Microsoft Retailer won’t ban official paid open supply applications

A couple of days in the past, Microsoft revealed an replace to a coverage, forbidding open supply applications from being bought on the Microsoft Retailer. This did not sit nicely with some builders, who triggered an uproar on social media.


The difficulty truly started final month, Martin wrote about it right here, highlighting some issues associated to it. The Microsoft Retailer is not precisely well-curated, we’ve seen some controversial stuff on it earlier than. Authentic open-source apps have been rebranded by third-parties and bought on {the marketplace}. These copycats are actually stealing different folks’s work, it is a rip-off.

Can open supply apps be bought?

The favored rater graphics editor, Paint.NET, is an open-source program. It’s accessible free of charge from the official web site. The Microsoft Retailer model of the app, however, shouldn’t be free.

Earlier than you elevate a query asking if that is authorized, sure it’s. Let me clarify. Simply because an app has an open supply license, does not essentially imply that it must be free, the developer can select to promote their program, it will depend on the open supply license that they selected. A superb instance for this is able to be Robert Broglia’s emulator apps on Android, they’re paid apps (aside from SNES 9X+), however the supply code for his apps can be found publicly, which means anybody can compile them free of charge. Paying the one-time charge, offers a handy strategy to get the apps and updates for them from the Google Play Retailer. It’s compliant with the GPL.

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However that could be a uncommon case, it is as much as the builders to determine whether or not their open supply program needs to be free or paid. Nearly all of open supply software program can be found free of charge, builders normally give customers the choice to donate cash in an effort to assist the challenge, cowl the prices (electrical energy payments, web payments, and so forth.). As for Paint.NET, the Microsoft Retailer model provides an alternate manner for customers to assist the event, as an alternative of donating cash immediately, chances are you’ll purchase the app to assist the builders.

Banning copycat applications is undoubtedly transfer, however therein lies the issue, why is Microsoft banning real open supply applications from being bought on the Microsoft Retailer? Hayden Barnes, Senior Engineering Supervisor at SUSE, pointed out that good applications like WinSCP, Krita profit from gross sales on the Microsoft Retailer. It is not honest to punish everybody simply because some folks dedicated fraud, is it? Is that what’s taking place? Effectively, apparently not.

Giorgio Sardo, Microsoft Normal Supervisor of apps, companions, and the Microsoft Retailer, responded to criticism from builders, confirming that the coverage change was made to guard customers from repackaged FOSS apps that have been being bought on the storefront. He additionally clarified that Microsoft desires to assist builders to distribute open supply software program by way of the Retailer. Sardo said that the corporate is reviewing the coverage to make the intent clear.

I feel that could be a honest resolution, ban the pretend apps, and permit the actual ones. That’s how the Microsoft Retailer ought to have been run within the first place, nicely I suppose it is higher late than by no means.

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