Microsoft’s Todd Brix recently updated the Windows blog with news that the company has removed more than 1500 apps from the Windows and Windows Phone Stores. He said that the developers behind these apps were “less receptive” to new policies regarding the app submission and listing process. These new policies are in place thanks to previous customer feedback.

“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 wrote. “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.”

The changes include naming the application “clearly and accurately” so that customers know exactly what the app is supposed to do. Icons must also be differentiated so that the customer doesn’t mistake a particular app from others listed in the two Stores. The apps must also be categorized correctly according to their purpose and function.

All new apps and existing app updates for Windows and Windows Phone Store will fall within these new guidelines, he said. The company is also combing through Windows Store to find out which apps do not comply with the new rules. Brix said that most of the developers are willing to modify their apps to comply. However, as previously stated, there’s a group that has not been keen on the idea of changing their apps, thus the virtual boot off the two Stores.

“The Store review is ongoing and we recognize that we have more work to do, but we’re on it,” Brix wrote. “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.”

Brix pointed out that Microsoft provides a “report concern to Microsoft” link within the two Stores if customers find bogus apps. Customers can also contact Microsoft directly at this email address or use the Notices of Infringement online form. Our sister site, Tom’s Guide, noted the presence of this problem days ago.

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August 29, 2014
Steven Nuhn