Last month, Microsoft released an update to its Microsoft Store policies, prohibiting paid open-source apps. The idea behind that rule is to reduce the number of scams and make the Microsoft Store a little safer for the end-user. Unfortunately, that also means developers of legitimate applications based on open-source software risk getting kicked out of the marketplace.
After getting multiple complaints and feedback from developers, Microsoft has decided to backtrack the new rules and allow paid open-source apps in the Microsoft Store. Two weeks after the initial clarification, Giorgio Sard, general manager of apps, partners, and the Store at Microsoft, has announced a revision to the Microsoft Store policies.
The latest version of the rules that govern what apps developers can list in the Microsoft Store no longer mentions the pricing of open-source applications. Giorgio acknowledged that "there are many great free and paid OSS apps", and the company "look(s) forward to welcoming more."
2/3 To clarify our intent, we removed the previous mention to open source pricing. We're committed to building an open Store and enabling dev choice and flexibility. If there are intellectual property concerns about an app, please report it at https://t.co/giZuHeCIpH— Giorgio Sardo (@gisardo) July 18, 2022
Microsoft still wants to ensure users get safe apps that do not violate copyright or intellectual property. If you encounter a counterfeit app trying to get some easy money from inexperienced customers, report it using one of the official online infringement forms.
You can check out the change history for Microsoft Store policy in the official documentation. Document version 7.16.1 that went live yesterday contains the following:
Update to 10.8.7 to remove language related to open-source or other free software.
Update to 11.2 adding a link to Microsoft’s online infringement reporting form.
A comprehensive list of Microsoft Store rules is available here.