Microsoft removes 1,500 scam apps in Windows Store clean-up

Microsoft has cleaned up its Windows and Windows Phone Stores by removing more than 1,500 applications.

The software giant came under fire this month from tech website, How-To Geek, which described its app store as "a cesspool of scams."

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The website pointed out several fake apps being portrayed as genuine services, such as VLC and iTunes, which charged users money without delivering the services they promised. Microsoft, however, still received a percentage of these charges.

"It's now been more than two years since Windows 8 was released, and this has been a problem the entire time, and it is getting worse. If Microsoft was trying to offer a safe app store to Windows users, they've failed," the article claimed.

The firm has since announced that it has taken action to clean up the store, by changing the requirements for how Windows Store app certification is awarded.

Apps must now be named in a way that "clearly and accurately" reflects the app's function and must be categorised appropriately. Icons must also be chosen to easily differentiate between similar apps.

Microsoft's general manager of the Window Apps and Store Team, Tony Brix, added that the policy was being applied to new and existing apps.

"Most of the developers behind apps that are found to violate our policies have good intentions and agree to make the necessary changes when notified," he said.

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Brix also confirmed that some developers had been "less receptive" to the new regulations, leading to the removal of approximately 1,500 apps.

"The Store review is ongoing and we recognise that we have more work to do, but we're on it," Brix said.