Microsoft Working to Weed Out Junk Apps in Windows 8.1

Softpedia recently spoke with Microsoft regarding the quality of apps that reside in Windows Store. The site's complaint is that when the store launched in October 2012, there were around 5,000 apps. Now there are around 145,000 apps, many of which are nothing more than spam apps (clones) taking advantage of the popularity generated by legit ones in order to steal money from customers.

In other words, there's a lot of junk.

Case in point: Word Online was one of the newer apps, promising access to features provided by the online version of Microsoft's Office suite right on the Start screen. Fortunately for Microsoft, the app was reported as spam, and the company removed it from Windows Store.

According to Microsoft, the company is currently working on removing fake apps and spam from Windows Store. The company also plans to work more closely with developers to produce quality apps and an improved experience.

"We strive to make the Windows Store an excellent experience for Windows 8 users. We routinely review apps based on performance, ratings and user reviews and take steps to remove apps if they do not meet our certification guidelines," a company spokesperson told Softpedia.

Unfortunately, Word Online isn't the only spam-ridden app, leaving Microsoft busily deleting all apps that seem to violate Windows Store guidelines.

"We are aware of the issue and are actively removing apps that offer little value or confuse customers, and will continue evaluating our submission process to make sure Windows offers the highest quality app catalog available. With regards to trademark infringement, with every app there is an option to report the app for violating the Windows Store's Terms of Use," the spokesperson said.

Of course, there may be legit apps that are forced off the Store. The Microsoft rep suggests that these developers should contact Microsoft to determine what the company found "offensive." Once the problem is fixed, the developer can re-submit the app. Sound familiar?

"If a company feels a Windows Store app is infringing on their copyrights or trademarks, they should report the app and we will take immediate action to determine if the app should be removed from the Windows Store," the rep said.

Is Windows Store filling up with junk? The best advice, it seems, is to stay away from the clones that are filling up the pages. Research developers before taking the download plunge; see what else they've published since Windows Store went live.