Friday, Jun 25, 2021, 17:12 Economy

The App Store: How Windows 11 Could Be Dangerous For Apple

The poles couldn't have changed any more drastically. More than two and a half decades ago, Apple was about to go broke and Microsoft completely dominated the tech industry, facing accusations of monopolisation from lawmakers. In recent years, the situation has seen quite the change, with Apple now ahead in many countries – Microsoft has changed its tack from "big tech" in order to draw less attention from lawmakers. Redmond now stands on the side of "the small guy", supporting more freedom and limitations to the overlords of the industry. For example, in the recent case of Apple vs. Epic Games, Microsoft was more than likely the one behind Epic's lawsuit and simply used Epic as a strawman. Whether true or not, Microsoft certainly can't be counted as one of "the small guys", despite current attempts at changing its image. Simply one look at the company's more than 2 billion US$ market value should prove as much.

Microsoft's Clever Tactics
Microsoft is currently playing it slick in order to protect and expand its own markets. Microsoft serves to benefit in the event that courts and antitrust laws and organizations decide against Apple and force the company to more openness. In such an event, Microsoft would have a better chance of establishing its own services on Apple platforms (which Apple currently doesn't allow) – take for example in the gaming sector and the enormous potential Microsoft sees in the Xbox platform. With the announcement of Windows 11, Microsoft has taken another shot at Apple which shouldn't be underestimated.

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Microsoft Store Without A "Microsoft Tax"
Taking a shot at Apple's "App Store tax", Microsoft stressed the fact that developers of apps for the Windows Store have the option of choosing their own method of payment – effectively allowing them to avoid any sort of "Microsoft tax". According to market analysts, this recent decision is certainly an attack on Apple. Whereas before now, Apple was able to argue that the "Apple tax" for software on the App Store is simply an industry standard, the company is now no longer able to support the tax with the same argument.



Will Apple Be Forced To Lower The "Apple Tax" Even More?
Apple is now going to have a little bit more difficult of a time justifying the 30% tax to developers for products on the App Store. Whereas small developers with less than a million dollars in yearly sales only need to pay 15%, it's 30% for other developers – and it's not handled the same for every service. If Apple wants to maintain the ban on 3rd party app stores, then another hit to the Apple tax could be unavoidable. Otherwise, accusations that Apple is restricting the presence of 3rd party app stores on the platform simply because of the billions in revenue from commission could be too much for the company to bear.

On the other end of the spectrum, Microsoft has absolutely nothing to lose. The company's own in-house app store has, quite frankly, broadly been a failure. It's obvious that developers aren't simply going to switch from Apple to Microsoft simply because of the recent change to the Windows Store's tax, however, it does force Apple into a trickier position in defence of its own app store tax.

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