Microsoft has allowed third-party storefronts on its App Store, and its move will cause Apple to squirm as Epic Games is among the first to take advantage of the new facility.
A revision of the Microsoft Store Guidelines published September 28th added a section 10.1.6 that says:
Microsoft does not accept old storefronts: Section 10.1.6 also states: âYour storefront must offer a comprehensive content catalog of sufficient size (at least 20 different products, excluding downloadable content and in-app products or offers) to be unique and valuable user experience. “
As in a. explained blog entry by Giorgio Sardo, general manager of the Microsoft Store, the third-party storefronts are getting the same treatment that the Microsoft Store gives for apps, even though Microsoft isn’t taking any sales cuts that it allows.
“Like any other app, third-party storefront apps have a product detail page that can be found by searching or browsing – so users can easily find and install them with the same confidence as any other app in the Microsoft Store on Windows,” he writes.
The first two third-party storefronts – slated to launch “in the next few months” – are operated by Amazon.com and Epic Games.
Yes sir, the Epic Games, the company battling Apple for the right to use its own payment systems to sell digital in-app files instead of being forced to use Apple’s payment platform and share a significant portion of its revenue for the privilege.
Apple has argued that adding third-party payment systems to the App Store would pose a terrible risk to its customers.
Microsoft clearly does not share this opinion – although Windows is a platform with a “colorful” history of security, and iOS is as tightly closed as any other platform.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games tweeted agrees and writes: “Microsoft is once again leading the industry with Windows, now an open platform with an open store.”
Other news revealed in Sardo’s post included the launch of a revamped Microsoft Store on October 5th – the same day as Windows 11.
The store is also getting two new browsers – Opera and Yandex – in line with Microsoft’s policy of allowing developers to deploy their favorite browser engines.
Sardo also confirmed that Progressive Web Applications – the browser-based apps that make it easy to access files – have made it to the store, including Reddit, Wikipedia, TikTok, Lyft, and Tumblr.
The new Microsoft Store guidelines also include Section 11.13 for third party digital storefront content that contains other requirements, including the provision of terms and service documentation, as well as content guidelines and a means to report violations. Another mandatory item is “Have a method of reviewing and detecting content that violates your terms or policies and taking enforcement action”. Â®