Microsoft has announced ten new app store principles in a swipe at Apple, which Microsoft and the rest of the Coalition for App Fairness are protesting against.
“We and others have raised questions and, at times, expressed concerns about app stores on other digital platforms,” said Microsoft in a blog post. “However, we recognize that we should practice what we preach. So, today, we are adopting 10 principles – building on the ideas and work of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) – to promote choice, ensure fairness and promote innovation on Windows 10, our most popular platform, and our own Microsoft Store on Windows 10.”
The first principle says that developers have the freedom to decide whether to distribute their apps through Microsoft’s app store, and that third-party stores won’t be blocked. The second says that Microsoft will not block an app based on a developer’s choice of payment system, referencing Apple’s banning of Fortnite due to the game circumventing Apple’s payment system.
Microsoft added that they would “charge reasonable fees” that reflect third-party app store competition, and that they “will not force a developer to sell within its app anything it doesn’t want to sell”.
As for why these principles only apply to Windows 10 and not Xbox, Microsoft said, “Console makers such as Microsoft invest significantly in developing dedicated console hardware but sell them below cost or at very low margins to create a market that game developers and publishers can benefit from. Given these fundamental differences in the significance of the platform and the business model, we have more work to do to establish the right set of principles for game consoles.”
Check out the full list of principles on their blog post here.