Microsoft Responds To The Availability Of Thousands Of Fake Apps In Windows Store

Windows Store VLC Player

Apart from the lack of key apps, Microsoft’s Windows Store faces another key issue of having fake apps in the Store. For example, searching for VLC will give you the above search results page, out of which only one is the official app. Others are just spam apps with no real content and offers no value to the users downloading it. How-To Geek’s  did an investigation of this issue,

“Within half an hour we managed to find fake paid versions of Adobe Flash Player, Firefox, Pandora, IMDB, Candy Crush Saga, Wechat, WhatsApp, uTorrent, Picasa, Bluestacks, Minecraft, Spotify, Google Hangouts, Picasa, Clash of Clans, Blender 3D, and a lot more.” These are all apps that are supposed to be free (and if you go to the Windows Store now you can try this experiment for yourself).

Microsoft responded to this issue with the following statement,

We strive to make the Windows Store a high-quality experience for customers and also accessible to the broadest audience of developers. Based on customer and developer feedback, we recently took actions to help users discover the specific app titles they’re searching for and improve the overall Store experience. Those updates provide clear guidance to developers and also improve our ability to identify, audit and remove problematic apps. We recognize that there is more work to do and will continue to re-evaluate our policies to strike a balance between the opportunity for developers and the app quality that our customers expect.

Do you think Microsoft should flex its muscles to focus on quality instead of quantity in Windows Store?

via: Neowin Source: Slate

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • http://www.overpress.it/ Matteo Contrini

    Absolutely yes, quality is more important.

  • Shoey5

    The problem is they include these useless spam apps in their total market place count and most of them are pay. Look at the reviews and you’ll see a lot of people have been suckered into purchasing them. Their former may look good on paper for marketing purposes but in regards to the latter, their response is a joke!
    It should be absolutely unacceptable that they allow paid spam apps designed to swindle money off their users and given how easy it is to spot these apps, they should be held fully accountable for losses incurred by their users on these type of apps.

    • Dave

      I agree Microsoft can do more and should, but this is true for all of the phone OSs. There is no way the six or seven hundred thousand apps Apple crows about are all quality apps. I would bet there are even more of the BS apps in both the Apple and Android stores. At least Microsoft ackowledges the problem and is working to improve it.

  • http://fortheloveoftech.com Rich Woods

    To be fair, this is no different from the Android Market before it became the Google Play Store. Once the market matures and there is more serious Windows apps, no one will care about this anymore.

    • NGM123

      How many years have people been saying, once it matures no one will care? So many I can’t remember. Time for MS to put up or shut up.

  • benjitek

    Stuff like this will cause their market share to shrink more, it that’s even possible :-(

  • reKitab

    Yes, I think Microsoft should flex its muscles to focus on quality instead of quantity in Windows Store!

  • Guest

    MSFT should help with legal issue by suing those “developers”!
    They really should do it!
    They have until the year ends or else…

    • Roger

      All of you Microsoft haters should realize that Microsoft DOES want Quality Apps in their store. If you actually look in the Apple and Android stores you will see the exact same thing; an overabundance of useless or fake apps. The consumer needs to do their research when purchasing an app; this is in every store, even the supermarket.

      • NGM123

        Just because some people are frustrated with the years of apathy and lack of results doesn’t mean their necessarily haters, just frustrated fans.

  • EzMonger

    Not only do I think Microsoft should flex… I think they should challenge the other phone OS’s to do the same thing… And I’m sure their numbers would greatly decrease as well. My opinion… It’s not the quantity of apps, but the quality of the ones we have… Who cares if you have a billion apps if nine hundred and ninety nine million nine hundred and ninety one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine of them are worthless.

  • Asgard

    It has to be the company of the real app which complains about duplicates and fakes. Otherwise MS will also start removing apps that are there because the real app is not available.

  • Scott McBurney

    yes, get rid of the crapware.

  • Mark

    This has been consistently mentioned since the store started but it is only until one article goes viral that Microsoft has to respond. They need to be more proactive to avoid the bad press.

  • purrpullberra

    This problem has been an embarrassment to me personally since I’ve (successfully) recommended WP to many friends. I’ve had to tell these friends DO NOT ENTER THE STORE! And that I’ll tell them about anything they need to have and install.
    Quantity means nothing if the quality apps get lost or if people mistake garbage apps for official ones.
    The naming convention should be simple and airtight. Devs must identify apps when they aren’t the official one somehow, the title of the app needs to distinguish that it isn’t official. The official app MUST always be at the top of any related search. Separate it out even with a “…and here’s OTHER UNOFFICIAL versions or add-ons….”

    • caliborn65

      This isn’t about Windows Phone. It’s about Windows 8.

