Microsoft detailed a number of updates it has made to its Windows Store policies, including a “more robust approach” to its app certification policy, “to ensure customers can easily find high-value, high-quality apps when shopping in Windows Store”.
Among Microsoft’s aims is “eliminating app clutter”. This includes apps with similar icons and titles that can be confusing to consumers, and app icons and titles which do not match content. It also said that it “may remove apps that do not offer unique content, creative value or utility” – although some of these definitions seem somewhat subjective.
Another target is “ensuring appropriate app pricing”. In a blog post, the company said that “customers need to know that when they purchase apps from Windows Store, they are paying a fair price”, and that while developers retain sole pricing discretion, “they should price apps based on their app’s value and functionality”.
Also on the agenda is “distinguishing informational apps” – there has been some criticism that the Windows Store contains a number of guides rather than “functional” apps. From now on, information apps need to be labelled so (user guide, information guide, tutorial, or similar).
Finally, Microsoft is looking to ensure relevant app titles and keywords. This also includes the condition that “an app’s description or title does not state that an app is similar to, or better than other apps, unless the apps are comparable”.