The Washington-based tech giant, and longtime competitor to Apple, is part of a growing list of companies advocating for new policies that would upend the way Apple does business. The coalition, which includes Epic, maker of video game Fortnite, and Spotify, a music streaming service, laid out a set of app store principles it thinks Apple and other companies should follow.
Microsoft’s support for the coalition comes two days after a congressional committee released a 450-page report that blasted Apple and other technology companies for anticompetitive practices. The majority of the criticism for Apple revolved around the way it treats developers and competitors on the App Store. Microsoft is the only tech giant that was not investigated by the committee for antitrust concerns.
Apple has said its App Store does not have a monopoly, citing competition with Google’s Android operating system, and denies that it engages in anticompetitive practices.
In the blog post, Microsoft announced its own 10 principles, which closely resemble the coalition’s. Microsoft said, for instance, that it would charge developers “reasonable fees that reflect the competition we face from other app stores on Windows.” Apple has come under criticism from companies such as Epic and Spotify for charging companies a 30 percent commission on sales made on the App Store or on digital goods sold within apps.
“The innovation that drives the app economy also needs healthy and vibrant digital platforms,” Microsoft’s blog post said. “We know that regulators and policymakers are reviewing these issues and considering legal reforms to promote competition and innovation in digital markets,” the company wrote, adding that the sets of principles could serve as “productive examples.”
The news of Microsoft’s support was welcomed by the coalition’s members, which also include smaller companies such as Tile, the maker of Bluetooth tracking tags, and
In case you weren’t already spending too much time on Slack while you work from home, the company on Wednesday teased a slate of new features aimed at drawing you in further. Starting next year, by handing over your private link, you’ll be able to get direct messages on Slack from anyone from any company. The company is also exploring features that will let you instantly join or leave an unending audio call that is perpetually going on in the background of a channel, and upload asynchronous video with a feature similar to Instagram’s Stories.
The new push-to-talk, instant audio feature is aimed at replicating the brief conversations found in office settings, while the pre-recorded video messaging options look to provide more flexibility for companies with routine video meetings, the company said.
“An audio option in channels is another way we’re thinking that we can bring back that all-important creative flow, no matter where you work,” the company said in a Wednesday blog post. Slack didn’t say exactly when these new features will be released, but they’re reportedly expected to launch by the end of the year.
Slack’s new, inter-company private messaging feature, part of Slack Connect which launched back in June, is positioned to make a dent in workplace email use.
“Say you’re at the early stage of a project with a vendor and haven’t set up a channel yet, but you need to start coordinating with one or two team members from that vendor. Now you’ll be able to quickly communicate with Slack Connect DMs,” Slack said in its release.
Slack users can expect to see Slack Connect Direct Messages rolling