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Microsoft releases a new set of Open App Store Principles to appease regulators

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Microsoft yesterday released a new set of Open App Store Principles to appease regulators around the world. Several governments around the world, including the United States, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands are making or planning to make new regulations around App Store. Microsoft’s new principles are grounded in app store legislations that are being considered by regulators and lawmakers around the world.

You can read the principles below.

Quality, Safety, Security & Privacy:

  1. We will enable all developers to access our app store as long as they meet reasonable and transparent standards for quality and safety.
  2. We will continue to protect the consumers and gamers who use our app store, ensuring that developers meet our standards for security.
  3. We will continue to respect the privacy of consumers in our app stores, giving them controls to manage their data and how it is used.

    Accountability:

  4. We will hold our own apps to the same standards we hold competing apps.
  5. We will not use any non-public information or data from our app store to compete with developers’ apps.

    Fairness and Transparency:

  6. We will treat apps equally in our app store without unreasonable preferencing or ranking of our apps or our business partners’ apps over others.
  7. We will be transparent about rules for promotion and marketing in our app store and apply these consistently and objectively.

    Developer Choice:

  8. We will not require developers in our app store to use our payment system to process in-app payments.
  9. We will not require developers in our app store to provide more favorable terms in our app store than in other app stores.
  10. We will not disadvantage developers if they choose to use a payment processing system other than ours or if they offer different terms and conditions in other app stores.
  11. We will not prevent developers from communicating directly with their customers through their apps for legitimate business purposes, such as pricing terms and product or service offerings.

    We also recognize that emerging legislation will apply new rules to companies that both run an app store and control the underlying operating system like Windows. Therefore, we are also committing today that:

    • We will continue to enable developers to choose whether they want to deliver their apps for Windows though our app store, from someone else’s store, or “sideloaded” directly from the internet.
    • We will continue to give developers timely access to information about the interoperability interfaces for Windows that our own apps use.
    • We will enable Windows users to use alternative app stores and third-party apps, including by changing default settings in appropriate categories.

Microsoft mentioned that these principles will apply to the Microsoft Store on Windows and to the next-generation marketplaces it will build for games. The current Xbox console store won’t follow these principles as it is a specialized computing device. Here’s why Microsoft considers Xbox as a specialized computing device:

Gaming consoles, specifically, are sold to gamers at a loss to establish a robust and viable ecosystem for game developers. The costs are recovered later through revenue earned in the dedicated console store.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s vision for Open App Store in the source link below.

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