App store businesses are a hot topic these days, with governments on both sides of the pond and across the world trying to put Big Tech under a microscope. Apple and Google are, of course, the poster boys for app stores but they are hardly the only big ones out there. There’s Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox, for example, and even Microsoft has its own Windows app store. The latter is now being promoted as the more open app store by codifying what almost all developers already know: you don’t have to be on the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft boasts about Windows, specifically Windows 10, being an open platform, but that is more a product of history than a philosophical choice. Windows was born at a time when app stores didn’t exist, let alone a profitable business model around it. Microsoft didn’t really have much of a choice but to keep Windows