Microsoft to clamp down on 'misleading' apps

Nokia Lumia 635. (AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON)

Nokia Lumia 635. (AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 3:28 PM ET

More than 1,500 Windows Phone apps have already been removed as part of a concerted effort from Microsoft to police the quality and legitimacy of titles uploaded to the Windows Store.

In recent weeks a number of publications have run stories expressing concern that there was a growing number of bogus, spammy or outright malicious apps appearing in the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 app store as it built up its inventory to get up to speed quickly with the million+ titles on offer for Android and Apple device owners. But thankfully a purge is on the way.

In a blog post published Wednesday, the company's Todd Brix said: "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."

The company has begun by removing 1,500 apps altogether but, in order to give developers the benefit of the doubt it is also initiating changes to its policies that will outlaw apps from having misleading titles and copycat icons.

Although Microsoft has done well to attract a number of must-have titles to its Windows Store, including Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, Instagram and Pinterest, there are still no official apps relating to Google properties. However, if one were to search the Windows Store for YouTube, Google Maps or Gmail, pages of apps would appear.

Some were workarounds that developers have created so that Windows Phone users can access content, but many more were simply bogus.

Microsoft hasn't put a definitive time-frame on how long the cleanup is going to take but does stress that identifying suspect apps will be easier with users' help. "The Store review is ongoing and we recognize that we have more work to do, but we're on it. We're applying additional resources to speed up the review process and identify more problem apps faster. No approach is perfect, so we encourage people to report any issues they may encounter with Windows Store," said Brix.


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