Microsoft explains why it is prohibiting the sale of free open-source apps in the Microsoft Store

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Microsoft Store is set to receive a handful of new policy changes come July 16, this year. Among them is a rule that prohibits the sale of free open-source apps on the platform. “The phrasing of the new policy is broad enough that it covers legitimate applications being sold by the makers of the apps. This led to criticism from several members of the developer community”. (via Windows Central)

Giorgio Sardo, Microsoft’s General Manager of Apps, Partners, and the Microsoft Store indicated that this policy was in place to help them protect their customers from “misleading listings”. While this is important and helps them assert quality control, the move still edges out legitimate companies that put up their open-source apps for sale to earn some income.

Sardo’s remarks were a response to a tweet by ani betts that indicated, “I suspect this was designed to catch scammers that lazily repackage FOSS software for $$, probably needs an exception for the copyright owners.” Giorgio further indicated that Microsoft will work on the wording of the new policy to establish clarity.

Microsoft’s intention is to have the app store open as it already supports Win32 apps, Android apps, and PWA apps such as the Official Reddit PWA. that we saw make its way to the Windows 11 App store. However, prohibiting the sale of free open-source apps in the Microsoft Store that are listed for free elsewhere changes this narrative completely. Be sure to also check out our expert guide where we unpack some of the biggest changes that have made it to the app store.