  • counterblow

    Microsoft’s policy is flawed and completely plays into the hands of scam developers so they can keep their app numbers high. To get crap apps removed the DEVELOPER of the original IP has to file the claim. If I spot and report an app Microsoft won’t do crap. There should be only ONE Facebook app in the store, ONE Flappy Bird, ONE VLC, etc. But Microsoft knows if they took proper action their app count would drop to 100k.

  • Roger

    All of you Microsoft haters should realize that Microsoft DOES want Quality Apps in their store. If you actually look in the Apple and Android stores you will see the exact same thing; an overabundance of useless or fake apps. The consumer needs to do their research when purchasing an app; this is in every store, even the supermarket.

    • Hynie

      “If you actually look in the Apple and Android stores you will see the exact same thing”…..the problem is that your comment is bs. Read the article they refer to…….google play and apple store are 100x cleaner than the crap wp store.

      • caliborn65

        You should read the article again yourself. This is about Windows 8, not the Windows Phone store.

        • Rod Iron

          Didn’t even notice that! LOL

      • Dave

        “google play and apple store are 100x cleaner” If you wouldn’t mind,
        can you quote your sources for the 100x factor?

      • Socius

        And no this is not accurate. Apple requires that every app pass inspection before being available on their store. Android is a bit more of a clusterf@#% for sure. But Windows is in a special category of its own. There are tons of apps that are intentionally deceitful, using the official name and logo of other apps, with no repercussions for the scam artist who created the app. Microsoft needs to seriously flex some muscle and perma-ban anyone who takes part in these scams.

    • Shoey5

      And that makes it right….because others are doing it too? Search for MKV on Apple and Android and you’ll find 10 good mkv playes. Do the same on the Windows store and there will be Spam apps in the top 10 search items. Yes there are spam apps in Apple/Google stores but the real apps out weigh them when browsing those markets.

      I love the MS eco system but I hate Spam apps. If an average user buys a surface and then spends so money on fake apps, do you think he or she is going to be happy with the Surface experience?

  • Rod Iron

    Never mind!

  • Luke Murphy

    What Microsoft needs are the most used apps and sought out apps. It defiantly isn’t about the numbers, but the apps that everyone wants and needs.

    • Christopher Moor

      Cisco AnyConnect is a serious primary issue for both Phone & RT.
      Office integration leaves way too much to be desired. Way too many steps to create a document or a Note to be useful.

  • Michael

    I would rather have 100000 good apps than millions junk apps, clean up the store!

  • Luke Murphy

    I have Surface Pro 3, 4 Nokia Lumia windows 8 phones, I am trying my best to support the company that keeps my job going. I am a Microsoft man, and all I ask is to seek those most used apps and build them, work with the companies directly, send Microsoft developers to work directly with other companies and use their API’s to build a strong app store. Honestly this is one of the major things that is hurting Microsoft sales, and I always do my best to defend them against my colleagues and friends.

    • Christopher Moor

      I’m in the same boat Luke. Honestly the Dev preview on my Lumia 920 was a breath of fresh air. Waiting for AT&T to deliver their current Lumia’s with integrated wireless charging, or enable Data Sense has really hurt the MS sales. The 920 I have is a 2012 phone and is still better than most available currently in functionality.

  • Luke Murphy

    The world is becoming a android world, Microsoft really needs to make some wow devices and apps to start turning heads.. Not only the good apps, but also the quality of the apps. Some examples, Instagram Beta, shouldn’t be a Beta.. Cortana should have the actual Cortana voice, I mean I hear this stuff every day, just frustrating to hear, it’s really hurting their reputation as big as Microsoft is, spend some of those dollars and make the Android market eat their words… People want quality and popular apps, put the time and energy and create amazing products and you will gain trust from consumers.

  • Thomas

    I think Microsoft used many words to actually say nothing. :-( There should be an easy way to highlight fake apps to people within Microsoft who really care. I know for a fact that the procedure in Windows Phone for example does not work. I always have to tweet Joe Belfiore when I notice some developer publishing numerous fake apps because otherwise they will not be removed. And this is not the way it should be!

    Also I think the reviewers are a big problem. They are probably outsourced to some country with low income and judged by the amount of apps they approve every day. These people have absolutely no reason to look at app submissions with a critical eye. The more they approve the more likely it is they can keep their jobs and feed their families. :(

  • NGM123

    They should at least focus one or the other because at this stage they have neither, the store is a joke and for RT it’s abysmal.
    The worlds foremost software company should have a massive dedicated apps department churning out quality apps, one after the other on a daily basis. MS has totally dropped the ball with it’s store…. and WP, and XBox One, and…..

  • quest

    if they got rid of all the crap they would only have 100 or so apps, they can’t bear that right now, maybe after 9 comes out they should just close it down!