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The general public doesn't know how to side-load, just as they have no idea what apt-get is. Being blocked from the market is a sufficient barrier to effectively kill an app from broad distribution.

Which applies to any centralized 'marketplace' for apps that's popular enough; whether that's Apple's App Store, Google Play, Valve's Steam, or Ubuntu's Software Center (and all other linux package managers for that matter). So, I'm not entirely sure what the argument is here...? If people wan't to define that as 'closed', that's cool, conceptually I could see how that makes sense. But again, I never hear that term being used to describe Linux package managers like I mentioned above, so I'm not sure what the distinction might be between them and something as lenient for acceptance as the Play store. Is it the 'killswitch' that makes a system closed or what?

Windows never had a repository system so devs had to advertise and distribute their .exe's independently, giving the ecosystem that feel of 'open-ness'. But the second you have a semi-curated centralized repository system available like on Ubuntu or Android, the system becomes 'closed' because it effectively creates this 'barrier' you mentioned due to the new convenience. So is there no middle-ground here?

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