Microsoft’s Windows Store has been decried as being a “lawless” frontier where users couldn’t find apps that had value for customers. Few businesses wanted to even develop an app for Windows 8 or 8.1. The Windows Store became a joke itself.
But with the advent of Windows 10, the head of the Store and Apps announced that Microsoft would enforce a more robust approach to its policies to clean things up.
“As of today, we are enforcing a more robust approach to 10.1 app certification policy (“Distinct Function & Value; Accurate Representation”) for both new and existing apps to ensure customers can easily find high-value, high-quality apps when shopping in Windows Store,” Bernardo Zamora, the director of Microsoft’s Apps and Store, said last week.
Zamora specifically promised Microsoft would:
- Eliminate app clutter
- Ensure apps are appropriately priced
- Distinguish informational apps
- Ensure app titles and keywords are relevant
If app titles are too confusing or their icons look too similar, some of those apps might be removed from the Store. If one app is priced ridiculously higher than apps with similar functions, don’t expect to see it in the Windows Store anymore. Likewise if an app developer violates policy by undercutting a price to drive out other apps, it might be sent packing.
Have you ever bought a game app, only to discover what you really did was buy an “informational” guide to that game? Too many people have done that, so Zamora’s team will make sure icons, titles and descriptions clearly state what the app is and does.
I know I’ve searched the Windows Store using keywords and come up with some results that are so far off that I couldn’t even figure out how my search terms could include those apps. Developers will have to stop using irrelevant titles and keywords to put a stop to this mess.
Does anyone need 10 different digital candles? No, I didn’t’ think so, either. The “robust approach” to app certification will mean the Windows Store will be decluttered.
All of this is important, because with the Universal Windows Platform, a cornerstone of Windows 10, a business or consumer could expect to see a lot more apps in the Windows Store. But that’s only going to happen if developers are certain that Microsoft cleans house as promised.
If you’ve got an app in the Windows Store that you are worried will be bumped, then you’d better make sure your account contact email is correct in the Dev Center, as that’s how Zamora’s team might try to reach you if they spot what they think are problems. Perhaps all you’ll need to do is create an icon that better matches your app, or some other small change that makes the difference between staying in the store, and being booted out.
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