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Microsoft today announced that it is opening up its Windows Store to third-party markets, including Amazon and Epic Games. It also revealed that it is no longer collecting revenue from apps that use their own in-app payment systems.
Microsoft announced the news in a company blog post, where it said that the first two stores external stores will be Amazon and the Epic Games Store. Microsoft added that “we look forward to welcoming other stores as well in the future.” The stores will have their own product page in the Windows Store. And the company hopes to attract new stores with its percentage policy: “[The] Microsoft Store on Windows no longer requires app developers to share revenue with Microsoft, when apps manage their own in-app payment systems.”
This comes shortly after a major lawsuit between Apple and Epic about third-party storefronts (well, it was about money, but the philosophical point was about storefronts). Apple removed Fortnite due to Epic attempting to circumvent the rules of the App Store by adding a link within its app to its off-app storefront. Microsoft initially seemed to support Epic’s stance that Apple should be more permissive because Microsoft’s own Game Pass app — technically being a storefront — was receiving the same scrutiny.
Now it seems Microsoft is making an effort to be more inclusive, offering the Amazon Appstore and the Epic Game Store in the Windows Store without claiming any percentage of their revenue. It’s a contrast to Apple, which is still claiming 30% of revenue. The ruling of the lawsuit, however, did say that the company cannot forbid apps from linking to other payment systems.
This isn’t the only new inclusion to Windows, as Microsoft announced that it was bringing two new browsers to the Store: Opera and Yandex Browser will join Microsoft’s Edge on the Windows Store.
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