Like the Google Play store, Microsoft's own Windows Store is inundated with a lot of apps that are, quite frankly, pretty crap. A bigger problem is so-called 'duplicate' apps that pretend to be a more popular app and yet provide little-to-no value or functionality.
Microsoft is cleaning up the web store by providing guidelines for developers and sifting through the apps already on sale, ferreting out the more questionable ones. Announcing the changes on the Building Apps for Windows blog, it's good to see that Microsoft is working to improve the quality of the apps on Windows Store.
No more copycats
Microsoft's guidelines are pretty straightforward and a way to keep out the 'pretender' apps:
- Naming – Names must clearly and accurately reflect what the app does
- Categories – The apps should be categorised correctly. No movie editing apps suddenly appearing in games, for instance
- Icons – To keep away the copycats, the icons should be significantly different enough from other competing or similar apps
The policies are effective as of now, applied to all new app submissions as well as existing app updates. Microsoft is also reviewing titles that do not comply with the new requirements and while most developers (says Microsoft) have been receptive, some were less keen. The latter caused Microsoft to remove more than 1,500 apps so far. A boon to consumers, no doubt.
"The Store review is ongoing and we recognise that we have more work to do, but we’re on it." So expect more crummy apps to disappear. If you've been scammed by a misleading app, then report the app by using Microsoft's online tools.