The Windows Phone Store has an app problem

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"...and it’s not numbers", or so goes the title of a well researched little piece over at WMPU today, pointing out some major quality control issues in the Windows Phone Store. Hey, for once it's not ME slamming the Store Q&A guys....

The problem is that in a foolhardy bid to draw level on sheer app numbers in the Store, Microsoft has reduced quality control to the bare minimum. And we're not just talking about 'fart apps' here. The folks at WMPU have done a nifty spot of research after a tip off or two. From the article:

Unfortunately, there are several developers who would maliciously take advantage of Microsoft’s laxity. It has been brought to our attention that one developer “Swot Gose Games” has been downloading and uploading XAPs of games – some of them paid – for free.

Here are some of the original games which have been misappropriated here – Duet (renamed as Duet Adventure), Doors (Renamed as 100 Doors) and Cheezia (renamed as Cheese Factory). What’s interesting here is that the same (apparently) dev has been reported for this same behaviour and while he had his app taken down, he/she/they merely made a new account and reuploaded the work of other devs. While some users may see this as great because they get paid apps for free, this is very wrong for several reasons.

Firstly, the developer may be doing this under a misguided sense that software should be free. While this is noble, it is not his or her decision to make. People forked hours to make an app that other people would get hours of pleasure from and they deserve to be compensated.

That is the best case scenario, perhaps this developer may be making use of app permissions to gather user data for other nefarious actions or may be using ads to generate revenue for himself. There are several other scenarios, none of them are especially good.

It also undermines the usefulness of the Windows Phone store when devs can easily get their apps stolen and resold on the very same marketplace with Microsoft doing little to prevent it until after the fact. This is not the first time with other prolific pirated apps including Nokia’s apps, Facebook and Angry Birds, and it may not be the last.

Aside from piracy, the Windows Phone store also has the infuriating problem of devs submitting apps that can be qualified as virtual spam. A quick sample below.

I’ll spare you the agony of searching up and downloading those apps. Suffice to say, each and every single app consists of a single page which defines each of those words in the title. Nothing more, nothing less. Lovely isn’t it?

You can read the whole (illustrated) piece here, recommended.

With rubbish at every turn bloating the Store and blatant copying and re-uploading, there's then even less incentive for developers to produce anything worthwhile on Windows Phone. This one comes down fairly and squarely on Microsoft, which needs to put more human eyeballs on Store submissions, as I've ranted before.

Source / Credit: WMPU