back to article Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Microsoft has turned 1,500 applications out of the Windows Store, the app bazaar for Windows 8 devices. In a post titled How we’re addressing misleading apps in Windows Store, Microsoft explains it has conducted a promised spring clean by changing the rules for admission to the store and will henceforth insist on the following …

I've never used a WiPho (heck I don't even use an Android or iPhone, although I do have an android tablet), adn being a staunch desktop user, I can say that the entire 'metro' experience of win8 has done NOTHING for me. I find Win8 quite usable as a desktop system when augumented with Classic Start Menu, but there's absolutely zero of interest to me in that Playskool/Fisher-Price world of lavender and teal blocks and full screen 'apps' that do nothing useful.

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On a phone, the Interface formerly known as Metro works pretty well. A small touch screen operated by fumbling fingers is a low-resolution input device, so the "Fisher-Price" approach is actually sensible... But it is indeed mysterious why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop.

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@MacroRodent

Well the answer to that is someone designed it, several decided it was a good idea, more decided it would work and agreed to release it.

Who should we blame? Are they still in a job?

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Re: why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop

Microsoft had zero developers for its mobile phones. No developers means no apps, means no users, means no developers, etc. Putting TIFKAM on desktop was a way to bootstrap development on mobile, by getting the countless developers for desktop Windows interested.

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And that backfired spectacularly.

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", I can say that the entire 'metro' experience of win8 has done NOTHING for me. I find Win8 quite usable as a desktop system when augumented with Classic Start Menu, but there's absolutely zero of interest to me in that Playskool/Fisher-Price world of lavender and teal blocks and full screen 'apps' that do nothing useful."

Microsoft were making a beeline to tablet land with the metro interface. I am quite certain that during Windows 8 the devs were told to forget about mouse / keyboard experience and push to get something that worked on a tablet.

They screwed it up pretty badly in 8 though in fairness 8.1 SP1 has fixed the roughest edges. If they implement something compact and analogous to a start menu in SP2 or 9 then I think most of the complaints will be overcome.

As for apps I don't find them any worse than other mobile apps. Some of them are rather good - the Netflix app is really nice and Microsoft have some good stock apps for email, browsing, weather, maps etc. I even use some of them when the tablet is docked up. But I still mostly use the desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

"But it is indeed mysterious why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop."

Because touch and gesture based computing are clearly the future on the desktop too....Microsoft are just somewhat ahead of the curve.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop

"Microsoft had zero developers for its mobile phones. No developers means no apps"

Erm - but there are already over 300,000 Windows Phone apps, and it's growing at ~ 100% per year.

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Re: @MacroRodent

Not at Microsoft. (See Sinosky (sp?))

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Coat

"Microsoft are just somewhat ahead of the curve"

You mean they've gone around the bend?

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Pirate

"Microsoft are just somewhat ahead of the curve."

Only if they are marching backwards...

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RE: But it is indeed mysterious why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop.

Because some ID10T in marketing thought that touch was a brilliant idea after he drank a gallon of MS Kool-Aid.

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Anonymous Coward

Honestly?

I want to see you be brave.

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> Because touch and gesture based computing are clearly the future on the desktop too

Which is strange because no one seems to want to use these on the desktop.

Just like voice input and voice commands, they are useless on a desktop system in an office or home environment, too much background noise and movement for voice or gesture, screen too far away for touch, fingers too fat for fine enough control of desktop applications.

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"Microsoft are just somewhat ahead of the curve"

If by "somewhat ahead of the curve" you mean downright loopy, you and I are in complete agreement.

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Re: why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop

> and it's growing at ~ 100% per year.

The main problem with apps for Microsoft mobile platforms is the instability. Windows Mobile 6.x was killed dead by WP7. All the WP7 apps were dumped when WP8 was incompatible. Desktop and RT apps were different too. The next round is supposed to be compatible from phone to RT and Win8.x (or 9), but may need to be redeveloped with yet another new SDK.

