What's new

Microsoft To Clean Up Windows Store


Super Moderator
Staff member
by John Lister on May, 28 2015 at 08:05AM EDT

Microsoft is to crack down on what it considers low-quality apps. It's likely an attempt to get its house in order before Windows 10 is officially released to consumers.

The decision affects applications that can be downloaded and installed directly from the Windows Store. It doesn't affect applications which users get elsewhere and install manually, in the same way with all software in Windows 7 and earlier. Instead, Windows Store apps are displayed prominently in the Windows 8 and 10 user interface, and on Windows mobile devices.

According to Microsoft, the crackdown isn't so much about introducing new rules as it is strictly enforcing the existing policies. It follows criticism that many apps in the Windows Store are of low quality; this reflects badly on Microsoft because it is effectively promoting the apps, while also taking a cut of any sale price.

Lookalike Apps Get The Chop
The first of four main changes is "eliminating app clutter." This involves removing apps where the icon is too similar to that of other apps already in the store. It also means removing apps that simply duplicate the functionality of other apps. For example, an app with duplicate functionality would be a flashlight app that simply turns on the device's camera flash. (Source: windows.com)

Secondly, Microsoft will re-examine app pricing. It says developers retain the right in principle to set their own prices, but that it will look closely at apps which are significantly more expensive than those in the same category. It will only remove apps where it believes the developers are using a high price to give a false impression about the quality and performance of the app in comparison to rivals.

The third change is in regard to "information only apps". That's where an app contains information and reference material, rather than actually performing a function. In this case, these apps will either get the chop or be labeled as "information only."

Dubious Descriptions No Longer Tolerated
Finally, Microsoft will tighten up the rules on app descriptions. Developers will no longer be able to specifically claim their app is better than a named rival unless they have an objective basis to back up the claim. There will also be a ban on using searchable keywords that aren't relevant to the app.

While Microsoft hasn't given a firm timetable for removing apps, it seems likely to happen before Windows 10 launches. That's important, as not only will the offer of a free upgrade attract users who skipped Windows 8, but the absence of dual interfaces in Windows 10 means that for the first time every user will see the Windows Store prominently displayed on their desktop. (Source: venturebeat.com)


Active Member
One issue I notice they didn't talk about is the plethora of 'free' apps that are nothing but trials. I have no problem with a trial or 'lite' version, but it needs to be specifically described as being such. That isn't happening in all too many instances.'