Microsoft Takes Purpose at Apple With New App Retailer Rules

Microsoft strives to be the good guy on the cloud gaming scene to counter Apple's negative stance.

There has been a lot of discussion between Microsoft and Apple about what should and shouldn't be uploaded to an app store. Seemingly in response to Apple's restrictive rules, Microsoft has released its own App Store principles that enable services that Apple has restricted in the past.

Open the Microsoft App Store

What's in Microsoft's new App Store Principles?

Microsoft published the list of ten principles on the Microsoft On the Issues blog. Going forward, Microsoft announces that app developers and publishers will adhere to a set of rules that outlines equality and reasonable standards.

The following points are noteworthy:

"1. Developers are free to choose whether they want to sell their apps for Windows via our app store. We will not block competing app stores on Windows.

2. We do not block any app from Windows based on a developer's business model or the delivery of content and services, including whether content is installed on a device or streamed from the cloud.


5. Every developer has access to our app store as long as it meets objective standards and requirements, including those for security, privacy, quality, content and digital security.

6. Our app store charges reasonable fees that reflect competition from other app stores on Windows and does not force a developer to sell anything within their app that they do not want to sell.


10. Our App Store will be transparent about its rules and guidelines as well as about advertising and marketing opportunities, apply them consistently and objectively, communicate changes and provide a fair process for resolving disputes. "

These rules in particular seem to target Apple's App Store. Notable are rules two and ten, which mirror Microsoft's recent battles with Apple.

Rule number two makes it very clear that cloud-based content is allowed in the Microsoft App Store. This calls into question Apple's ban on xCloud as xCloud is a game streaming service.

Someone playing a game on Project xCloud

Rule number ten says that Microsoft keep the rules and guidelines crystal clear and transparent. Again, this appears to be aimed at Apple after confusing Microsoft with its unclear decisions about Project xCloud's place in the App Store.

As such, Microsoft is likely trying to take advantage of Apple's aversion to cloud gaming services to let developers know that their services are welcome in the Microsoft App Store.

Microsoft paves the way for cloud games

Given Apple's recent negative stance on cloud games, Microsoft is making it clear that such services are allowed on its platform. If Microsoft plays its cards right, it could get a strong presence in the cloud gaming scene over its rival.

This isn't the only attack Microsoft has launched against Apple's stance on cloud games. Recently, Microsoft's head of gaming announced that he will get Project xCloud on iOS by dodging the App Store entirely.

Photo credit: ymgerman /

the Xbox logo on a phone

Microsoft plans to adapt xCloud to Apple's rules

About the author

Simon Batt
(301 articles published)

A BSc graduate in Computer Science with a deep passion for everything related to safety. After working for an indie game studio, he found his passion for writing and decided to use his skills to write about all things technical.

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