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News Microsoft Announces 10 Principles for Windows Store in Response to Apple

Evangelion Unit-01

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Source: https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-...ore-fairness-caf-interoperability-principles/

  1. Developers will have the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store. We will not block competing app stores on Windows.
  2. We will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s business model or how it delivers content and services, including whether content is installed on a device or streamed from the cloud.
  3. We will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s choice of which payment system to use for processing purchases made in its app.
  4. We will give developers timely access to information about the interoperability interfaces we use on Windows, as set forth in our Interoperability Principles.
  5. Every developer will have access to our app store as long as it meets objective standards and requirements, including those for security, privacy, quality, content and digital safety.
  6. Our app store will charge reasonable fees that reflect the competition we face from other app stores on Windows and will not force a developer to sell within its app anything it doesn’t want to sell.
  7. Our app store will not prevent developers from communicating directly with their users through their apps for legitimate business purposes.
  8. Our app store will hold our own apps to the same standards to which it holds competing apps.
  9. Microsoft will not use any non-public information or data from its app store about a developer’s app to compete with it.
  10. Our app store will be transparent about its rules and policies and opportunities for promotion and marketing, apply these consistently and objectively, provide notice of changes and make available a fair process to resolve disputes.

On Steam + Epic Game Store:
But there are other popular and competitive alternatives on Windows 10. Third-party app stores, such as those from Steam and Epic, are available for Windows and offer developers different pricing (or revenue share) options, standards, requirements and features. And developers can also easily choose to distribute their apps on their own terms directly over the internet without restrictions. The first four principles are designed to preserve this freedom of choice, and the robust competition and innovation that it enables on Windows 10.

On Xbox:
We also operate a store on the Xbox console. It’s reasonable to ask why we are not also applying these principles to that Xbox store today. Game consoles are specialized devices optimized for a particular use. Though well-loved by their fans, they are vastly outnumbered in the marketplace by PCs and phones. And the business model for game consoles is very different to the ecosystem around PCs or phones. Console makers such as Microsoft invest significantly in developing dedicated console hardware but sell them below cost or at very low margins to create a market that game developers and publishers can benefit from. Given these fundamental differences in the significance of the platform and the business model, we have more work to do to establish the right set of principles for game consoles.

More at the source.

This is in response to the situation the current Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit as well as the antitrust investigation by the House of Representatives. Both Republicans and Democrats have largely concluded that there is some degree of anticompetitive behavior but they disagree on the solution with House Republicans accusing the Democrats of pushing too far. It should be noted that the US House only investigated Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. They did not see fit to investigate Microsoft. This also comes as another shot across the bow as Microsoft is fighting their own battle to get Game Pass/xCloud on the App store.

This is largely posturing from Microsoft as much of this was already the case on Windows Store-Xbox store remains an island with a flimsy justification since Apple could say the same about iPhone. Still, statements like this by companies are followed with action and Microsoft will stick to their guns here. The Epic v Apple lawsuit will certainly continue to hold my interest. I am also incredibly curious to see how things with Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon settle with the Government. The way in why we casually throw out the term "antitrust" makes me nervous but it is clear to me that these companies manipulate free speech and do engage in behaviors that limits competition within their ecosystem. Lots of big questions to ponder.
 
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Evangelion Unit-01

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I’ve got a good laugh. They know people will point to Xbox and they just put some stupidity to try to justify it’s not the same.
Like Apple isn’t investing to develop iPhone.
Indeed. I actually just added some verbiage about that as well. I suppose one could say that there is is more competition in the game console space: Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Stadia, Epic Game Store, Steam, etc but the argument is flimsy. Interested to see how all of this unfolds. I am torn on some of the issues-on one hand I see many cases where Apple is more than justified in their policies on the other hand I do want more control over what software I can put on my device. An interesting situation through and through.
 
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Evangelion Unit-01

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That's not Microsoft point though, it's not about the size of the investment into the device but the margin of the device. Whether this flies with the Democrats, we don't know.
Certainly and luckily for the folks in Redmond they haven't been investigated...yet. Their argument is that it boils down to market size, number of competitors, and margin/revenue model. An interesting angle and not one that everyone will be willing to buy.
 

SCB3

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Indeed. I actually just added some verbiage about that as well. I suppose one could say that there is is more competition in the game console space: Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Stadia, Epic Game Store, Steam, etc but the argument is flimsy. Interested to see how all of this unfolds. I am torn on some of the issues-on one hand I see many cases where Apple is more than justified in their policies on the other hand I do want more control over what software I can put on my device. An interesting situation through and through.

