How to report a fake/spam app published in the Windows Store

Sometime, may be too often, you search in the new Windows Store an app (called in some way or that could do a feature) and you find some that are fake / spam / not appropriate.

This is a problem common to every platform’s Stores and the best way to contrast this, it is a prompt reaction of the end-user. In fact, also in stores where an app must be certified before it can be published (like the Windows one), this procedure is automatic in most of cases, using a tool available to developers too: this tool verifies, for example, that all the needed relevant information are defined [note that the declaration of the app’s used features to the user – e.g. localization – it is implicitly done using APIs that allows to get those features themselves – if you do not declare them,  you can’t use specific namespaces and so the compilation your code fails]. Is it true that there is a Microsoft team of the Store that periodically tries some apps, doing a manual analysis … but anyway they cannot try all of them, otherwise the certification process would take several weeks (penalizing correct developers). At the beginning of the Windows Phone app Store, the certification was always done also manually, … but there weren’t so many new apps to be validated!

Therefore the best procedure is that you, end-user that find a fake app (e.g. an app that doesn’t do anything a part advertising or that does different thinks from what declared in the Store description) report it to Microsoft, in order they can valuate and possibly delete that app from the Store: I hope that, whenever a very evident violation of the requirements has been done by a developer, this one will be put under control and possibly banned from publishing in the Store!

Unfortunately the way to report a violation is not so highlighted and possibly you can’t find it easily: it is at the bottom of each specific app page in the Additional information section (see screenshot) and it is called “Report that app to Microsoft” (“Segnala l’app a Microsoft“, in Italian).

Report linkReport link

Report this app link

I suggest to Microsoft to make it more visible (like it did for receiving a feedback), possibly with an appropriate icon. Personally I succeeded to found that link thanks to an MVP, because I was searching it in the home page of the Store, while it is in the page of each specific app. Note that (I wonder why) this link is available only if you go to a specific app page from the Store app, while I couldn’t find it from the Store site available from a browser.

Personally I reported yesterday several apps I found after searching in the Store [from my Windows 10 Mobile (preview) Lumia] the term “here“, looking to possible new universal versions of the well known HERE Drive navigator: I found so many fake apps that are using the Here name, logo, …. even screen captures shows sometime the ones of that app, while the content of the app was completely different (basically only advertising). Personally I think that, for cases like these, Microsoft people – in charge of handling the Store – could have a more appropriate attention: so guys, … I do not think it is so difficult to find out fake apps that use the name of well known apps!! I know that HERE term may be not a trademark but …

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In the following you can find an example of fake app, may be the worst I found looking the here term: as you can see, even the screen captures showed are the ones of Here Drive and not those of that app!! … but there were so many fake apps, … that at the end I stopped trying :-/ (often navigation features are stressed in the description while, in best cases, only your current position is shown on a map, … among advertisements)

Typical example of a fake app

Typical example of fake app

 

 

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Informazioni su Enzo Contini

Electronic engineer
Questa voce è stata pubblicata in Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile. Contrassegna il permalink.

Una risposta a How to report a fake/spam app published in the Windows Store

  1. Pingback: Antivirus for Windows 10 Mobile: why not? | Enzo Contini Blog

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