Microsoft Withheld Its Store Policy to Prohibit Open Source Commercialization


Microsoft withheld its store policy to prohibit open source commercialization unless it reviews the intent of the developers’ community involved in such transactions.


Microsoft withheld its store policy to prohibit open source commercialization unless it reviews the intent of the developers’ community involved in such transactions.

Microsoft has delayed the enforcement of its policy that was set to go into effect on July 16, to ban commercial open source apps which had left developers worried. In its new Microsoft Store policy, the company had said that developers must not attempt to profit from open-source or other software that is otherwise generally available for free, nor be priced irrationally high relative to the features and functionality provided by your product. The new rule was brought in after Microsoft discovered some developers were selling their products at prices that were higher than the usual cost associated with making an app. The company also found that some developers had been charging for access to their apps on a subscription basis instead of just charging for them as a one-time purchase.

Microsoft said it would begin enforcing this new rule from July 16th and will be ending support for Windows XP on January 14th, 2020.

Microsoft may review the sentiment and the intent of the developers’ community before it makes a final call about the enforcement of the policy.

The Announcement Is a Setback to Those Who Want to Monetize Open Source Software

The news that Microsoft is delaying enforcement of its policy on monetizing open source software was a disappointment for the developer community.

Giorgio Sardo, general manager of apps, partners, and stores at Microsoft, has affirmed that the company is delaying this particular policy. He said in a tweet that "In listening to the dev community, we got feedback that it could be perceived differently than intended. We'll delay enforcement of that policy until we clarify the intent."

A lot of developers have been frustrated by the move from Microsoft to ban the use of open source software in ads.

The Microsoft team is aware that their latest licensing policy has been a cause of concern and concentration for the developer and now that the dev community is becoming quite vocal about it, the Microsoft team has paused the enforcement of this particular policy until we clarify its intent.

The announcement is a setback for those who want to monetize open source software, Hayden Barnes, senior engineering manager at open source software giant Suse, tweeted.

"I am disappointed by the @MicrosoftStore policy change that prohibits selling open source software. The Store provides independent open source developers an opportunity to create sustainable projects by charging a reasonable amount there," he had posted.

Although the idea of open source software being sold in Microsoft's app store isn’t a new one, it turns out that this time around the company has decided to delay and review such sales. Whether this can at all be a step towards prohibition, only time will tell.

There are several examples of open source software sold in Microsoft's app store such as video editing software Shotcut and FTP clients such as WinSCP. These products were already accepted into the app store before the announcement was made, but now they will be removed from there.

According to reports, this decision was made because there are concerns about whether or not the new feature will adhere to some rules that Microsoft has set out for its users when it comes to downloading apps from third-party sources. This includes making sure that all of the code used in an app is available for inspection by anyone who wants to look at it. The company also wants users to be able to rate every app they download so they can make sure there aren't any illegal or inappropriate ones on their systems.

Wrap Up

Microsoft is not the only company that has been accused of price gouging in its app stores. Google, Facebook, and many others have been under fire for charging users for apps that are either open source or otherwise freely available. The problem here is that developers are using these policies to make a quick buck off unsuspecting consumers.

The best way to combat this issue is for companies like Microsoft to implement a strict policy about how much developers can charge for their apps and not allow them to do whatever they want with them.

The delay in the Store Policy is primarily aimed at keeping the app store from becoming flooded with non-functional apps and games that simply exist to profit from the popularity of open source software, like Linux and Android.

Microsoft's new Store policy states that developers must restrain from profiting from the open source or other software that is otherwise freely available.

This announcement comes just months after Google announced that it would be prohibiting all ads for paid Android apps on its platforms that don't comply with its policies, including those that use open source components like Linux or Apache Web Server.

About Microsoft

Microsoft was founded on the 4th of April, 1975, and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. The company is operative in the Software Development space and specializes in Business Software, Developer Tools, Home and Educational Software, Tablets, AI, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Developers, and IT professionals.

The teams at Microsoft believe that technology can and should be a force for good. They strive to innovate meaningful solutions that contribute to a brighter future for all of us, now and in the future.

Their culture doesn't just encourage curiosity; it embraces it. Each day they make progress together by showing up as our authentic selves. They show up with a learn-it-all mentality—we are eager to learn from each other and our customers. And they show up cheering on others, knowing their success doesn't diminish our own.

Microsoft operates in 190 countries and is made up of 181,000 passionate employees worldwide. Its mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more—together!

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