The major difference is that Apple take a cut from IN APP Purchases, whereas the rest don't?

I'm of the opinion that if a game wants to charge for stuff in game, then they should be making 100% of the revenue, especially if they've already sold the game via a store such as the Xbox store, the Xbox store has made its cut there instead

Free to play games should be free to host as we see on Steam
 

reksveks

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Certainly and luckily for the folks in Redmond they haven't been investigated...yet. Their argument is that it boils down to market size, number of competitors, and margin/revenue model. An interesting angle and not one that everyone will be willing to buy.

I am happy to start with regulation starting with the biggest industries initially. I am not against the idea of having a gog store on
Certainly and luckily for the folks in Redmond they haven't been investigated...yet. Their argument is that it boils down to market size, number of competitors, and margin/revenue model. An interesting angle and not one that everyone will be willing to buy.

I am happy to start with the biggest device categories and then trickle down. I would also like smart home devices to be more open between services which fortunately the companies realise has to happen all by themselves.

I wonder if Sony will ever say anything on this fight.
 
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The_Mike

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I don't like Apples walled garden, but if Microsoft wants to show off their store, try make one that isn't a horror show to use.

It's made to look professional, which is fine. Microsoft has professional users like big companies etc.

But if you're a gamer then the store is nightmare fuel. I can't even say it feel dated as much as the 2000's,because steam was released back then and were better functional.

How Microsoft became the good guy, lol



Yeah it's pretty impressive how they made that 180 after the release of Xbox One.
 
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Orky

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I’ve got a good laugh. They know people will point to Xbox and they just put some stupidity to try to justify it’s not the same.
Like Apple isn’t investing to develop iPhone.

you don’t get the Point. It’s about the margin. Apple makes most of their money by selling the hardware itself.
console makers are mostly using money by selling the hardware.
Also, a Gaming console is a luxury hobby, iPhone/Smartphone is a necessity in today’s world. By this alone you can’t compare those.
 

Compsiox

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Oh god imagine we get a PlayStation Store on Xbox and an Xbox Store on PlayStation.

At that point it wouldn't really be worth making consoles for these companies I think.
 

ripeavocado

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Do the same for Xbox c'mon!


Of course you are not going to do it, the whole gamepass model relies on the closed platform concept.
 
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Compsiox

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LOL MS acting like the good guy when in fact the only reason they don't do on windows what apple does is because MS doesnt want to get slapped down by anti trust regulators for unfairly leveraging their windows monopoly.
Windows has always been a more open platform. iOS has always been closed so people are used to it. If Microsoft even attempted to do the same with Windows at this point (UWP was kinda a step in this direction) then they'd get a ton of push back (which they did for UWP). Even the mainstream would probably make a lot of noise.
 
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prinz_valium

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I don't like Apples walled garden, but if Microsoft wants to show off their store, try make one that isn't a horror show to use.

It's made to look professional, which is fine. Microsoft has professional users like big companies etc.

But if you're a gamer then the store is nightmare fuel. I can't even say it feel dated as much as the 2000's,because steam was released back then and were better functional.





Yeah it's pretty impressive how they made that 180 after the release of Xbox One.
Not even talking about Xbox only.
The whole of Microsoft.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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What I get from Microsoft's statements here is, "we have these products that we've made that we strife for to be open but are nothing like what Apple offers, and this one product that is similar to what Apple offers but in a different form factor, and we have a few reasons why we want it to remain closed; and Apple should really be more like the open products we offer and not like the closed one".

Just because the iPhone is not a "gaming console" does not mean it's no longer an integrated platform, the degrees of conceptual separation there are almost non-existent. The Switch, too, blurs the line so heavily that any distinction may as well be impossible. The only reasonable argument I got from the entire thing, is that console hardware is usually sold at minimal profit, or even at a loss, so the walled garden ends up providing a vital line of revenue to offset the costs of R&D on the hardware side.

I think Apple lowering the entry costs for their ecosystem by reducing their profit on hardware sales might be a far more welcome change than dismantling their walled garden, as it's a much clearer value proposition to the consumer and makes Apple's product offering fall in line with other integrated platforms, rather than forcing them to change the entire nature of their product.
 
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T-Cake

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This is probably why they're allowing Origin to be required for EA Play on the Windows Store now, as part of Game Pass.
 

MrFunSocks

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The second you force Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo to allow third party stores on their consoles, or for them to not take a cut of revenue, is the day you won’t see another console released. It’s absurd that people that claim to love video games seem to want to destroy the video game console industry.