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Anonymous Coward

"Just like voice input and voice commands, they are useless on a desktop system in an office or home environment, too much background noise and movement for voice or gesture, screen too far away for touch, fingers too fat for fine enough control of desktop applications."

Not true - you are clearly spouting invented FUD rather than speaking from experience. I have a touch screen desktop PC and its great to use. Fingers can already control desktop apps just fine - and there are touch optimised versions of Office and other major applications on the way.

Voice and guesture based commands work just fine too - as per my Xbox One. That works great even with the TV on at high volume - and easily tracks specfic users versus background movement.

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I think everyone has missed the point. The point of this is not Metro, it's that MS's bribery of developers (throwing Money-Per-App at them) means that there are now thousands of apps that offer you, say, a guide on how to install VLC on your machine. At a cost of a few quid. For something that you can google for free. Which are ranked right up there with the genuine app and VLCs own (free) installer.

AC-Twat: That's where your'e 100% growth is coming from, scamming cunts, paid by MS, who never bothered to check whether the apps were actually functional or offered anything of value.

Talk about missing the point by a country mile.

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Re: Voice and Gesture commands - there was the recent incident of the Xbox advert on TV which managed to turn on people's Xbox's, and a colleague has a gesture based TV that suffers from problems caused by reflections in windows/mirrors - if someone on screen puts their hand up - it can activate the gesture system.

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Re: @MacroRodent

Judging by Sinofsky's payout when he left M$, you may find that the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

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Anonymous Coward

"MS's bribery of developers (throwing Money-Per-App at them)"

Wasn't that Blackberry? Can't remember MS doing it.

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Anonymous Coward

"Re: Voice and Gesture commands - there was the recent incident of the Xbox advert on TV which managed to turn on people's Xbox's, and a colleague has a gesture based TV that suffers from problems caused by reflections in windows/mirrors - if someone on screen puts their hand up - it can activate the gesture system."

Sometimes they work too well! Kinnect at least certainly is intelligent enough not to be distracted by minor reflections. Sounds like crappy TV firmware / motion sensors to me.

Can't wait until some TV movie triggers loads of Glasshole headsets to do something amusing....

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AC. Read this archived web page.

Web archive image of the promotion to encourage more apps

For the devoid of clickity:

Keep The Cash

Publish apps.

Get up to $2000*

Publish your app(s) in the Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store from March 8th to June 30th, 2013.

Enter up to 10 apps per Store and get a $100 virtual Visa card for each that qualifies (up to $2000*).

Enter Now

Now, fill out the form below. You can get a $100 virtual Visa card for every qualified app you enter (up to $2000*). So don't stop with just one app! If you're eligible to receive the offer, we'll notify you by email.

That's the sort of thing that really encourages quality development, and not just Apps that download a link to the VLC installer at the low, low cost of $2.49.

Microsoft - encouraging asshattery at every turn.

Steven R

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> Voice and guesture based commands work just fine too - as per my Xbox One.

In what way is that a "desktop system in an office or home environment".

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1500 and counting, er, wait

"Microsoft has turned 1,500 applications out of the Windows Store, the app bazaar for Windows 8 devices."

Two questions:

1) 1500 out - are there any left?

2) bazaar - didn't you mean bizarre?

(just kidding...)

They need to take that ribbon and rope in some more developers...

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Anonymous Coward

Icons

Icons – must be differentiated to avoid being mistaken with others.

Considering that the design language is as flat as a pancake it must be hard to differentiate icons when it will be a choice of a garish colour and a white icon like say a pair of headphones...

Ah well 1500 apps removed four left.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Icons

Yes, the 4 left are porn apps masquerading as games.

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FAIL

Re: Icons

"Ah well 1500 apps removed four left."

Go home AC, you're boring.

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Re: Icons

All platforms are going for a flat look and moving away from skeumorphism. I think Microsoft's problems are multiplied because they didn't just go flat, they went monochrome. Most of the tiles are a single colour with a single colour on top. I think the situation is *slightly* better on Metro than Windows Phone because there tends to be more going on in the live tiles, tiles are available in more sizes, and tiles that launch desktop apps show the traditional icon.

