Last month the Microsoft Store issued policy updates meant to crack down on developers charging unreasonable prices for apps… and on copycats who use the store to sell clones of open source software that’s normally available for free, a problem that’s been plaguing the Microsoft Store for years.
But the language Microsoft used suggested that even the developers responsible for those open source apps couldn’t charge money for them in the Microsoft Store if they’re available elsewhere for free. And that generated some strong pushback from developers, so Microsoft has backtracked on some of those changes.
Some developers of free and open source applications like the WinSCP FTP client and Krita digital painting apps make their software available for free on the web or from open source repositories, but charge a fee for versions distributed through the Microsoft Store or other app stores as a way to generate revenue for folks interested in supporting the project.
WinSCP is free on the web, or $10 from the Microsoft Store. Krita is free on the web, but $15 from the Microsoft Store or Steam and $10 from the Epic Games Store.
Microsoft’s Giorgio Sardo says that in response to feedback the company has “removed the previous mention to open source pricing” and that the company is “committed to building an open Store and enabling dev choice and flexibility.”
And that’s great news for developers of open source apps that want to charge for their software when distributing it in the Microsoft Store. It may be less good news for developers who want to support Microsoft’s efforts to crack down on unofficial copies of apps that are showing up as paid apps in the Microsoft Store.
via Neowin, Giorgio Sardo, and Microsoft Store Policies