Windows fans rejoice! Microsoft plans to improve the Windows Store by cleaning out the junk apps. They’ll be making changes to the 10.1 App Certification Policy called “Distinct Function & Value; Accurate Representation” for new apps and those already in the Store.
Microsoft has known about this problem for quite a while now, and they plan to address the issue with four changes:
- Eliminating app clutter
- Ensuring apps are priced appropriately
- Distinguishing informational apps
- Ensuring relevant app titles and keywords
There are roughly 1,000 apps in each Store category, but hopefully this policy change along with code porting in Windows 10 will encourage developers to create for the platform.
Under eliminating app clutter, Microsoft will remove apps that are visually alike, and apps whose icons and titles don’t match the content. According to the Windows Blog, “Apps that can’t be distinguished from other apps in the Store, have icons or titles that are too similar to other apps already in the Store, or don’t properly represent the functionality of the app may be removed.”
They also plan to remove apps that “do not offer unique content, creative value or utility”. An example they give is the plethora of flashlight apps that look and act the same.
By ensuring appropriate app pricing, Microsoft will make sure that each app’s price reflects the value that customers will receive. Developers will of course have the final say on what they feel their app should cost, Microsoft wants to make sure that the prices are fair when compared to the app’s functionality. The apps can’t “utilize irregular or unfair practices” that violate the Windows Store Code of Conduct.
When distinguishing informational apps, it’s important that customers don’t get confused over which app they’re buying, specifically if they mean to buy a game but instead they buy the game guide, because the two apps look similar. In order to distinguish the apps, they must display some kind of banner or label. For example, a game guide has to be clearly labeled “Guide”.
Ensuring relevant app titles and keywords is the final change, and it means that if an app’s description, title, keywords, or other metadata don’t match what the app does, it could be removed. The problem that Microsoft is addressing is when certain developers try to game the system by searching for which titles or keywords are popular, and applying that data to their app(s), even if their app has nothing to do with that title or keyword. Apps need to have a maximum of eight keywords.
The 10.1 App Certification is meant to ensure a better experience for both customers and developers. For more information, check out the Windows Blog below.