Microsoft changes its mind and lets developers sell open-source programs in its app store

Microsoft had initially changed its Store policy to combat paid clones of free software. But this change hurt legitimate developers of open source programs who wanted to sell them in the store.

Microsoft has just reversed its policy regarding the sale of software open-source (OSS or Open Source Software) in its Store. The publisher had announced a change in the rules to ban this type of sale, with an entry into force scheduled for July 16. But this action sparked an outcry from the developers, as community host Hayden Barnes mentions in a tweet: “The store offers developers open-source freelancers the opportunity to create sustainable projects by charging a reasonable amount. »

Remember that a program open-source is not necessarily free. However, its source code is freely available and can be modified and redistributed. This allows developers to offer interesting programs for a reasonable price. But others, not very fussy, are content to change the icon and sell the program under another name. This happened, for example, in 2019 with the sale in the Microsoft Store of paid clones of free software.

As explained by Giorgio Sardo, in charge of the Microsoft Store, the policy change was intended to protect the consumer against these program clones, but in no way to harm legitimate software developers. open-source.

Microsoft got the message and Giorgio Sardo just announced in a tweet a change in Microsoft Store policy to accommodate program developers open-source.

The rules for publishing apps to the Microsoft Store now include the following section:

“Your product content and associated metadata must be entirely created by the application provider, used under a license agreement with the third-party rights holder, operated under terms authorized by the rights holder or used under the conditions provided by law. »

Microsoft removed text that said developers should not attempt to profit from software open-source or other software generally available for free, nor have an irrationally high price in relation to the features and functions of their program.

Software developers open-source are satisfied with the publisher’s response, which will make it possible to find quality programs in the application store, as Giorgio Sardo points out: “There are many great free and paid OSS apps in the Microsoft Store, and we look forward to welcoming more. »

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