It seems like Microsoft will allow open source apps in the Windows Store

It seems that sharp eyes have noticed a possible loophole in the Windows Store developer agreement.

In the agreement, you can find the loophole in section G.

g. License to Customer. You, not Microsoft, will license the right to install and use each app to customers. You may provide a license agreement to the customer for your app. That license agreement or other terms that govern a customer’s use of your app (including any privacy policy), or a link to them, must be delivered to Microsoft for publication via the product description materials you provide to Microsoft. If you do not provide such materials, then the Standard Application License Terms, attached as Exhibit A, will apply between you and customers of your app. If you provide your own license agreement, your license must, at a minimum, (a) permit the customer to download and run the app on up to five Windows 8 enabled devices that are associated with that customer’s Windows Live ID, without payment of any additional fees to you (from either Microsoft or customer), (b) include “disclaimer of warranty” and “limitation on and exclusion of remedies and damages” sections that are at least as protective as Exhibit A and (c) disclaim any support services from Microsoft and the customer’s device manufacturer and network operator (if applicable). 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.

This seems to indicate that Microsoft will allow applications licensed under Open Source Iniative (OSI) approved licenses to be distributed via the Windows 8 app store.

As  a refresher – Open source development is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. Basically it allows free resuse of core code for the overall benefit of the development community.

Corel (Corel Linux), Sun Microsystems (OpenOffice.org), and IBM (OpenAFS) are high profile examples of open source based software.

It will be interesting to see what impacts this will have going forward.

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