Microsoft announces new app store principles

Microsoft - Appy Pie

Microsoft Corp announced that it will follow a set of 10 principles for running its app store for Windows devices that could lower the commissions it charges, aligning itself with practices promoted by Apple Inc. critics. Microsoft has an app store for PCs, laptops, and tablets that uses Windows 10 called which is called the Microsoft Store.

Many other companies including Microsoft have criticized the iPhone maker’s app store practices, which want developers to use Apple’s official store to reach its users and to pay commissions of about 30 percent for purchases made in the App Store.

Last month critics like Spotify Technology SA and Match Group Inc. created a group called the Coalition for App Fairness to challenge Apple’s practices. The group laid down 10 principles like barring unreasonable, discriminatory, or unfair fees or revenue shares – that it urged all app stores to follow.

Microsoft confirmed in a blog post that will adopt 10 principles that closely matched the group’s demands.

Most of the principles will not have an immediate effect apart from codifying existing Microsoft practices. For example, Microsoft already permits third-party app stores and downloads from the internet on Home Windows devices.

The first principle of Microsoft says, “Developers will be free to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through Microsoft app store. We will not block any rival app stores on Windows.”

Both tech giants Apple and Google assert that all payments in apps offered in their respective stores should be made through them, along with a 30 percent cut deducted. However, Microsoft is saying that developers can make payments as per their wish.

The second principle says that Microsoft will not block an app from Windows over the developer’s business model or how it delivers content or services.

In the third principle, Microsoft says that it will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s choice of which payment system to use for processing purchases made in its app. Over in-app processing legal action has been taken by Epic Games Ltd. against both Apple and Google.

The final principles include a commitment to protect developer privacy, a pledge to transparency, and a commitment that Microsoft will hold its own apps to the same standards as those of competing apps.

Spotify said in a statement that Microsoft’s new position will help create a level playing field for developers both large and small, provide consumers with greater choice, and hopefully encourage other platforms to do the same. However, Microsoft also said that it might revise the principles in the future.


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