We’re sure that many of you guys have come across apps while browsing the app store that seem to resemble other apps. They might share a similar-ish logo and a similar-ish name, but for those who are a little bit more savvy, you guys know that the app probably isn’t the real deal and is probably out to capitalize on the real app, or used as a scam to cheat money out of unsuspecting users. App stores such as the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and the Windows Store have all been plagued by such apps, with Google recently purging the app store of Swing Copters clones, Microsoft has decided to follow suit by announcing that they will be cracking down on the number of fake apps in the Windows Store.
There’s much work to be done to improve the Windows app ecosystem, and not only in terms of adding more apps. Microsoft said today that it is stepping up efforts to make sure apps are named and described in a way that doesn’t mislead users, as people have been trying to “game the system with misleading titles or descriptions.” The Windows Store app certification requirements have therefore been updated to include policies that state an app should be named to “clearly and accurately reflect the functionality,” apps should be categorized according to their function and purpose, and icons must be differentiated so they aren’t mistaken with others. Microsoft has had to conduct a review of Windows Store to ensure the requirements are met. This has led to the removal of more than 1,500 apps — and the company will be refunding users the cost of apps they downloaded because of an erroneous title or description. Going forward, the revised policies are being applied to all new app submissions and existing app updates for both Windows and Windows Phone Store, Microsoft says. This move comes as a recent post by online tech magazine How to Geek highlighted the existence of multiple fake apps in the Windows Store that ripped off the original apps’ names and logos.