Microsoft creates app fairness policy to show stance on Apple issues - The UpStream

Microsoft creates app fairness policy to show stance on Apple issues

posted Saturday Oct 10, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft creates app fairness policy to show stance on Apple issues

When it comes to the mobile world, there is an important battle heating up over the way developers and users are treated. As time goes on, sides are forming and unlikely allies are building. Some companies have been incredibly outspoken, like Epic Games, which went so far as to sue Apple over its billing policies. Facebook and Microsoft spoke out over Apple's gaming policies.

It seems most publishers would like to see the option for external stores introduced to Apple's iOS ecosystem. Google's Android allows for external stores, such as Samsung's Galaxy Store or Amazon's Appstore, but on iOS, Apple is 100% in charge like Marcus Lemonis. Microsoft, whose ecosystem has always been an open one, decided to call out Apple's policies without calling them out.

In a blog post, the company put forward what it considers to be an essential set of principle - its "app fairness" policy. The first commitment is that Microsoft will never prevent alternate distribution methods. Sure, Windows 10 S restricts installation to the Microsoft Store, but that is a security feature, which can be turned on or off. If you want to install software from the web, you can. If you want to install a competing store, Like Steam or Epic Games Store, you can. The computer is yours, not Microsoft's.

The most blatant commitment, though, is their commitment to not block an app or a developer because of the payment method they choose. That issue has been at the heart of the Epic Games battle, which also had some motion this week. Epic does not want to pay Apple 30% of its sales for the privilege to use a payment system they don't want to use.

The company also promises to revisit these core principles regularly in order to evaluate its fairness against current legal requirements and developer feedback.

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