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Microsoft Halts Its Apps Store Plans In The Midst Of A Massive Public Pushback and Outcry

Microsoft has recently announced that it will, for the time being, not progress with the company’s recently laid plans for its app store in the wake of massive developer outrage.

The tech giant had recently announced its intentions to enforce further control over app store merchandise (can that word be used to describe apps?), with a two-pronged approach. For starters, developers would no longer be able to sell open-source applications that can be offered for free; to follow up, they would also be unable to sell browser apps built using the Apple WebKit engine. Then the executives all patted themselves on the back over a job well done, and went home to rest, dreaming of the overwhelmingly positive reception such decisions would receive come tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow came and, to the shock of our out-of-touch billionaires, people hated the proposed changes. Perhaps hated isn’t an adequate term; the decision was met with such widespread criticism and derision that Microsoft backed off within days. Let’s lay out the obvious problem first: why should developers have to stop pricing their open-source software to supplement your faux philanthropy? Sure, companies such as Google offer free open-source tech such as the Chromium browser. However, companies such as Google are also massive corporations, owned by even bigger conglomerates such as Alphabet. To compare these exorbitantly rich companies with a team of four developers working part-time jobs is completely asinine. Such a decision would only stifle the free market further, which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem for giants such as Microsoft.

Now, let’s tackle some of the relatively less obvious problems. First of all, is the fact that Microsoft’s measures of control over app development and selling come off as even more ridiculous due to the company’s app store negligence. The Microsoft Store has thousands of applications sporting ransomware and malware that don’t get dealt with efficiently enough; how is ignoring those applications and instead coming after the livelihood of legitimate devs going to come off? It’s going to come off as self-serving and ignorant, naturally. Just another casual decision made by out-of-touch money people as they drink their lagers or whatever it is that super-rich people do.

Furthermore, limiting developers by restricting them from Apple WebKit usage is yet another major handicap. The Apple WebKit engine is a tool that many devs have already familiarized themselves with. Perhaps some are already on their way toward developing and publishing new software using the tech. In one fell swoop, Microsoft cuts off a major piece of the marketplace in the selfish interest of combating competition.

Thankfully, the outcry was massive enough that the company seems to have come to its senses, for now at least.


H/T: TR

Read next: Apple’s App Store Hosts 84 Scam Apps That Rake In Millions

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