If a company makes a product they shouldn’t have to build ways for competitors to profit from that product.
 

Soodanim

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Despite the negatives of a single purchase source for digital games on consoles I hope it never changes or opens up. I’m never going to buy an EA, Ubisoft, Epic, or other publisher’s game that requires me to install another store/launcher on PC, but I may buy their game on a console precisely because it just works.

Consoles offer simplicity, and to give any of the publishers an inch would ruin that. I don’t know what it’s like regarding accounts, and if Activision forces you to sign in, but that’s better than what it would, and could, be like.
 
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smbu2000

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I'm a Microsoft fan, but this blog post is definitely a joke. I guess MS wants to have their own walled garden torn down. Epic game store and every other developer who wants to make their own store coming soon to Xbox. What a mess that will be.
Of course it won't just be MS, it will also happen to Sony and Nintendo
If it is ruled that Apple can't maintain their own walled garden then nobody else will able to either.
 
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sn0man

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That's not Microsoft point though, it's not about the size of the investment into the device but the margin of the device. Whether this flies with the Democrats, we don't know.
Said inversely, Microsoft is trying to protect their 30% now because they are afraid Apple’s reckoning will initiate similar with them.
 
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Bojanglez

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I’ve got a good laugh. They know people will point to Xbox and they just put some stupidity to try to justify it’s not the same.
Like Apple isn’t investing to develop iPhone.
I'm no fan of Microsoft as an organisation and have a strong dislike for Windows, but I believe there is a difference. A phone and a PC are seen as utility devices, many people rely on these to perform necessary tasks in society (more and more services such as banking and government moving online).

Now I'm also not saying that Apple shouldn't defend their own ecosystem, but they are a victim of their own success, as their platform-product combination becomes a dominant force (not a monopoly) they may have institutions like the EU (don't get me started on them either) demand that they open up in some way.
 
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sn0man

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What I get from Microsoft's statements here is, "we have these products that we've made that we strife for to be open but are nothing like what Apple offers, and this one product that is similar to what Apple offers but in a different form factor, and we have a few reasons why we want it to remain closed; and Apple should really be more like the open products we offer and not like the closed one".

Just because the iPhone is not a "gaming console" does not mean it's no longer an integrated platform, the degrees of conceptual separation there are almost non-existent. The Switch, too, blurs the line so heavily that any distinction may as well be impossible. The only reasonable argument I got from the entire thing, is that console hardware is usually sold at minimal profit, or even at a loss, so the walled garden ends up providing a vital line of revenue to offset the costs of R&D on the hardware side.

I think Apple lowering the entry costs for their ecosystem by reducing their profit on hardware sales might be a far more welcome change than dismantling their walled garden, as it's a much clearer value proposition to the consumer and makes Apple's product offering fall in line with other integrated platforms, rather than forcing them to change the entire nature of their product.
Alternatively if the profit on hardware for iOS devices is so high, Microsoft could compete with Surface phones and tablets. They’re definitely trying.

make no mistake MS is keenly aware they are trying to thread the needle.
 

Dane

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The difference is that iOS has always been walled, Windows hasn't, in fact, Microsoft tried to put walls with the UWP and Microsoft Store on Windows 8, but it went with a very bad public reception so they backtracked with Windows 10.

Its good to see competition though, and it seems that is something that some people doesn't notice, Linux is a freebie and open alternative to Windows, Windows is a closed but also a very free platform. Android for phones is open source and yet people still want to force Apple to do X thing by the justice rather than switch their platforms to the open source competitor that allows to download apps outside of the Google play store.
 

alstrike

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I got a 2 weeks holiday on era just for commenting on this.

Serves me right for being polite...
 
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Woo-Fu

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How Microsoft became the good guy, lol
IKR, they're not announcing stuff that they do out of the kindness of their corporate hearts, they're announcing market realities in the PC space that they've tried to change multiple times and been stopped either by the market itself or the DoJ.
 
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thief183

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IKR, they're not announcing stuff that they do out of the kindness of their corporate hearts, they're announcing market realities in the PC space that they've tried to change multiple times and been stopped either by the market itself or the DoJ.

There were different times and different ppl at Microsoft.

At the moment Microsoft has become "the less bad" of all the big corporation. I think it started with the surface, thay made it easy to open and easy to repair, they also sell you spare parts... for my shop it has been an awesome step in the right direction (Apple on the other hand is trying to make me close whenever they can)
 

Andodalf

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There is no comparison between IPhone and Xbox. Smartphones are just computers at this point and need to be regulated as such. Can you imagine if MS tried to take 30% of every transaction on PC? There would be congressional hearings tomorrow. Why should iPhone get any different treatment?
 

lastmessiah

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There is no comparison between IPhone and Xbox. Smartphones are just computers at this point and need to be regulated as such. Can you imagine if MS tried to take 30% of every transaction on PC? There would be congressional hearings tomorrow. Why should iPhone get any different treatment?

