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Microsoft Asks ACCC To Make iPhones Operate Like Windows 10

In a blunt submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Microsoft has asked the Oz watchdog to ensure Apple iPhones operate more openly like Windows.

The software giant has called upon the ACCC to force Apple to open up iPhones and iPads to competition and to ensure the California-based company can no longer block competing apps or services from appearing on its devices.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Microsoft even suggested Apple’s operating system should look and feel more like its own in-house system, Windows 10.

Microsoft says its game-streaming platform Xbox Game Pass has been banned from Apple’s App Store so the company can protect and promote its own app, Apple Arcade.

The PC giant says Apple giving preferential treatment to its own app and excluding other game streaming services makes it “unworkable” for providers.

“For consumers using Apple iOS devices, the Apple App Store is the only way to download and install apps, and Apple decides in its sole discretion what apps to allow or prohibit on its platform. For years, iOS has been the most popular mobile operating system in Australia with greater than 50% market share,” the letter to the ACCC reads.

“Thus, to reach their Australian customers on mobile devices, app developers such as Microsoft must be able to distribute their apps through the Apple App Store on fair and reasonable terms.”

The ACCC is investigating the “competitiveness, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of app stores” from Apple and Google through its Digital Platforms Services inquiry and will report its findings in March 2021.

Currently, Apple bans app developers from distributing iPhone and iPad apps through any other platform than the Apple App Store, which charges 30% commission on in-app purchases.

It also stops developers from using any other system than Apple Pay. Epic Games, the video game creator behind Fortnite, tried to circumvent these rules and allowed users to pay via an independent portal.

Apple soon found out and banned Fortnite from the App Store. Epic Games has filed a lawsuit in retaliation.

In response to the growing criticism, Apple updated its policies by halving the commission it charges for App sales and in-store purchases to 15% for developers that make less than $1million.

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