Microsoft to patent viral distribution for software
As the number of apps available for download continues to grow, the likelihood that these apps will ever be downloaded diminishes.
The sheer volume of applications (apps) makes it more and more difficult for software developers to reach those interested parties that may request a free, or even paid, download. Microsoft think that a viral distribution network that is based on word of mouth to distribute software may be much more effective in the future, and so they filed a patent application back in November 2010.
Microsoft believes that there is merit in developing software that can trace ‘likes’ on an app and in effect, raise the apps’ profile. The technology would have the capability for a device to automatically find a version of a recommended app that runs on the device of the user – which would cut out the “inconvenience” for a user to search for that app.
From the patent application:
“In one embodiment, a first device receives information of an application from a second device through a short-range communication channel. The information of the application includes identification information of the application without any personally identifiable information. A version of the application that is compatible with the first device is determined by searching a catalog using the identification information of the application. The first device then may download or otherwise obtain the compatible version of the application.”
While Facebook has already got the patent on viral app and content distribution via likes for the desktop, Microsoft is specifically looking at targeting mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, as well as application stores.