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Microsoft app fairness principles try to woo devs into its own Store

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

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Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed monopoly power

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Microsoft digs at Apple with 10 principles for app store fairness, but they won’t apply to Xbox

Microsoft published and committed to following a list of 10 principles in its treatment of third-party apps on Windows, capitalizing on the ongoing backlash against Apple over the iPhone maker’s revenue sharing policies and restrictions on cloud streaming services in the iOS App Store.

The commitments include giving developers “the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store,” and promising to allow competing app stores on Windows. In addition, Microsoft said in the post that it “will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s business model or how it delivers content and services, including whether content is installed on a device or streamed from the cloud.”

The principles, published Thursday morning by Rima Alaily, Microsoft deputy general counsel, largely restate Microsoft’s existing practices. The company says it’s building on the ideas of the Coalition for App Fairness, which includes Epic Games,

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Microsoft Takes Swipe at Apple in Adopting App Store ‘Fairness’ Principles

Microsoft joined the chorus of critics of Apple’s App Store policies, with the software giant announcing that it was adopting 10 principles “to promote choice, ensure fairness and promote innovation” in its own digital storefront for Windows.

Microsoft said the principles, which will apply to the Microsoft Store in Windows 10, build on “the ideas and work” of the Coalition for App Fairness, the organization launched last month by companies that have had longstanding beefs with Apple’s App Store including Spotify, Epic Games, Match Group, Deezer and Tile.

While it didn’t specifically call out Apple, Microsoft has raised “concerns about app stores on other digital platforms,” Rima Alaily, Microsoft VP and deputy general counsel, wrote in a blog post Thursday.

“Windows 10 is an open platform. Unlike some other popular digital platforms, developers are free to choose how they distribute their apps,” she wrote. “We and others have raised questions

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