Microsoft Store: no more astronomical prices and open source applications paid or copied for free
Microsoft updated Microsoft Store policies on June 16, 2022. One of the changes prohibits publishers from charging fees for software that is open source or generally available for free. Another that uses irrationally high prices in the store.
If you’ve visited the Microsoft Store in the past couple of years, you might have noticed that it’s home to more and more open-source and free products. While it’s a good thing if the original developer had downloaded the apps and games from the store, that’s not the case as the downloads were done by third parties.
Worse still, many of these programs are not available for free, but available as paid applications. In other words: Microsoft customers have to pay to buy a Store version of an app available for free elsewhere. Sometimes free and paid versions coexist in the Store.
Having to pay for a free app is bad enough, but it’s not the only problem users may encounter when making the purchase. Updates can also be a concern, as copied programs may not update as often or as quickly as source apps.
Microsoft notes under 10.8.7 in updated Microsoft Store policies:
Where you determine the price of your product or in-app purchases, all prices, including sales or discounts, for your digital products or services must:
Comply with all applicable laws, regulations and regulatory guidelines, including without limitation the Federal Trade Commission’s guides against misleading pricing.
Do not attempt to take advantage of open source software or other software generally available for free, or an irrationally high price in relation to the features and functionality provided by your product.
The updated section confirms the new policies. Open source and free products can no longer be sold on the Microsoft Store, if they are generally available for free, and publishers are no longer allowed to set irrationally high prices for their products. Developers of open source and free applications can invoice their products on the Microsoft Store, the developer of Paint.net does this for example.
If Microsoft enforces the policies, many apps will be removed from the Store. Developers could previously report apps to Microsoft, but the new policies give Microsoft direct control over app listings and submissions.
Now you: Have you ever used the Microsoft Store? (via Deskmodder)