Apple's app store is not equivalent to the smartphone itself, it is just a storefront.
 
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If Windows store wasn't a huge failure we'd PROBABLY see MS singing a different tune here; honestly it might be an entirely different company at this point had it taken off, as it would have made them so much money and I do wonder if it would have gotten in the way of getting rid of Balmer and putting someone like Satya in charge.

The blurb about Xbox maybe has a tiny bit of merit, but it's also kinda BS. Not every console is even a loss leader (*cough* NIntendo *cough*) and that's really their choice.. MS and Sony both hoped to get away from the loss leader market last gen and were actually somewhat successful... so is the idea that it's a "special purpose" device.. it's a special purpose device because MS / Sony / Nintendo enforce them to be that way and don't allow any software to install, or don't even allow entire genre's of software to be SOLD on their devices. So the reason it's specialized is because they enact far more control than Apple or any cell phone OS maker lol
 

Three

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I’ve got a good laugh. They know people will point to Xbox and they just put some stupidity to try to justify it’s not the same.
Like Apple isn’t investing to develop iPhone.
To be fair Apple do not take a loss on any of their devices, or anywhere for that matter, as an investment. They charge extortianatly high prices.

This is stupid though because if MS was in the same position as Apple you bet your ass they would have bled everyone dry.
 
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LordCBH

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Half of those are laughable because half of those they couldn’t block if they wanted to do so without massive backlash considering Windows has had competing app stores since the early 2000’s. There’s a stark difference between an open platform installed on devices of every make and model, and a platform that has been closed since its inception on hardware made by the platform owner.
 

Three

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There is no comparison between IPhone and Xbox. Smartphones are just computers at this point and need to be regulated as such. Can you imagine if MS tried to take 30% of every transaction on PC? There would be congressional hearings tomorrow. Why should iPhone get any different treatment?
They do on the windows store and at one point made it difficult to sideload things in the guise of "security". Nobody cared about the windows store though and still used the old way of doing things on windows
 

Slurpy2k20

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What a pathetic, and empty, PR stunt.

First of all, Windows has always been an open platform where you can distribute applications same outside of an official appstore. Same as MacOS, which is what the relevant competitor and comparison is. iOS has always been a closed platform, so this kind of superficial comparison does not apply. Windows 10 mobile was also a closed OS, it just crashed and burned. All those "principles" they just listed apply to macOS just fine as well.

Also, the vast majority of apps are not distributed through the Windows Store, which is failed product. It's never been a meaningful source of revenue for them, so maintaining the status quo isn't some big sacrifice. The vast majority of app downloads from Windows are made from outside the store, so it's not like Microsoft cares that much about that negligent revenue.

And what are these "reasonable fees"? Interesting how they don't commit to anything specific. And notice how of course this does NOT apply to Xbox, because that store IS a significant revenue stream, so they need to protect that. So they're perfectly fine with having the same fees as the appstore and stringent rules there and not allowing alternate stores, as long as they don't sacrifice revenue for their "principles". Pretty hypocritical.

People will cheerlead Microsoft's statement, because Apple something something, but it's just PR, and contains almost no actionable aspects. It's an intellectually dishonest campaign to compare Windows to iOS, when macOS exists and is the relevant and appropriate comparison. Microsoft has nothing comparable to iOS, so they're not in a position to pretend they're doing it better.
 
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alstrike

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Why would you go there, tho.

Gaming discussion is ok, other aspects not so much. It doesn't really help that the average user there has a very thin skin and gets offended quite easy even when the people that should get offended don't.

I got a 2 week ban for criticizing a DF clickbait video.

I got a 1 month ban for defending Ricky Gervais against people calling him a transphobe which apparently makes me a transphobe as well.

I got a 3 month holiday for defending MKBHD when some users were calling him an Uncle Tom and asking naively if all guests on the Joe Rogan podcast are automatically racist/nazis. That's concern racist trolling according to some of them.

And now I got 2 weeks for "disparaging journalists" aka saying Tom Warren wrote an article.

I should just let the ban expire without logging back in ever again.
 
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Slurpy2k20

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Gaming discussion is ok, other aspects not so much. It doesn't really help that the average user there has a very thin skin and gets offended quite easy even when the people that should get offended don't.

