Newsroom News Breaking Comics Tags RSS
News hardware & software 09 October 2020, 20:13

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Epic Games Inspires Microsoft to Add New Rules to Windows Store

Microsoft has introduced new rules for its store. The rules are designed to give creators freedom of choice and promote fairness and innovation. The changes do not apply to the Xbox Store.

When Epic Games, Spotify and other gaming tycoons announced the establishment of the Coalition of App Fairness (CAF), Microsoft was missing from the list of members. This may have been surprising, because as early as August, the Redmond giant issued a declaration in which it supported Epic Games' stance towards, as Sweney's company claims, unfair practices used by the Apple store. But apparently Microsoft took CAF's slogans to heart. The company published a list of Microsoft Store's ten principles to promote choice and innovation, and to ensure fair treatment of app developers on Windows 10. The principles are based on CAF's demands, with an entry in Microsoft's blog post stating that the company may make changes in the future. The rules are provided below.

10 Rules of Microsoft Store:

1. Developers will have the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store. We will not block competing app stores on Windows.

2. We will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s business model or how it delivers content and services, including whether content is installed on a device or streamed from the cloud.

3. We will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s choice of which payment system to use for processing purchases made in its app.

4. We will give developers timely access to information about the interoperability interfaces we use on Windows, as set forth in our Interoperability Principles;

5. Every developer will have access to our app store as long as it meets objective standards and requirements, including those for security, privacy, quality, content and digital safety.

6. Our app store will charge reasonable fees that reflect the competition we face from other app stores on Windows and will not force a developer to sell within its app anything it doesn’t want to sell.

7. Our app store will not prevent developers from communicating directly with their users through their apps for legitimate business purposes.

8. Our app store will hold our own apps to the same standards to which it holds competing apps.

9. Microsoft will not use any non-public information or data from its app store about a developer’s app to compete with it.

10. Our app store will be transparent about its rules and policies and opportunities for promotion and marketing, apply these consistently and objectively, provide notice of changes and make available a fair process to resolve disputes.

In a nutshell

Basically, Microsoft's rules come down to two points. The first four points give the studios freedom of choice as to how to distribute their applications. The others are to ensure that Microsoft will not use its influence to give an advantage to its own products or to impose anything on the developers. This coincides with accusations against Apple made by the CAF, although someone could indicate that these rules also hit Epic Games. The company is known for its practice of buying game exclusivity for its own store. The point about charging "reasonable fees", on the other hand, may refer to the 30% revenue share, against which Sweney's company has long protested.

Xbox without changes

Interestingly, Microsoft will not apply these rules to the Xbox store. This is due to the nature of consoles as "specialized devices", which do not match the size of personal computers and mobile platforms and are sold below production costs. In the context of this 'different business model', Microsoft considered that it would have to develop slightly different rules. For the time being, we can still enjoy the new interface of Microsoft Store on Xbox consoles.

Epic Games Inspires Microsoft to Add New Rules to Windows Store - picture #1
The Xbox Store will see many changes, but the time for new, fairer rules is not now.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).