Microsoft recently announced a new set of guidelines – Open App Store Principles – that will apply to the Microsoft Store on Windows. Microsoft said it developed these principles in part to respond to the company’s growing role and responsibility as “we begin the process of obtaining regulatory approval in capitals around the world for our acquisition of Activision Blizzard. “. Lawmakers around the world have often argued that companies like Apple and Google have created monopolies and restricted competition. Microsoft’s new principles, according to the company, want to change that when it comes to app stores. “The world needs open app markets, and that needs open app stores,” Microsoft said in a direct dig at both Apple and Google. And the 11 principles are how Microsoft tells the world how “anti-Apple” and “anti-Google” it is.
Do not “force” developers to use their own payment system
Apple is pretty strict about not giving developers the ability to use third-party payment systems because it takes a commission from payments received. Microsoft has made it clear that “it will not require our app store developers to use our payment system to process in-app payments.”
More transparency with developers
Microsoft said this “will allow all developers access to our app store as long as they meet reasonable and transparent quality and security standards.” Some developers have complained about the lack of transparency regarding certain apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
No “bias” towards its own applications
It has been suggested that Apple – and even Google – give preferential treatment to its apps on their app stores. For example, Apple’s own apps could not be rated on the App Store for a long time. Microsoft said it “will hold our own apps to the same standards we hold for competing apps.”
Protect consumer privacy and security
On Google Play Store, many apps often end up being “fake” or spreading malware. Microsoft said it “will continue to protect consumers and gamers who use our app store, ensuring developers meet our security standards.”
No Fortnite-like bans on Microsoft Store
Apple and Google had banned Epic Games’ Fortnite from their app stores. Apple continues to be embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Epic and Fortnite is still not available on Apple devices. Microsoft said it wouldn’t disadvantage developers if they choose to use a payment processing system other than its own or if they offer different terms and conditions in other app stores.
Technology regulation and “privacy” can work together
Apple has often argued that if it opened up the App Store to others, user privacy would suffer. However, Microsoft said it is possible for governments to enact new technology regulations that promote competition while protecting core values such as privacy, national security and cybersecurity.
Give users the ability to use other app stores
Apple is very strict about not allowing iPhone or iPad users to “legally” use any other app store. Apps should be downloaded only from the App Store. Microsoft says it will allow Windows users to use alternative app stores and third-party apps, including changing the default settings in the appropriate categories.
Give players more choice and freedom
Microsoft is betting big on games in almost every aspect – consoles, mobiles, cloud. “Our vision is to enable gamers to play any game on any device anywhere, including streaming from the cloud,” the company explains. Apple Arcade is not available on any other device or platform except those owned by Apple.