Back in June, Microsoft changed the terms of the Microsoft Store. Under the new rules, the company said it would stop selling open source applications. Microsoft said the change would kick in on July 16. Just a few days ahead of that planned policy update, Microsoft is rolling back its decision.
The company now says it will not stop selling open source apps after all. The original change to its terms and conditions under section 10.8.7 stated the following:
“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.”
However, that update to the policy angered many developers and users. Open source apps have been available on the Microsoft Store for some time. Moreover, Microsoft has often positioned itself as a champion of open source app developers.
It seems Microsoft has taken note and reversed its decision, at least for now. Giorgio Sardo, the General Manager of Apps, Partners, Store at Microsoft, says the company did not intend to stop offering open source software (OSS) on the store. Instead, the aim was to cut down on “misleading listings”.
We absolutely want to support developers distributing successfully OSS apps. In fact there are already fantastic OSS apps in the Store! The goal of this policy is to protect customers from misleading listings. Thanks for feedback, we will review to make sure the intent is clear
— Giorgio Sardo (@gisardo) July 6, 2022
For example, while many people think OSS apps are free, many are less than clear about associated costs. Sardo is suggesting Microsoft just wants developers to be clearer when an open source app is paid software.
Microsoft is now postponing the decision to change its policy. However, it is likely the company will revisit this plan, at least in some capacity. That means commercial OSS apps will remain in the store for now.
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