Apple’s proposed changes to comply with European Union tech regulations have faced criticism from various industry players, including Microsoft. The introduction of a Core Technology Fee for apps on third-party stores, which involves a charge of €0.50 for each annual app install after 1 million downloads, along with Apple retaining a 17% commission for developers using third-party payment processors, has raised concerns. Xbox president Sarah Bond from Microsoft stated that Apple’s new policy is “a step in the wrong direction.” Microsoft is currently working on its Xbox mobile store, aiming to provide an alternative to Apple and Google’s mobile gaming store dominance. Bond expressed hope that Apple would listen to feedback and work toward a more inclusive future.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has strongly criticized Apple’s App Store changes, calling them “hot garbage” and accusing Apple of trying to thwart Europe’s new Digital Markets Act. Spotify has accused Apple of “extortion” with the new App Store tax and has urged EU regulators to take action. The European Commission has committed to issuing a response to Apple’s changes when the regulations officially take effect in March, promising “strong action” if Apple’s proposed solutions are considered inadequate.
Microsoft’s position on Apple’s policy changes could have implications for the potential release of an Xbox Cloud Gaming app on iOS. Apple recently opened the App Store to cloud gaming services, allowing developers to submit a single app with the capability to stream all games from their catalog. The reactions of Nvidia, Microsoft, and other cloud gaming providers to Apple’s acceptance of cloud gaming services are still awaited. The EU’s Digital Markets Act is viewed by Microsoft as a significant opportunity as the company works on establishing its Xbox mobile store.