Microsoft removes 1,500 misleading apps from Windows and Windows Phone Store


Microsoft is cracking down on misleading apps on the Windows Store.

The company has just announced that it has removed more than 1,500 dubious apps due to violations against its new app store guidelines.

"Every app store finds its own balance between app quality and choice, which in turn opens the door to people trying to game the system with misleading titles or descriptions," the company said in a press release.  

"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. We took the feedback seriously and modified the Windows Store app certification requirements as a first step toward better ensuring that apps are named and described in a way that doesn't misrepresent their purpose." 

The company's revised directive gave three new requirements for developers:

1. an app's name must clearly reflect its function

2. It should be categorized accurately according to its function and purpose

3. Its icons must be unique enough that it won't be mistaken for others. 

So far, the new policy only covers new app submissions and existing app updates. For existing apps, Microsoft is currently conducting a review. This means that all the apps in the Windows Store catalog are required to align their services with Microsoft's new guidelines. The company said that most of the developers who violated the policies meant well and have agreed to change their services. Those who resisted were axed from the Windows and Windows Phone Store.  

Last March, fake Google apps started appearing on the Windows Phone Store, highlighting a big problem with Microsoft's online marketplace. Scam apps that mimic Google's Maps, Hangouts, Search, Voice and Plus applications all came with $1.99 price tags. At that time, there was only one official Google app on the Windows Phone Store, the Google search app. The developer for the dubious apps went by the name "Google, Inc." Google's official developer name on the Windows Phone Store was "Google Inc." Other apps that have been copied on the Windows Phone Store include iTunes and Firefox. 

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