Windows Store to allow for open source apps

Windows 8's delivery system for new apps, the Windows Store, was revealed in detailed earlier this week. Developers who might be leery of making apps for Windows 8 might think differently thanks to a new provision in Microsoft's recently revealed Windows Store User Agreement. The terms allow for app developers to submit programs to the Windows Store that have been developed with most open source licenses provided the use has been approved by the Open-Source Initiative (OSI).

The specific agreement states:

Your license terms must also not conflict with the Standard Application License Terms, in any way, except if you include FOSS, your license terms may conflict with the limitations set forth in Section 3 of those Terms, but only to the extent required by the FOSS that you use. 'FOSS' means any software licensed under an Open Source Initiative Approved License.

In another part of the Windows Store User Agreement, Microsoft says:

If your app includes FOSS, it must not cause any non-FOSS Microsoft software to become subject to the terms of any FOSS license.

The Register believes that while Microsoft did not name it specifically, the agreement means that the General Public License (GPL) support will not be included.

With at least some kind of open source software approval for Windows Store apps, it looks like developers will have at least a little more freedom to make applications their way rather than having it be completely dictated by Microsoft.

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19 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

If MS wants to have Windows Store so badly they need to look at Steam Model because Steam is not in any way intrusive the way this will be. This is another big failure we are going to see along with Metro. I can't help it but to be repetitive in my statements on this board about what's coming because i see the future!

PS. Not saying that i am Jedi

techguy77 said,
If MS wants to have Windows Store so badly they need to look at Steam Model because Steam is not in any way intrusive the way this will be. This is another big failure we are going to see along with Metro. I can't help it but to be repetitive in my statements on this board about what's coming because i see the future!

PS. Not saying that i am Jedi

I'm confused on how this will be any more intrusive then Steam?

AFAIK there are no open source games on Steam. Zero.

It'd be nice if I could download OpenTTD through Steam and have it auto-update, cloud save, etc. But I can't because Steam doesn't allow free open source games in their store.

So what exactly was your point?

Nick Kessler said,
AFAIK there are no open source games on Steam. Zero.

It'd be nice if I could download OpenTTD through Steam and have it auto-update, cloud save, etc. But I can't because Steam doesn't allow free open source games in their store.

So what exactly was your point?

Doom 3 is open source.

s3n4te said,

Doom 3 is open source.

The engine is open source. The game and the assets are not. Same goes for most other Id games.

Nick Kessler said,

The engine is open source. The game and the assets are not. Same goes for most other Id games.

Not only that, but the engine is GPL'd, so that means no games like OpenArena on the Windows Store.

techguy77 said,
If MS wants to have Windows Store so badly they need to look at Steam Model because Steam is not in any way intrusive the way this will be. This is another big failure we are going to see along with Metro. I can't help it but to be repetitive in my statements on this board about what's coming because i see the future!

PS. Not saying that i am Jedi


You have all these comments saying they have no idea what you are talking about and you dont comment?

Makes your comment pretty NULL

Joey S said,

Not only that, but the engine is GPL'd, so that means no games like OpenArena on the Windows Store.

Depending on the GPL version and depending on what parts it 'requires'.

The GPL was re-written to target Microsoft by forcing 'touching' software to be open source, however not all GPL software is held to this, through exclusion licenses, and 'embedding' itself to not 'infect' surrounding software.

So if the GPL REQUIRES Windows to become OSS, there is no way Microsoft can sell it in their freaking store.

I really find the love and ignorance of the GPL baffling.

thenetavenger said,
So if the GPL REQUIRES Windows to become OSS, there is no way Microsoft can sell it in their freaking store.

Good thing it doesn't.
thenetavenger said,
I really find the love and ignorance of the GPL baffling.

Yours is astounding.

thealexweb said,
"Windows Store to allow for open source apps" Does that even make sense? XD

No it doesn't. It should say: "Windows Store might allow some open source apps if they adhere to our strict rules".

The GPL is a massive part of FOSS, so excluding it excludes probably about 1/3 of all open source software.

Joey S said,
No it doesn't. It should say: "Windows Store might allow some open source apps if they adhere to our strict rules".

Strict? All it says in section 4B is "If your app includes FOSS, it must not cause any non-FOSS Microsoft software to become subject to the terms of any FOSS license." That's it, hardly unreasonable, especially considering it's a store (you know, to make money), not a public repository. It's also only one out of a multitude of licenses; there's quite a few other FOSS licenses to choose from. http://opensource.org/licenses/category

Joey S said,

No it doesn't. It should say: "Windows Store might allow some open source apps if they adhere to our strict rules".

The GPL is a massive part of FOSS, so excluding it excludes probably about 1/3 of all open source software.

Which GPL, the original intent of GPL or the v2 and v3 of the GPL that targeted Microsoft so that it co-opted any software the GPL based software touches.

GPL is a bit insane in the later revisions... Basically it says, if you use this license, any software your software touches must be turned over to the GPL licensing rules.

This would be like creating a painting that in the agreement, it makes all the paintings displayed near it free to everyone, that they then also make all the paintings near them free to everyone...

If anyone is using GPL 'seriously' they are either mislead or idiots.

(There is a reason they HAD to make a licensed 'exceptions' because the licensing literally breaks itself..)


The Microsoft OSS license is one of the best, as things are really free, WITHOUT any freaking rules. Use it, share it, or don't share it, no obligations...

GPL is the most invasive and fascist licensing in the history of technology, making the EULAs of most software look like cute kittens, with the GPL being both a hawk and a vulture, stealing, and forcing people to give away things they never intended.

thenetavenger said,

Which GPL, the original intent of GPL or the v2 and v3 of the GPL that targeted Microsoft so that it co-opted any software the GPL based software touches.

GPL is a bit insane in the later revisions... Basically it says, if you use this license, any software your software touches must be turned over to the GPL licensing rules.

This would be like creating a painting that in the agreement, it makes all the paintings displayed near it free to everyone, that they then also make all the paintings near them free to everyone...

If anyone is using GPL 'seriously' they are either mislead or idiots.

(There is a reason they HAD to make a licensed 'exceptions' because the licensing literally breaks itself..)


The Microsoft OSS license is one of the best, as things are really free, WITHOUT any freaking rules. Use it, share it, or don't share it, no obligations...

GPL is the most invasive and fascist licensing in the history of technology, making the EULAs of most software look like cute kittens, with the GPL being both a hawk and a vulture, stealing, and forcing people to give away things they never intended.

So much ignorance in this post. Just because you have no clue what you're talking about doesn't mean you need to spread your ignorance about the GPL.

The GPL has restrictions because it aims at something way different than what you think it wants to do. The GPL is meant to free the code and the users of that code, not the developers. The aim is to make it easy for anyone to modify the code they are using and to fix problems or maintain it, or even port it to other operating systems. It prevents applications from dying by making sure there is source code available to continue working on them. iD releases their engines a few years after they are put onto the market so that new developers can learn from them and so the whole world benefits as a whole.

If you want people using your code but you do not mind corporations taking your code and making profit off it, or people modifying your code without helping others by releasing their changes, there are other licenses available such as the BSD license. If you want people to use your work in proprietary software but want the community of benefit from changes to your work, you can use the LGPL - then you are only required to release changes to the library, and the source code of your application remains how you wish.

People are using the GPL seriously because they want to benefit from its protections. You are either mislead, an idiot, or both. The GPL isn't insane at all, and this isn't new of the latest revisions. GPL 2 was that way, GPL 3 as well. No one except misguided people complain.

From what little I know about the GPL it doesn't allow linking to proprietary binaries without a license exception, so I would imagine The Register is correct.