Here’s another point racked up by the open source community. Microsoft has plans to allow applications licensed under the Open Source Initiative license in the Windows 8 app store, whenever it comes out, that is. We reported just a couple days ago that the Windows 8 public beta is slated to be released this upcoming February (in two months). Furthermore, the Open Source Initiative license has the upper hand over the Microsoft Standard Application License Terms, namely the restriction on sharing applications.
“Apps that are released under an Open Source Initiative-recognised open source licence can, at least in the pre-release version of the Windows Store, be distributed according to terms that contradict Microsoft’s Standard Application License Terms if this is required by the open source licence. Among other things, the Standard Application License Terms prohibit the sharing of applications.”
Microsoft released more details about the upcoming Windows Store earlier this week. Also, ZDNet reports that “Metro-style applications will be licensable, marketable and downloadable from the Windows 8 Store. Non-Metro-style Desktop Apps will only be marketable from inside the store, with links provided to developers’ sites for sales/downloads.”
This legal loophole may potentially benefit open-source developers in avoiding the impediments encountered by some who were frustrated and hindered by Apple’s much more restrictive App Store ‘terms and conditions’. What’s strange about this whole action taken by Microsoft? That it was accomplished almost completely under the radar, almost as if Microsoft doesn’t want to promote the fact that they’re allowing open source apps in the upcoming Windows 8 Store. Readers, any thoughts as to why? Feel free to leave your comments below.