Earlier this year, Microsoft rolled out a new age rating system under the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) to streamline the tedious process of manually obtaining age ratings for apps before submission. For the past few months, Microsoft has been warning developers to update their apps - both public and private - in accordance with the new age ratings, stating that non-compliant apps will be removed from the store after September 30, 2016.
Now, even ten days after the deadline has passed, it appears that Microsoft still hasn't started removing non-compliant applications from the Windows Store. Numerous people have contacted Neowin about why the process hasn't kicked off yet, and now we finally have an answer.
We reached out to Microsoft regarding the process of removal of non-compliant apps from the Windows Store, and a spokesperson from the company replied, stating that:
As we’ve communicated over the last several months, Microsoft has adopted the simplified IARC rating system for app and game submissions to the Windows Store. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help ensure a quality experience and interact with content that is appropriate for you and your family. The process for removing non-compliant apps is on a rolling basis, as we periodically run tests and remove content that does not meet our quality certification.
The statement implies that Microsoft tends to remove non-compliant apps in series of tests, which it runs "periodically". This is quite interesting, as there is no fixed schedule as to when these tests are conducted. According to our knowledge, the latest one was administered in early September, while the one before that took place in June 2015.
That said, the next series of tests could take place any time, so it appears that developers have been given a longer leash and are expected to update their apps with new age ratings in this unspecified amount of time. However, it'll be quite interesting to see how Microsoft's "669,000 apps in the Windows Store" statistic is affected once the company actually kicks off the removal process.