Microsoft may have over 300,000 apps in their Windows Phone catalogue, but a large number of those are spammy copy apps of popular app, piggy backing off the names of more successful developers. This is especially true in the case of apps that aren’t even available on the platform, such as Flappy Birds and Swing Copter, or even Instagram a while ago. Now Microsoft have a plan to set forth stricter guidelines for apps and certifications for the WP store, these include:
- 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.
Microsoft have already begun checking the store and clearing it of apps that violate the guidelines, they’ve also mentioned that anyone who mistakenly bought an app with a misleading title will be “happily refunded”, good on you Microsoft.
These revised policies are being applied to all new app submissions and existing app updates for both the Windows and Windows Phone Store. We’ve also been working on titles already in the catalog, conducting a review of Windows Store to identify titles that do not comply with our modified certification requirements. This process is continuing as we work to be as thorough and transparent as possible in our review. 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 (as always we will gladly refund the cost of an app that is downloaded as a result of an erroneous title or description).