The Microsoft Store has announced a change to its rules to ban the sale of open source apps. Starting July 16th, no developer will be able to charge for apps open sourceusually downloaded for free outside the digital store.
According to the General Manager of Engineering of the Microsoft Store, Giorgio Sardo, the measure is necessary to combat the growing epidemic of fake applications that use open code to deceive the user. Free software, such as Mozilla Firefox, could be recreated by malicious professionals to impersonate the original version — but with varying fees for use.
New Microsoft Store policies, takes effect July 16 https://t.co/cIl9yCnkos
Some notable changes follow.
— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) July 6, 2022
The problem is that such a decision should affect the revenue of legitimate developers, because they will lose a safe and well-visualized source to disseminate their solutions. Many creators use the Microsoft Store as a bridge to make their software known, grow the user base, and collect fundraisers for the project.
With the change, the financial part should be harmed, since donations would need to be made through the official website, something much more laborious for the user. A software developer and engineer named Hayden Barnes said he was disappointed with the company’s new policy. Along with him, so many others are sad about the end of support, after all many independent devs will lose the “opportunity to create sustainable projects”.
I am disappointed by the @MicrosoftStore policy change that prohibits selling open source software. The Store provides independent open source developers an opportunity to create sustainable projects by charging a reasonable amount there. https://t.co/a3x9MSZJZS
— Hayden Barnes (@unixterminal) July 6, 2022
Measure could reduce the supply of open source apps
On Twitter, other developers said that the measure could reduce the offer of free apps on the official Microsoft store. That’s because instead of creating an open source program, the legitimate developer will choose to create something proprietary in order to make a profit.
Sardo believes the change should only harm those who sell third-party apps. “We absolutely want to support developers in distributing OSS applications successfully. In fact, there are already fantastic OSS apps in the Store! The purpose of this policy is to protect customers from misleading listings,” he wrote in a tweet.
We absolutely want to support developers successfully distributing 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
After listening to the feedback from the developers, the manager assured that he will take the feedback to the company to analyze the measure. If a decision is not taken by Saturday (16), it is likely that many apps will disappear from the Microsoft Store in the coming days for breach of the terms of service. The way is to wait and see if the software giant will back down on the decision or if it will maintain the ban on charging for open source apps.
Source: Microsoft Store