Microsoft takes a dig at Apple with new Windows app store principles

Monday, 12 Oct, 2020

The California judge in the legal skirmish between Epic Games and Apple has denied Epic's request that Apple be forced to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store, but did affirm that Apple can not take action against the Epic Games developer accounts used to bring Unreal Engine developers access to Apple devices. The coalition has said that it aims to coordinate the response of smaller companies in the hope of changing the standards for large app stores.

It did happen after Epic Games set up such a circumvented payment system to the direct payment option for in-game purchases.

"Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate this action for the future of the digital frontier, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders", she wrote.

Epic is also arguing that iPhone users should be able to download apps directly from developers, rather than go through the App Store. So it's no surprise that Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, once a vocal critic of Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform Push, is delighted with this public engagement.

The case could easily stretch on for more than a year, meaning Epic could forfeit millions of dollars it could have made from iPhone and iPad players.

As expected, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ruled that Apple can ban Fortnite from its App Store. It has also updated its interoperability principles and will provide timely access to developers to information about the interoperability interfaces that it uses on Windows.

Some of the principles include not blocking rival app stores from Windows, not barring apps with alternate payment systems, and charging "reasonable fees that reflect the competition we face from other app stores on Windows".

According to Apple, this was done to make sure that Microsoft's library of games on Game Pass all individually meet Apple's stringent guidelines for the App Store.

Sad to say, Epic Games' Fortnite will no longer join the Apple App Store, possibly until the end of the year.

The article, entitled "10 principles for the Microsoft Windows Store", paints a different scenario than the one projected by Apple with its store policies.

"We 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 company has its own subscription-based gaming service called Apple Arcade. "Unlike some other popular digital platforms, developers are free to choose how they distribute their apps", Microsoft said. But it is important to note here that this browser version of xCloud would actually bypass the App Store - pretty much like how Amazon did with its new Luna gaming service.