (8.2) & Lord help us when Windows 9 hits the market. It may be Free (or it may not be), but it should be, as no doubt MS will make up for it with sales of apps. Am hoping that it's not mandatory that both a MS Account & payment account is a pre-requirement, not that I care about the OS anyway.
However I do care about others & don't want to see anyone get ripped off, especially through the very ones who advises us in emails to avoid getting defrauded (I get these emails from MS). They force the OEM's to load the computers so the average user cannot install an OS of their choice w/out paying someone else to make the BIOS changes (really it's simple to disable Secure Boot & enable ACHI), under the premise that the computers are more secure. Then turn around & sell malware. I suppose, because these apps don't run during the boot process, they're totally missed by whatever is supposed to be protecting it's customers from.
And possibly why they tell customers that security is inbuilt, so that they don't spend money on a decent security app. Windows Defender (& MSE) is so crappy that AV-Comparatives won't include it for testing anymore.
You know something that just came to mind? Am not on the computer at the moment, but Avast (Free version) found something that had to do with the Windows Store, a Free radio station as I recall. On that install (8.1 Pro w/Media Center), am running Avast Free & Online Armor Firewall (plus Malwarebytes Premium, Lifetime version), I'm going to have to fire up that machine to investigate. Furthermore, MS is trying to make 3rd party Firewalls, such as Online Armor, incompatible with Windows 8.1, by not allowing Windows Update to properly function with it installed (works fine on Windows 8). Causes some updates not to install. The solution is to disable HIPS (a component of the Firewall) & rerun Windows Update & the downloaded updates will install. HIPS is a common component of some 3rd party Firewalls.
There was also an issue with the Media Center, but didn't have time to investigate.
I hope that Windows 9 is a larger flop than Windows 8 is today. Honestly. MS needs a wake-up call. They've became comfortable in relying on history, one OS a bust, the next a smash hit. I believe a couple of flops will actually in the long run help the corporation. Plus give Windows 7 some extra lifespan & possibly all that was ever needed for most Windows customers, SP2 for Windows 7.
It would seem that if customers wanted Store apps, they'd be best with going with Apple, they have the most experience. At least Apple has standards.