September 24, 2022

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Microsoft Store’s new policy prohibits copycat open source software charges

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Microsoft Store’s new policy prohibits copycat open source software charges



Microsoft Store’s new policy prohibits copycat open source software charges.

Microsoft updated the Microsoft Store policy on June 16, 2022.

One of the changes worthy of attention for developers is that Microsoft will prohibit charging for “copycat products” of open source or free software, as well as prohibit developers from using unreasonably high pricing in the store.

Since Microsoft gradually opened the Microsoft Store and no longer restricted developers to uploading only UWP applications, the number and types of applications in the Microsoft Store have gradually enriched.

Well-known open source software such as Visual Studio Code, VLC, GIMP, and Audacity are also coming to the App Store.

Although the Microsoft Store software library is gradually enriched, users will find that many software in the store are not uploaded by the original authors themselves, but copied by third-party developers.

What’s even more abhorrent is that some of the original author’s software itself is open source or free, and the copycat products are instead provided as paid applications.

That said, it is possible for Windows users to pay for a knock-off version of software that is freely available elsewhere.

And like the picture above, the free version of the original author and the paid version of the copycat exist side by side in the store, but it will cause misunderstandings to ordinary users, and they will feel that the paid version has more functions and a better experience.

To combat this phenomenon, Microsoft states in Article 10.8.7 of the new Microsoft Store policy :

A few principles to get you started:

Offer unique and distinct value within your product. Provide a compelling reason to download your product from the Store.

  • Don’t mislead our joint customers about what your product can do, who is offering it, etc.
  • Don’t attempt to cheat customers, the system or the ecosystem. There is no place in our Store for any
  • kind of fraud, be it ratings and review manipulation, credit card fraud or other fraudulent activity.

Adhering to these policies should help you make choices that enhance your product’s appeal and audience.

Your products are crucial to the experience of hundreds of millions of customers. We can’t wait to see what you create and are thrilled to help deliver your products to the world.

If you have feedback on the policies, please let us know by commenting in our forum. We will consider every comment.

When Audacity was put on the Microsoft Store in April this year , the official “fired” the copycat products:

Since the Microsoft Store is filled with all sorts of knockoffs of Audacity, not only in numbers, but even charging users a fee, we’ve now taken back the name and released the correct, free version for the first time.

As support for the original authors of the software, the original authors of open source and free software can still price their products in the Microsoft Store (but at a reasonable price).

The new policy will go into effect in July, when many copycat apps will be removed from the store.



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