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article imageMicrosoft removes 90,000 apps from the Windows Store

By James Walker     Oct 31, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has removed over 90,000 apps from the Windows Store, according to reports today. It follows warnings to developers about updating their apps' age ratings. Apparently, many publishers have not paid attention and have had their products withdrawn.
Microsoft began informing developers about the impending change to app age ratings earlier this year. It came about as the Windows Store was forced into accordance with the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system, a motion that came into effect at the end of last month.
Microsoft now requires every app in the store to have a proper age rating assigned to it. It warned developers that all non-compliant apps would be removed from the store. Two weeks ago, it began to pull these app listings out of the Windows Store, preventing them from being discovered on the homepage or through search. It has now become apparent just how many apps failed to be updated in time.
According to Windows Blog Italia, a total of 90,291 apps were removed from the Italian version of the Windows Store alone between September 26th and October 19th. So many were lost that there are now 27 percent fewer apps available to Italian Windows users. Out of a former 329,507 published titles, 239,216 remain.
Details on the purge's effects in other regional markets are currently unknown. However, it's to be expected that it's a similar story across Europe. Despite the repeated messages, developers seem not to have heeded the warning. Microsoft is taking a hard stance against these apps, helping to protect its users by preventing children being exposed to inappropriate titles.
While the cull appears to be drastic, there are currently no reports of popular or significant Windows apps suffering as a consequence. It appears as though all the major titles were updated in time. Although 90,000 apps have been removed, the lack of any outcry or even mention on social media suggests they were all little-used or spam in the first place.
Earlier in September, Microsoft removed a series of apps it had already marked out as low quality. In emails to developers, it warned it had evaluated the published apps in the Windows Store and determined that certain titles weren't a good fit for its ecosystem. The company has been proactively addressing long-standing complaints of spam and clone apps dominating the Windows Store.
Apps the company has removed due to quality concerns have their name reservations deleted. This means there is no guarantee the developer will be able to publish their app under the same title if they choose to resubmit it to the store in the future. Microsoft is trying to discourage app creators from submitting poor quality products in the first place.
Apps removed due to age rating issues can be resubmitted to the Windows Store once they've been properly tagged and are fully compliant with the store's policies again. If the developer failed to respond in the first instance, it's unlikely they're going to bother navigating through the resubmission procedure though. Microsoft has effectively cleaned out the junk in the Windows Store, making it a safer place at the same time.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, windows store, Apps
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