Microsoft launches Open App Store Principles

The principles, to apply to the Microsoft Store and to the marketplaces that the company is building for games, are intended to ‘promote a more open app market and better serve users and creators alike’. The company commits to treating apps equally in its store, applying the same standards to both its own apps and competing apps, and to avoid using data from the app store to compete with other developers’ apps.

Developers will not be required to use Microsoft’s payment system to process in-app payments, nor will they be prevented from communicating directly with their customers through their apps. 

Microsoft also says it will enable Windows users to use alternative app stores and third-party apps. There’s also a commitment to giving users full control over their data. 

The principles come in the context of Microsoft’s bid to acquire video game company Activision Blizzard, for which it will seek approval from 17 regulators around the world. They were also presented as a proactive response to strengthen competition legislation being considered in the USA, the EU, and elsewhere. Microsoft seems to be ready to embrace such new laws, arguing that ‘it’s possible to adapt to new rules and innovate successfully’.