back to article Microsoft tweaks Store policy for open source once again

There was some backpedaling from Microsoft overnight as the company tweaked its Store policy to allow the sale of open-source apps that are otherwise available for free. The news was delivered by Giorgio Sardo, general manager of the Microsoft Store, that the policy changes have undergone some substantial rewording. Gone is …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing

    when it comes to FOSS. They love it that they can get their sticky mits on lots of stuff for free. No need to pay devs top dollar/yen/euro when there are thousands of devs out there doing it for free.

    Then they'll cherry pick some of the best apps and suddenly release their own app that is closed source and .... you know the rest. $$$$$ of income on a monthly basis. The devs working for free have zero chance of winning a lawsuit against the Redmond behemoth.

    1. Sandgrounder

      Re: MS is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing

      Any glaring examples of products that have been ripped from Foss?

      Amazon Elastic Search was the most blatant case I can remember.

      Apple. They don't stop at Foss, they do it to commercial products too usually accompanied by banning the original vendor from the app store to boot.

      Anyone care to list others for the hall of shame?

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        Re: MS is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing

        What like VSCode, OpenSSH, WSL, AddressSanitizer, Clang and that kind of stuff?

        They certainly aren't any worse than Apple, Google, Oracle and others. Nope; I think they should all burn equally :)

        1. VoiceOfTruth

          Re: MS is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing

          Can you explain how MS ripped off OpenSSH and Clang? I'm not interested in VS Code or WSL or AddressSanitizer.

    2. Ozan

      Re: MS is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing

      GPL is nice ;) They have to realese the source code.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Motto Changes

    Embrace, Extend, Make a Profit on other peoples work.

    1. badflorist

      Re: Motto Changes

      For nearly 20 years that has been the trend with ever IT company, most certainly the top 100... undoubtedly.

      I like Microsoft for what they've done with Github as it finally shows for a fact that coding for free is someone else's profit. None of these "F.O.S.S." flag fliers that use Github can deny that now that their code is being sold off by Microsoft. Suckers!!!

      Microsoft never changes. Microsoft hates OSS and Linux.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Motto Changes

        > None of these "F.O.S.S." flag fliers that use Github can deny that now that their code is being sold off by Microsoft.

        You make a good point. A large number of supposedly FOSS projects offer no way of interacting with them or than via Microsoft's code forge.

        No email address where to contribute patches or report bugs, no IRC channel where to ask questions, no Gitea mirrors, nothing unless you enter into an agreement with Microsoft by creating an account in one of their sites.

        I don't hate Microsoft. This is not the 90s and they've changed substantially since the gates and Banner eras. But they shouldn't have a near monopoly on gatekeeping FOSS.

    2. VoiceOfTruth

      Re: Motto Changes

      You are free to do the same. There is nothing to stop you charging for open source software. Jealous?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst store evah

    The Microsoft Windows Store. Lol. I’ve put my games on that and the iOS AppStore. I make nearly 100 times as much on the AppStore.

  4. Binraider Silver badge

    Well, legally speaking there's nothing standing in the way of charging for stuff incorporating GPL or BSD licenses. RedHat and Sony (and many others) have done pretty well out of that for decades.

    The primary difference being here that I am sure that absolutely jack will make it's way back to the developer.

    By charging for it I wonder if MS are considering some sort of squatters rights based legal case against tasty Open Source applications at some point to seize ownership in court. Where have I heard that strategy before...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Well, legally speaking there's nothing standing in the way of charging for stuff incorporating GPL or BSD licenses.

      It's not quite as clear cut as that. For one thing, FOSS usually includes bits which are not part of the code as such and not subject to a FOSS licence. The classic cases are artwork and goodwill.

      > RedHat and Sony (and many others) have done pretty well out of that for decades.

      RedHat sell support services and a bunch of value added offerings, as well as actually contributing in big or small ways to the code they ship, like many other distros. I don't know what Sony do but we all have commercial products that rely on FOSS to some degree these days, and that's fine.

      What is being talked about here is people taking someone else's application, complete with original name, artwork, etc., uploading that to Microsoft (or Google or whoever else) and keeping any profits. And even so, the real issue is not the small amount of money they may make (although they tend to flood the shops with hundreds of ripped apps) but the negative impact on goodwill that the original developer takes, especially as it's not uncommon to add advertising and spyware to those apps.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Sony used BSD components extensively in the XMB interface used from PS3 onwards (maybe in the PSP too, I don't have one anymore to be able to check on that). Are they contributing to the developers? I somewhat doubt it!

        Whether it's an embedded OS shipped with a machine, or an application sitting in the windows store; in neither case the developer is being funded for their effort. I don't really see a difference between these scenarios.

        If apps are being packed up with added B.S. that's obviously a problem in a class all of it's own, and mostly reflects on the dreadful store-front policies adopted.

        I would just say don't use the windows store, but it's not that simple for mugs that bought their expendable Win11 brick at PC World that don't know any better. Especially when boxed software on the shelf is not really a thing anymore.

      2. VoiceOfTruth

        -> What is being talked about here is people taking someone else's application, complete with original name, artwork, etc., uploading that to Microsoft (or Google or whoever else) and keeping any profits.

        If that is what the licence allows, then there should be no complaint. You (and others) are attempting an appeal to emotion, that in effect "it shouldn't be allowed". That is the nature of open source. If you don't like it, don't release your software under an open source licence. Or write your own licence, such that your software cannot be resold.

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Nope. It’s very clearly allowed.

          My complaint are the mugs that don’t know any better picking VLC up in windows store for £2.50 when we all know it’s available for nothing.

          If it was the vlc devs hosting their app in win store it would be marginally less a problem, but they would be lambasted also.

          The double standards are in plain view. MS has no interest in supporting developers, only profit at any expense. That’s the complaint.

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Happy

    Holy smokes!

    "Microsoft noted the feedback and put the changes on hold while it reconsidered"

    Wow! That's new!

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Holy smokes!

      Obviously the Store is under a completely different management branch than the Windows or Office products, where such ideas are considered blasphemous.

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