I got a 2 week ban for criticizing a DF clickbait video.

I got a 1 month ban for defending Ricky Gervais against people calling him a transphobe which apparently makes me a transphobe as well.

I got a 3 month holiday for defending MKBHD when some users were calling him an Uncle Tom and asking naively if all guests on the Joe Rogan podcast are automatically racist/nazis. That's concern racist trolling according to some of them.

And now I got 2 weeks for "disparaging journalists" aka saying Tom Warren wrote an article.

I should just let the ban expire without logging back in ever again.

I'm very left-wing, have never even come close to breaking any rules or insulting a single member there, and have been perma-banned for reasons of which were not even articulated. Actually, the last post I made there was the one above. Fuck that place. Don't even bother.
 
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M1chl

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Gaming discussion is ok, other aspects not so much. It doesn't really help that the average user there has a very thin skin and gets offended quite easy even when the people that should get offended don't.

I got a 2 week ban for criticizing a DF clickbait video.

I got a 1 month ban for defending Ricky Gervais against people calling him a transphobe which apparently makes me a transphobe as well.

I got a 3 month holiday for defending MKBHD when some users were calling him an Uncle Tom and asking naively if all guests on the Joe Rogan podcast are automatically racist/nazis. That's concern racist trolling according to some of them.

And now I got 2 weeks for "disparaging journalists" aka saying Tom Warren wrote an article.

I should just let the ban expire without logging back in ever again.
MKBHD being "uncle Tom" is something, as if they don't want black people to succeed, absolutely reprehensible.
 

alstrike

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MKBHD being "uncle Tom" is something, as if they don't want black people to succeed, absolutely reprehensible.

There's a certain user (Bossattack) that hands out "black IDs" and black users are not black enough if he doesn't deem it so.

It's absolutely surreal.
 
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ethomaz

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What has any to do with Apple?

MS tried to chance the fate of Windows Store after it failed with the same Apple's policies in a Open Platform.

Apple owns the hardware of their platform... MS not (people will say Surface but that is still a PC open platform).
 
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reksveks

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What a pathetic, and empty, PR stunt.

First of all, Windows has always been an open platform where you can distribute applications same outside of an official appstore. Same as MacOS, which is what the relevant competitor and comparison is. iOS has always been a closed platform, so this kind of superficial comparison does not apply. Windows 10 mobile was also a closed OS, it just crashed and burned. All those "principles" they just listed apply to macOS just fine as well.

Also, the vast majority of apps are not distributed through the Windows Store, which is failed product. It's never been a meaningful source of revenue for them, so maintaining the status quo isn't some big sacrifice. The vast majority of app downloads from Windows are made from outside the store, so it's not like Microsoft cares that much about that negligent revenue.

And what are these "reasonable fees"? Interesting how they don't commit to anything specific. And notice how of course this does NOT apply to Xbox, because that store IS a significant revenue stream, so they need to protect that. So they're perfectly fine with having the same fees as the appstore and stringent rules there and not allowing alternate stores, as long as they don't sacrifice revenue for their "principles". Pretty hypocritical.

People will cheerlead Microsoft's statement, because Apple something something, but it's just PR, and contains almost no actionable aspects. It's an intellectually dishonest campaign to compare Windows to iOS, when macOS exists and is the relevant and appropriate comparison. Microsoft has nothing comparable to iOS, so they're not in a position to pretend they're doing it better.

That isn't the comparison that Microsoft is making initially at least, it's the comparison of how important mobile phones are for users now in comparison to desktop previously.

Don't get me wrong, it's a weird argument but definitely think that there is a kernel of truth and think there needs to be better regulation regarding the two major mobile platform holders treating themselves preferential.
 

wolffy71

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It will be interesting watching this play out. The line they draw for what device is allowed to run a " wall garden" is gonna change some things probably.
Is it just the general purpose vs specific purpose issue? Or is it gonna be based on profits.
How could Playstation survive if it had to allow an xbox, apple games, luna, ea play, etc on their console?

Sony only sells games so that would seriously impact their model. Apple on the other hand sells broadly over many industries. Music, games, communication, productivity, health care, etc. No one business would threaten that.

How could MS or Sony leverage the consoles to make up revenue lost in gaming via other services? Charge netflix, youtube, or spotify?
 

lastmessiah

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So if MS just made it so that you can't download ANYTHING to your PC other than through their store, that would make things BETTER?

You can download content from the web without using the app store though, can't you? iOS has a file explorer now. I'm not defending Apple or anything, just pointing out that it isn't quite the same.