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Microsoft Finally Tackles the Windows App Store’s Biggest Problem

an image of the Microsoft Store in Windows 11
Microsoft

The Microsoft Store was supposed to give Windows 11 users a safe and easy means to find apps. But it’s only accomplished the opposite—the Microsoft Store is chock-full of scams, mainly paid versions of open-source apps like VLC or Firefox. Finally, Microsoft says it’ll take this problem seriously.

According to Microsoft’s new app store policies, which go into effect July 16th, users may not “attempt to profit” from software “that is otherwise generally available for free.”

This rule is long overdue, but as many developers note, it’s a bit too broad. Some open-source developers sell their apps on the Microsoft Store in lieu of asking for a donation. This is usually clarified in the app’s description—see Paint.net’s listing on the Microsoft Store for an example.

In a series of Twitter posts, Giorgio Sardo (GM of the Microsoft Store) stated that this policy is supposed to protect both customers and open-source developers. Microsoft doesn’t want to attack legitimate app store listings, and due to feedback, it will update its new policy to accommodate open-source developers.

Presumably, any legit listings for open-source apps will need to include a notice for customers. This notice will ensure that people don’t pay for apps that they can get for free—unless they want to pay and support the developer, of course.

How Microsoft actually handles this new policy is a mystery. Scammy open-source listings have riddled the Microsoft Store (formerly Windows Store) since its launch in 2012. At one point, Microsoft actually encouraged scammy behavior by giving away $100 for every app uploaded to its store.

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Source: Microsoft via Windows Central

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »