Microsoft published in the official blog fast, which lists the basic principles of software distribution for Windows: the company will not change anything in the existing model and will not force developers to take any action or limit them in accepting payments. However, these principles do not apply to Xbox.
Windows was and is a proprietary, but open platform: anyone can develop programs for it and distribute it in any way imaginable. These include direct downloads from the website, third-party app stores like Steam and Epic, and the company’s own Microsoft Store. In its publication on the official blog, the company confirmed its commitment to these principles and the lack of plans to change anything.
The company’s reason for addressing this issue is obvious: closed and semi-closed mobile platforms are causing increasing public discontent, followed by the passage of new laws restricting such practices. A lively discussion of the topic began with the legal battle between Epic Games and Google and Apple, which in August 2020 removed the game Fortnite from their app stores because the developer refused to pay hefty fees for in-game purchases. However, Microsoft emphasizes that the company’s commitment to openness does not apply to the Xbox, as it does to the console “specialized computing devices”.
The topicality of the topic also follows from the recent actions of Apple, which, after releasing computers on its own Arm chip, began to urge macOS developers to release software in its own App Store. Microsoft has also made some strange moves with Windows 11 and the Edge browser that may have raised doubts in some users. So the company rushed to reassure them by releasing a set of principles it promised to uphold. Briefly, they can be formulated as follows.
- Microsoft will not ban third-party payment systems for software from the Microsoft Store.
- Microsoft doesn’t require developers to offer better deals on apps in the Microsoft Store.
- Microsoft does not object to direct contact between developers and users regarding pricing – customers are free to offer other products and services.
- Windows will continue to support third-party app stores like Steam.
- The above principles apply to the Microsoft Store for Windows and not to the Xbox platform.
Microsoft also noted that as the company’s new publisher of the Call of Duty games and many others it will control following its acquisition by Activision Blizzard, it will keep them available for the PlayStation “based on existing agreements and going forward”; The company is equally interested in supporting Nintendo consoles. A bold stance for a gamer preparing to become one of the largest game publishers in the world.