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Re: Icons (@AC)

At least that would make a change from the usual Zynga/EA/Disney/everyone approach of microtransaction-enabled Skinner Boxes masquerading as games?

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LDS
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Re: Icons

Nowhere is written your icons must be monochromatic nor they are forced to use the theme color. Most well coded applications offer a choice of display icon, one using the theme color, others using the colors of their choice.

Sure, a well designed icon and tile will make the home screen look more elegant and be more functional than what you can get on other phones with a luna park/candy shop look and widgets with very different designs looking ugly one near the other.

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Re: Icons (@AC)

> At least that would make a change from the usual Zynga/EA/Disney/everyone approach of microtransaction-enabled Skinner Boxes masquerading as games?

I feel compelled to upvote you.

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"Punters who bought them mistakenly can eveg score a refund"

Can do what now?

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um

Volume isn't that important: quality is.

Android was similarly chastised in the beginning over having less apps than apple. Now it's full of crap.

I'd rather have a choice of 10 quality applications in a "store" than 1000 time wasters.

Anything less than *** with more than 50 reviews should be removed immediately; simple uat...

Wait... I'm now thinking of ms primarily as a smartphone/tablet vendor... How the mighty have fallen! Oy! Numpties! Turn your attention back to the desktop where it belongs!

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Re: um

10 Quality Apps on a Win Phone?

What an optimist you are.

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Re: um

Why remove an app with 50 plus reviews and less than 3 stars? If someone is stupid enough to buy an app without looking at the rating or reading the reviews, that's surely up to them?

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Re: um

> Anything less than *** with more than 50 reviews should be removed immediately; simple uat...

And how exactly would a new app ever get on the store in the first place if it needs 50 reviews first?

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Re: um

Isn't the statistic something like a new app receives most of its reviews within the first two or three weeks? If that's the case it makes sense to give an app a trial window and if it doesn't reach $THRESHOLD in that time then it gets pulled. A quick search seems to indicate that about 60% of all apps are zombies anyway with many having never been downloaded regardless of which app store you look at. Certainly after a year if it hasn't been downloaded once it isn't likely to take off anytime soon. It's probably a pity as there is likely some wheat among all that chaff.

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Re: um

The problem then is that you daren't ever get rid of the legacy feature that 5% of people still use but which makes it much harder for the other 95% to get things done as immediately after that update you're guaranteed that the 5% will come out in force and temporarily lower your average rating.

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Re: um

No Worries Tim. The downvotes clearly show the lack of thought and rational thinking brought about by fervent anti microsoftism...

I do sometimes think downvotes are a direct retaliation by some commentards so stupid that they are embarrassed by their own thought processes..

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Re: um

@tim if the average rating is 1 or 2 stars out of 5 after 50 people have rated it, it's shit. If less than 50 people have rated it the criteria for removal would not have been met so it would be left alone.

@cornz 1 er, what? Maybe there's some google translate fun going on or something. I suspect Tim's downvotes were from people who, like me, thought of Harry Enfield when they read Tim's response...

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LDS
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Re: um

The problem is there is no way to rate reviewers...

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Re: um

I remember blackberry making a comment to the tune of "we don't need 200 fart apps" [1].

I guess that philosophy served them truly well in the long run as some of the execs had comfy parachutes.

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/01/rim_super_apps/

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Re: um

You are assuming reviewer accounts=reviewers

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Thumb Up

Re: um

Careful cornz1 - next thing you know, you'll be accused of being a "shill", or a "microsoft employee", making those kind of noises!

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Re: um

"The problem is there is no way to rate reviewers..."

If that were possible there would be an arms race between sleazy developers racing to slate critical reviewers.

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Trollface

Windows has a store?

n/t

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Trollface

Re: Windows has a store?

That had more than 1500 apps yesterday!

Why didn't somebody mention this?

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Trollface

Re: Windows has a store?

Windows has a store?

n/t

They don't call it NT these days Paul...

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Didnt know

They could kick out there own service packs....

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