Earlier this week, it was revealed that Microsoft has been using content from mobile websites and placing them as "WebApps" on the Windows Phone Store. On Tuesday, Neowin reported that the Southwest Airlines WebApp has been removed by Microsoft, with Southwest telling us that the company had not "given them (Microsoft) approval to push our content." Later, we noticed that the Atari Arcade and Cars.com WebApps had also been taken down.
Neowin contacted Microsoft for a statement and this morning a spokesperson for the company send over a response. The statement said:
WebApps are an easy way to better connect our customers with popular websites through a good application-based experience, but we are also working with content owners to address any concerns they may raise.
The statement hints that Microsoft will now ask permission of website content owners before turning their sites into WebApps. We have asked Microsoft for a clarification.
The Next Web also got a statement from Microsoft, which was somewhat different. It said:
Web Apps drive more people to the company’s own website experience, as designed for mobile browsing, so we don’t anticipate many objections. We will move quickly to resolve any takedown requests we receive. Website owners are welcome to contact us at email@example.com. We’re being very transparent about what these apps are by publishing under the “Microsoft Web Apps” name and clearly describing them as website accessories in the descriptions.
While Microsoft may be "transparent" in its descriptions, the fact remains that these first WebApps were made without giving the content owners a heads-up beforehand. Hopefully Microsoft's policy on this has changed, but we will stay on top of this story to make sure.
Image via Microsoft