December 15, 2011 at 17:32 PM EST
Windows 8 Store to Allow Open Source Apps
Microsoft Corp. is planning to allow apps that are licensed under the Open Source Initiative to be distributed on its Windows Store.
(IBTimes) -- 12/15/2011 --

Microsoft Corp. is planning to allow apps that are licensed under the Open Source Initiative to be distributed on its Windows Store.

The recent publication of Microsoft's Windows Store App Developer Agreement has a section that states that apps released under an Open Source Initiative-recognized license can be distributed in the Windows Store. If the Open Source license contradicts Microsoft's Standard Application License Terms the OSI license will take precedence over Microsoft's license and even allow the sharing of applications.

The agreement in its current form states, "Your license terms must also not conflict with the Standard Application License Terms, in any way, except if you include FOSS, your license terms may conflict with the limitations set forth in Section 3 of those Terms, but only to the extent required by the FOSS that you use. "FOSS" means any software licensed under an Open Source Initiative Approved License."

Allowing open source applications on the Windows Store can be good for Microsoft. Open source developers who are having trouble with the more restrictive terms and conditions in Apple's iOS App Store. Popular open source apps that Apple yanked off the App Store like VLC Media Player can now be distributed on the Windows Store.

The move could also be another way for Microsoft to differentiate its Windows Store from Apple's App Store. Microsoft has already said that certifying an app in the Windows Store will be more transparent than Apple's method. Developers will be able to follow the process of certification, from testing the app to content compliance check. The entire process will only take 24 hours, which is just as fast as the certifying process at Google's Android Market but with more due diligence.

Microsoft's Windows Store is set for a release in February 2012 along with the beta version of Windows 8. The Windows Store will have apps, in both metro-style and non-metro style for Windows 8. Metro-style apps are designed to work specifically with the Metro user interface. The Metro UI will be found in Windows 8 as well as the Windows Phone 7 OS and the Xbox 360 offering a unified experience for users on all Microsoft devices.

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