Ever try to download Candy Crush Saga on Windows Phone? You were most likely greeted by a few apps that claimed they were the gaming hit by King, but they’re actually knockoffs meant to fool people for profit. Microsoft’s been getting an increasing amount of heat for its fake app problem lately, and now it’s doing something about it.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Windows Apps store GM Todd Brix explains that Microsoft has changed the Windows Store app certification requirements so that misrepresenting your app is an explicit no-no in Microsoft’s book. In addition, Microsoft says it purged 1,500 apps that did not meet the new requirements. Going forward, Microsoft will also devote “additional resources to speed up the review process.” I checked this morning and there are no more fake Candy Crush Saga, VLC, or Tinder apps; three titles that were known to have knockoffs.
Sure, the Windows Store still lags behind the Apple App Store and Google Play in terms of the sheer number of apps available, but all three have their total number goosed by these kind of dishonest apps — there’s a lot of Flappy Bird knockoffs for iOS too.
What’s more important is key apps, which Microsoft’s mobile platforms have been adding on a regular basis: For instance, Windows Phone got an Uber app earlier this summer. Those software partners deserve — and likely demand — better than having their app next to the digital equivalent of a scammer hawking knockoff Rolexes, and it looks like Microsoft just cleaned up its bazaar.