Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/194993/the-windows-store-is-a-cesspool-of-scams-why-doesnt-microsoft-care/
Microsoft’s Windows Store is a mess. It’s full of apps that exist only to scam people and take their money. Why doesn’t Microsoft care that their flagship app store is such a cesspool?
The Windows Store is an absolute joke.
Try going thru the whole reporting process. It involves you adding tons of personal information and then, in the example of copyright infringement, you receive an email that you have to fill out MORE personal information and say that you are the responsible party for that copyright.
So you cant even flag something from Microsoft to double-check.
The other thing about the Keep the Cash program is that at their conferences they were pushing that hard to get people to submit apps, even ones from sites that pre-build out basic blog digesters to make serious cash.
Microsoft at this point should honestly be held liable for virus and security issues on the PC and for lost money associated with hosting scam software that is easily identifiable.
I very recently installed Windows 8.1 to dual boot on my MacbookPro and in the process discovered the Microsoft Store. I very specifically decided not to use the Microsoft Store because of several sleazy tactics like this. Just being forced to "create an account" to download supposedly free apps feels wrong. I've learned to trust my instincts.
Some bonehead in Microsoft's marketing department may think the sleaze and dirty tactics are good for Microsoft. Microsoft's official seal is being used to lie and cheat. These are hallmarks of a desperate, hollow company about to collapse in on itself.
Do you use an iPhone? You can't download even free apps without an account.
Personally, I think it was a mistake to lock down the Metro interface to just the official app store, but as far as requiring your information, this is no different than any of the official app stores for Android and iOS.
Say's the website sponsored by Taboola!
Microsoft does indeed care...
...about having a comparable number of apps with those other two stores.
I do not use an iPhone; however, I do use an Android phone and Google has similar requirements for apps and the like. One big difference is the sleaziness of allowing apps to sell what is otherwise free. Whether or not the iStore of Google Play store have sleaze is not entirely the point. They don't have so much so blatantly. Plus, like I said I got a bad feeling about creating and using the Microsoft account. I remain shy of Microsoft's attempt to lure me into what I perceive is a cesspit of nothing but corporate sleaze.
We use ads to pay the bills, but we don't charge anybody for anything. And nothing on that admittedly low-quality Taboola ad block tries to sell anybody fake scam versions of products.
Lets be honest, most ads on the web (and this site) are pretty crappy. And unless you are a really bigtime website like Wired or ArsTechnica, you can't get the high quality ads enough of the time to pay the bills.
So either we stop publishing articles, or we charge for our articles, or we use ads.
And that's all beside the point, which is:
Why is Microsoft allowing paid scam apps in their store?
These pale in comparison with the actual problem with Windows. That is the volume of Malware that shows up in search results at the top of Google and Bing searches for desktop applications.. The type of stuff that can do actual damage to the computing experience. You know what I'm talking about.
Of course MS should do a much better job with the Windows 8 store, but at least these scams are Metro Store apps that are Sandboxed and won't take over your computer with pop up ads and require you to have the Malware surgically removed by an expert. A simple right click to uninstall and your done. Both Bing and Google should do there f?ckin jobs better as well and stop taking $ for scamware downloads that do the real damage to computers.
I would also favor a section for the 100 most popular desktop downloads and a clear easy interface to tell the difference between the desktop downloads and the Metro downloads. There definitely is an awful lot of smart/stupid duality going on up at Microsoft. I would love to be a fly on the wall of the ACTUAL supposed Telemetry that they test this stuff with.
This says all that needs be said about Microsoft. Maybe Nadella will clean things up but Ballmer and Gates before him never cared at all about anything but their enterprise accounts. Things are much different for them.
Simple to avoid. Don't use the metro junk with it's kindergarten apps and graphics. Create a only a local account and use the desktop like win7. All the programmes you need can be found for it.
Looks like this really took off on Reddit: http://redd.it/2dtfsu
Lets hope this becomes a big enough deal that others will start covering it. Maybe then MS will finally acknowledge that there's a serious problem and actually do something about it... /wishfulthinking
Great article though @ChrisHoffman!
Yeah, I've contacted a few other big websites to try and get them to also cover the problem. Hoping to see more coverage tomorrow on some other tech sites. It would be pretty awesome to make a difference and do some good like that.
@ChrisHoffman definitely did a great job on this one.
That's definitely what we've always recommended... but it shouldn't have to be that way. We shouldn't have to tell everybody to avoid the store - they should make it a place full of good apps.
I've been saying this for such a long time. I'm so glad that someone with more visibility is now writing about it (and better than I ever could too).
When I roll out Windows 8.1 machines to customers I make sure Classic Start is installed and set to reduce any interaction with the metro side and I uninstall/delete any reference to 'Apps' from the Desktop.
Thank god I have as I didn't realise it was this bad. Not having any use whatsoever for the Metro side of things I rarely go looking at it.
I just recently purchased a new Surface Pro 3, and love the tablet-laptop, but have to agree that the apps in Metro are a complete 'waste'. I first tried to go the route of using apps, and had many installed, but then they started acting up. Would act like they are firing up, then the screen would go away, back to the Metro screen. In Desktop mode, in the taskbar, it showed the app open, but when clicked all it would do it appear, then go away. I've tried everything, but can find no answers.
So, I uninstalled apps, then load the programs as I did in Windows 7. They work great now. So, my experience with the app store has been very, very dismal, and I will not go back to it. Not until the problems are solved. With this Surface 3, I can load any program I wish, just as I did in Win 7.
I have a Surface RT, and I like it a lot. There are some good modern apps out there as well, but I do feel that this is a major problem in the Windows Store. The article's screenshots alone show how bad it is.
I really feel that Microsoft needs to start reviewing submissions and their catalog more. Any numbers they may be getting for marketing isn't worth all the bad apps that are either junk, misleading, or scams. I think these sort of apps are only hurting their platform. Seriously, who wants to spend $5 on a "Google Chrome" app that turns out to be "How to download Chrome Instructions Pro Version"?
Maybe we need more sites like HTG to bring attention to this so Microsoft will start paying attention.
I think the real problem with the windows store is the lack of good stuff. When I go to the IOS store, Mac store, Steam, Ubuntu (the stores I use) - I always see a ton of cool stuff. Stuff I want. I go over to window 8 store about once a week, and can't find anything at all I'm excited about. As to whether it is Microsoft's job to keep spammy apps out - Windows philosophy from the beginning has been very open. To allow everything, even if it meant increasing the risk to malware or spam. I like open. I like that I can get anything from the open internet and respect that. I agree that isn't the point of the app store. The point of the app store is that you get the right one, without a bunch of terrible downloads with it, and you pay someone who you trust. I don't understand why the windows 8 store - didn't include desktop programs. There are more great desktop programs, (what is an app these days), including games (just look at windows games on Steam!), to fill a store with great content - allowing them to keep the spam out. Yes, windows 8 and RT would have different stores - but is that so bad?
Sure. I'll buy a $1000 Surface Pro tablet... just for desktop apps.
The whole point of Metro was to have tablet apps. What users need on their Windows tablets is a properly curated experience like the Apple app store, along with the ability to sideload apps, like you can do on Android and desktop Windows.
The key here is someone actually examining each app that gets presented on the Microsoft store and authenticating that it's legit; yes, this is labor-intensive, but Apple is managing to quite nicely do this, and they still manage to have the largest collection of quality mobile software. Perhaps MS can't examine every app due to budgeting, or whatever... in that case, some sort of "seal of approval" would help. Apps that have been examined would be marked as such, and apps that haven't wouldn't.
next page →