With the launch of Windows 8 a few years ago, Microsoft introduced a new app store and the company had high hopes for creating a best-in-class application storefront. They expected developers to flock to the platform and build high quality apps but the actual result was that their store became filled with junk and knockoff apps.
Windows 10 will be released this summer and ahead of that launch, the company is tightening up the rules for its app store to remove and keep out the junk. In a new post on the Windows blog, Bernardo Zamora cites how Microsoft is going to remove the 'app clutter' from the store.
This new effort starts with updates to the 10.1 app certification policy - Distinct Function & Value; Accurate Representation - and impacts both new and existing apps. The updates will focus on four areas:
- Eliminating app clutter
- Ensuring apps are appropriately priced
- Distinguishing informational apps
- Ensuring relevant app titles and keywords
Microsoft will be removing apps that 'negatively impact customer experience with Windows Store' which means removing apps with similar icons and titles that can result in confusion.
The company is also targeting apps that do not have differentiated icons and that the keywords are correctly targeted for the app for better search results.
This is not the first time we have seen Microsoft try to clean up its stores, back in August of 2014, the company removed over 1500 apps after the company acknowledged the store had 'crap app' problem.
The end result of these new guidelines should be that there is less clutter in the store and that only relevant apps are found when searching. While not specifically stated, think of this as a housecleaning of sorts of the app store ahead of what the company is hoping is a surge in submissions of apps for Windows 10.