How to get user_timeline in a windows desktop application?


We have an off-the-shelf windows application which has several Thousand licensed copies in the field.
For our next version, we would like to add a feature which relies on reading (not writing) several user_timelines and displaying individual tweets (respecting the The user may or may not already be following the timeline.
I’m having some problems finding an explanation on how to use the REST API in this case.

If I understand correctly, then using the application-only authentication ( because

  • if we hardcode our application key, we’ll exhaust the applicaiton limit fast because there are instances of the application running on thousands of computers.
  • I don’t think the idea is that users need to create/register “their own application” and then type in the key/secret in our program.

So how does the twitter integration work in this scenario ? None of the ones on seem to be an Obvious fit, or I’m just missing something.
Do I (the developer of the software) still need to create an application on twitter?
Our app runs on Windows, is written in C++, uses MFC, has a GUI.
I can launch a separate browser and provide (ShellExecute a URL), but I can’t then get feedback on what is happening in the browser.
I can make a dialog with an embedded html control (IWebBrowser2) and get some return info from there, but I don’t think that’s a really good idea, some users may (correctly) assume it’s fake.
I can make webservice calls
What are the steps needed to get a user to log into twitter and get our app to make API calls with the user’s credentials ?