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Microsoft Opens Up The Microsoft Store To ‘Usually Free’ And Open Source Applications

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Microsoft has altered its store policies to assist some developers in making money from their programs. Following clarification from Microsoft, app developers are now permitted to upload open source and generally free apps to the Microsoft Store, provided that they were created by the party who would be using them or have obtained the necessary permission.

Apps cannot “try to profit from open source or other software that is usually generally available for free, nor be priced arbitrarily high relative to the features and capabilities supplied by your product,” according to an earlier version of the Microsoft Store regulations. The section of the policies that dealt with open source or free applications has been removed. To reflect its position on free and open source software in the Microsoft Store, Microsoft amended policy 11.2. Currently, it says (opens in new tab):

“All content in your product and associated metadata must be either originally created by the application provider, appropriately licensed from the third-party rights holder, used as permitted by the rights holder, or used as otherwise permitted by law. Reporting infringement complaints can be done via our online form.”

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Microsoft claims that this was always the company’s intention. Giorgio Sardo, general manager of apps, partners, and the Microsoft Store at Microsoft, stated that the company wants to encourage open-source developers after developers and community members objected to the initial policy change. According to a Microsoft representative, “We’ve been working hard over the past year to improve consumer experiences while keeping the Store available to all developers. This policy update is an extension of that effort and is intended to give developers more options while enhancing the user experience.”

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