MICROSOFT HAS TACITLY ADMITTED that it's struggling to keep deceptive apps out of its Windows Store.
Typically, the firm put a cheerful spin on the news, saying that it has paid attention to customer feedback and has done some cleanup work on its app store.
Microsoft GM of Windows Apps and Store Todd Brix said in a blog post, "As Windows Store expands to reach more customers in more markets with a growing list of great titles, we are continuously looking for ways to improve both customer experience and developer opportunity.
"We strive to give our worldwide customer base easy access to amazing app experiences while keeping developer friction to a minimum. From time to time this process slips out of sync and we need to recalibrate."
Brix admitted that Microsoft found that some customers weren't satisfied with the Windows Store and some of the apps they found there, but he described the problem as involving merely misleading app descriptions.
"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," he noted.
"Our approach has long been to create and enforce strong but transparent policies to govern our certification and store experience. 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."
Brix went on to announce the changes Microsoft has had to make in order to fend off junk apps. He continued, "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."
Those app certification requirements are in their sixth major revision, and comprise seven large sections with dozens of sub-sections, and they make the instructions for filling out complex income tax forms seem straightforward by comparison. However, it's all under control, Microsoft's Brix calmly assured.
After relating how Microsoft tackled identifying apps having "confusing or misleading titles", Brix said, "Most of the developers behind apps that are found to violate our policies have good intentions and agree to make the necessary changes when notified. Others have been less receptive, causing us to remove more than 1,500 apps as part of this review so far....", not forgetting to reassure customers that "as always we will gladly refund the cost of an app that is downloaded as a result of an erroneous title or description". µ