Microsoft looking to maintain Marketplace quality, notes four areas of concern

Microsoft moving to maintain Marketplace quality

We all want to see quality apps and games in the Windows Phone Marketplace.  With that in mind Microsoft is working to beef up the enforcement of existing policies to keep the "quality bar" high with the Marketplace.  While policy compliance will be expected across the board, Microsoft notes four areas where the concern is slightly higher.

Trademarks: While trademark complaint investigations find that the violation is unintentional, most can be avoided. Microsoft reminds developers to do their due diligence in researching any potential trademark issues. Resource suggestions from Microsoft include the Marketplace's content policy (opens in new tab) and the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office. (opens in new tab)

Bulk Publishing: We've seen plenty of bulk publishing where developers submit hundreds of similar apps with slightly different titles. While Microsoft has reduced the number of titles a developer can submit per day, they are still seeing violations.

Developers are submitting the same app to multiple Marketplace categories (a policy violation). Microsoft's position, if a developer submits the same app to multiple categories, the app will be pulled from the Marketplace.

The other issue on bulk publishing that Microsoft brings up is duplicating the Marketplace title image with closely related apps. The title images can not be duplicate or near duplicates of each other.  They use this as an example of what isn't acceptable title images.

Keywords: Marketplace policy allows for a developer to submit five keywords for an app. The keywords are short phrase or word to help describe the app and helps with... well... keyword searches.

Some developers are violating this policy by submitting more than five keywords. Microsoft is beginning to enforce this policy not only with the number of words but also the relevancy of the words (for example using Skydrive for a recipe app). Any app with more than five keywords will have all the keywords deleted. Any keyword not relevant to the app will be deleted.

Content Policy: This may be the most challenging area for Microsoft to control. What some may see as acceptable, others may see it as inappropriate. Here's Microsoft's approach:

Our content policies are clearly spelled out: we don’t allow apps containing “sexually suggestive or provocative” images or content. What we do permit is the kind of content you occasionally see on prime-time TV or the pages of a magazine’s swimsuit issue.

Microsoft will begin reviewing Marketplace apps with respect to icons, titles and the content of the apps. They will be looking for more "subtle and modest" imagery and wording. Here are a few tile images that would pass certification:

Subtle and Modest App Title Images

Content not meeting the standards will need to be modified or pulled from the Marketplace.  Microsoft will begin reaching out to developers with more specific details on how to get apps within compliance.

It's nice to see Microsoft continue to take steps to maintain the quality of apps and games we find on the Marketplace.  Should you run across Marketplace listings that violate Marketplace policies, you can report them by emailing Include the URL with details of the issue and Microsoft will investigate.

Source: Windows Team Blog (opens in new tab); Thanks, Sabita, for the tip!

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • Thanks for the thanks :-)
  • Very encouraging to see improvements in this department. Searching for quality apps whether 80k or 500k is difficult at times. The excuses for avoiding Windows Phone are drying up.
  • Really?  Because quality is shit for Windows apps. Sure we may have a lot of the major ones from iOS and Android but they are not the exact equals as these other platforms. Most are utterly lackluster. 
    Latest Comscore numbers says 3.5% market share. Why TF would I want my development company to write for such a low money maker. If Beliore or any WP exec want my apps, let him beg and pay me upfront cash. 
  • 3.5%... Really? Wow that's great! Just a couple of months back wp7 had around 1.5%! So what you are saying is that wp7 had gained 2% market share in a very short timeframe. This is great. Can you give us a link that confirms those numbers?
  • -_-
    Your development company? LOL Give it up bro. I'm pretty sure MS will be beating down the door of your one-man "development company" anyday now... Would it happend to be named TrollSoft by any chance?
  • 3.5? Awesome news, it had 2% two months ago. We're getting there !
  • Windows Phone will have a hard time gaining market share as long as millions of people of are buying iPhones every week. They are building the right way, slow and steady with a continually upgraded product. I believe it will take WP another 2 years before they really stand out as the big "3". I say within 2 years their market share will easily be 15-20%. By then their hardware will likely have caught up to the competition and WP will get its boom and adopters will come flocking.
  • Definitely a good thing
  • To me, they woudl be better off spending their time correcting the c101a006 error that keeps me from downloading anything at the market for the last 6 hours.
  • About time. Developers also need to think of better names for their apps.
  • You saying you don't like the name "RunSat Free GPS Sports"
  • I'm glad they're working to improve market quality. Perhaps they should let users decide for themselves what is 'appropriate', and leave censorship to the sphincter police over at iOS.
  • I second this...
  • Because you know, MSFT is all about giving us choices. Phucking WP IE browser can't even display youporn website correctly!
  • That's not the problem, the problem is gazillion porn or near porn apps. Anyway, if one wants such device I think droid is the right choice.
  • Its nice to see more strict control put over WP. Id hate to see what it would be if its as lax as Android is.
  • does this mean the ikamasutra app will get pulled
  • ^^Why would the ikamasutra app need to be pulled? And where are all these porn apps everyone's always going on about? Not that I'm looking. I jokingly typed in porn in the search bar and it brought up some lame apps that didn't seem much like porn to me
  • I think I should move to droid I'm not really a fan of censorship as people should be able to enjoy questionable content on their devices as well.
    Not that I care much for porn apps and the like but there is a market for them and if you're under 16 you probably shouldn't own a phone anyway.
  • I should note that I do very much agree with the other practices and policies Microsoft will implement for quality control.
  • Tbh, my areas of concern are the fact that even though games and apps have their own separate categories, the apps section is full of games. My other area of concern is the lack of changelog when an app is updated. I would like to see Microsoft make it compulsory to publish a changelog.
  • Yep making apps actually be categorised correctly would make a big difference.
    Also, the compulsory changelogs would be really nice, or even a separate space for that rather than having to insert it into the main description.
  • This is great news, I hope they really enforce these rules and keep on top of it. It's very disheartening when you publish apps and do a search with keywords relevant to it, then nothing but porn apps or angry birds shows up in the listings! I might just go through and start reporting a few of these crapps now ;)