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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!

Microsoft has turned 1,500 applications out of the Windows Store, the app bazaar for Windows 8 devices.

In a post titled How we’re addressing misleading apps in Windows Store, Microsoft explains it has conducted a promised spring clean by changing the rules for admission to the store and will henceforth insist on the following criteria:

  • Naming – to clearly and accurately reflect the functionality of the app.
  • Categories – to ensure apps are categorized according to the app function and purpose.
  • Icons – must be differentiated to avoid being mistaken with others.

The new rules apply to the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store.

Most developers, Redmond says, play nice and don't fall foul of the regulations.

Some rogue devs not only do the wrong thing, but don't reply to Redmond's emails asking them to play nicely. Some 1,500 apps penned by such devs have therefore been tossed out of the Windows Store. Punters who bought them mistakenly can even score a refund.

“The Store review is ongoing and we recognize that we have more work to do,” Microsoft says, “but we’re on it. We’re applying additional resources to speed up the review process and identify more problem apps faster.”

Why the review? Microsoft had a problem. As the post states, “Earlier this year we heard loud and clear that people were finding it more difficult to find the apps they were searching for; often having to sort through lists of apps with confusing or misleading titles.”

There's another problem here, too, because having spent years telling its army of devs that apps are their ticket to riches the reality is that Microsoft's stores aren't providing a great user experience.

With Windows 8 failing to set the world afire and Windows Phone's market share in single figures around the world, Microsoft clearly needs to clear out its stores before they are ever to become a reason to adopt its platforms. ®

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