Follow-Up: Microsoft Addresses Bogus App Issue, Removes Over 1500 Apps From Windows Stores

We're still several months removed from spring time, but that didn't stop Microsoft from giving its Windows Store a good cleaning -- a much needed one, we might add -- as it swept away more than 1,500 crummy apps that fall afoul of the company's certification process in one way or another. More app removals could be forthcoming as Microsoft continues to review both its Windows Store and Windows Phone Store.

As we noted last week, the Windows Store has become a convoluted mess cluttered with bogus apps trying to hitch a ride on the coattails of legitimate programs. For example, searching for Mozilla's free Firefox browser would bring up several fakes, including ones that cost money. Depending on what you're looking for, you might find a bogus version bundled with bloatware.

Windows Store

Microsoft is finally on a mission to eradicate this behavior among unscrupulous app developers. The Redmond outfit says it's a balancing act of trying to deliver its customers an "amazing app experience" while at the same time "keeping developer friction to a minimum," but every once in a while, "this process slips out of sync and we need to recalibrate."

Fair enough, so what's Microsoft doing about it? After listening to customers complain about how difficult it's become to find the apps they're looking for, Microsoft went and modified the Windows Store app certification requirements to prevent developers from misrepresenting their software. Under the new rules, any submissions going forward must abide by the following:

  • 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

These changes alone won't fix the issue, however they're just the first steps Microsoft is taking. Microsoft will also continue to remove existing apps that breach the new policy changes (after contacting the developer and giving them a chance to fix any issues) and roll out other changes as it sees fit.