Windows 8 App Store Embraces Open Source Unlike Apple

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A scan through an early version of a Microsoft app developer agreement for Windows 8 has uncovered that open source apps will be allowed to circulate the upcoming Windows Store.
The pre-release version of Microsoft’s Windows Store App Developer Agreement currently allows open source applications (that are compliant with copyright restrictions and the relevant licenses) to be submitted the Windows Store, unlike in the more restrictive Apple App Store.

This means that popular open source apps that have been stripped from the App Store like VLC Media Player for violating the General Public License will now be able to reach more devices outside of the Apple framework.

The agreement will let the open source license supplant the Microsoft Standard Application License Terms in regard to sharing these apps.

The agreement, in its current form, states that app developers’ “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.”

This loophole for open source app developers will allow their apps to be delivered in the pre-release version of the Windows Store only for now, and the agreement is still subject to change. The open source clause will allow the apps be be copied by other users, for instance.

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