As I’m reading the article, this is only about charging for free third-party apps elsewhere.
For example, Kodi is free, but not in the Microsoft Store. You think hey, I can make a profit from that. You can download the program and make it available in the Microsoft Store for 5.99 euros. This way you earn 99.9% of the money from software you didn’t make. Think of it as selling a ticket to a free concert for 50 euros.
So Microsoft will restrict this (and thanks, because the Microsoft Store is a mess with dozens of apps that have the same logo, have the same name and also pretend to be the official app for that brand).
Let’s say the Kodi developers put Kodi themselves on the Microsoft Store, then they can get paid for it (within reason) because they themselves are the developers of this project. (I don’t know if I’m right, but that’s how I interpret the article).
What is reasonable then? Well, I think it is unreasonable to ask for $20 from the Microsoft Store and give it away for free through Github or your own website. I think a few euros is reasonable since it costs extra resources to build and maintain this app. A good example of this is Plex which was still in the Windows Store a few years ago. I paid 4.99 for this while the web version was free. The app had certain functionality that was/not enabled via the web page, such as 4K (and new discovery mode in 2022). I think it’s reasonable that the app costs something.
I don’t think it makes sense for someone to sell CCleaner in the store, pretend it’s the official app, have the exact same logo and company name, and charge 6.99 for it. I bought it… it turned out to be something completely different, it was a cleaner, but not quite CCleaner Pro as it pretended (including screenshots of the real thing).
The worst part is that Microsoft does not have a refund policy on these types of purchases like Google and Apple do. So I just lost my money.
I think this is the biggest issue with the Microsoft Store and they’re glad they’re addressing it now.
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