In an unso evident scathing dig at Apple and Google, which face antitrust charges, Microsoft on Thursday announced a set of 10 principles for its app store. Microsoft has promised that it will allow competitive app stores on windows platforms, and that it will treat its apps and companies’ applications to the same standards. Microsoft says developers can choose their own payment system for their apps, and they can decide to sell them in-app.
Finally, Microsoft will allow any developer in its store to comply with objective standards and requirements, including those for security, privacy, quality, content, and digital security.
Here is a complete list of Microsoft’s 10 principles:
1. Developers will have the freedom to choose whether to publish their Windows apps through our App Store. We don’t block competitive app stores on Windows.
2. We do not block apps on Windows based on the developer’s business model or how they provide content and services, including whether the content is installed on a device or streamed from the cloud.
3. We will not block apps from Windows because developers choose which payment system to use to handle purchases in their apps.
4. We will provide Developers with DeepL in a timely manner in accordance with our “Interoperability Principles” to let them know about the interoperability interfaces we use on Windows.
5. Each developer can enter our App Store as long as he or she meets objective standards and requirements, including security, privacy, quality, content and digital security.
6. Our App Store will charge a reasonable fee to reflect the competition we face on Windows from other App Stores and will not force developers to sell anything in their apps that they do not want to sell.
7. Our App Store does not prevent developers from communicating directly with users through their apps for legitimate business purposes.
8. Our App Store will require our own applications according to the same standards as competing applications.
9. Microsoft will not compete with any non-public information or data about developer apps in its Store.
10. Our App Store will be transparent about its rules and policies, as well as promotion and marketing opportunities, consistently and objectively apply them, provide notice of changes, and provide a fair process for resolving disputes.
Microsoft concluded by noting that it would review these principles from time to time to determine whether they should be added or changed to reflect feedback and technical, business or regulatory developments.
“By accepting these principles, Microsoft will help create a level playing field for developers large and small, provide consumers with more choices, and hope to encourage other platforms to do the same.” A Spotify spokesman said in a statement that it supports Microsoft’s policy around the Microsoft Store.
“It’s great to see Microsoft officially announce its long-standing principle in Windows as an open platform and a fair market for all developers and consumers.” Epic CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said in a statement.
Microsoft also mentioned that these principles do not apply to the Xbox Store for the following reasons:
Console makers like Microsoft have invested heavily in developing dedicated console hardware, but sell it at below-cost or very low profits to create a market in which game developers and publishers can benefit. Given these fundamental differences in platform meaning and business models, we have more work to do to establish the right set of principles for consoles.