Microsoft is removing low quality apps from the Windows Store in an attempt to improve the quality of apps. App developers have received an email with specific criteria to which apps have to adhere and the notification that their app is removed. The policies and criteria are below.
- Your app must have distinct and informative metadata.
- Your app must provide a valuable and quality user experience.
Specific criteria that might apply to your app
- Make sure the title doesn’t use a name similar to another app or service.
- Use an app title that is distinctive and readable.
- Use an icon that uniquely identifies the app, so it’s easy to distinguish from other apps.
- Provide a description that’s clear, appropriately concise and easy to understand.
- Use a description that gives customers enough information about your app to understand what it does.
- Make sure the description is accurate about the features and functionality in your app.
- Choose screenshots that give customers useful information about what your app does and highlight key features.
- Make sure your screenshots accurately illustrate the features and content in the app.
- Provide a valuable app experience for customers.
- In a crowded segment of the Store, provide additional value compared to other apps.
The criteria appear to try to the end the numerous of apps that try to resemble popular apps by using variations on the name. We previously reported how the popular game Traffic Rider was abused this way. The fake apps were much smaller downloads but asked for more permissions, that could be used for data mining, such using the phone, retrieving the location and access to the user’s photos.
Software developers can try to improve their app, but Microsoft notes that there is no guarantee the app can be published by the same name again. It’s unclear how many apps Microsoft has removed from the Windows Store.
Microsoft previously already stated it prefers quality over quantity in the Windows Store. Also Apple has announced it will cleanup the App Store and remove outdated apps.