Microsoft takes action to combat misleading apps in Windows Store

Microsoft is taking criticism from users about the volume of scammy, spammy, and fake apps that appear in the Windows Store seriously. Today, Redmond took action, announced new policies that should help clean up its app store and prevent misleading applications from finding their way there in the first place.

These new policies require apps to be named in a way that clearly and accurately reflects the functionality of the app, and categorized according to function and purpose. Icons must also be unique enough that they are not mistaken with others.

The changes will apply to all new app submissions and app updates for both the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store. Microsoft is also retroactively applying the above criteria to apps already in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. Though it’s not yet finished, Microsoft has said this review process has seen more than 1,500 applications removed from the store. What’s more, the company said it is happy to refund users for apps that are downloaded as a result of a misleading title or description.

Though it’s surprising that app developers were not already required to adhere to the rules set out in today’s blog post, the hope is that these changes will help cut down on the amount of garbage in the Windows Phone Store and restore some trust with users duped by fake or poorly labeled apps.