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Microsoft please clean your store of junk (postach.io)
346 points by sardorbek on Feb 1, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 110 comments

Another related issue I've been having with the WP Store as a developer:

I made a WP7 app a while back to give a try, based on a site's API that has since been discontinued. Obviously, the app doesn't work anymore, since it was focused on content consumption from that API.

But since then, my developer license has expired. Even though I need to remove the app (somehow new users keep coming), the WP Store won't allow me to do so without an active developer license.

Too bad for the fooled users, I guess.

A friend and I published some apps on the Microsoft store a few years ago, when it was still for Windows Phone 7. We've received several emails from Microsoft saying we need to update this and that or our apps will be removed. Because the apps never did that well - not surprisingly in hindsight given the market size - we never updated them. However we still get checks occasionally from the proceeds. Microsoft never removed them. I think they're just desperate to have apps in their store and inflated app numbers they can brag about. They obviously know what to do, but just aren't doing it.

Apple, in its position of strength, made the game all about app counts. Year after year, they updated the total app count no matter how trivial the app, and declared victory over Google, Microsoft, Palm, and BlackBerry. Microsoft has been baited into the game, and can't possibly win.

They need to change the conversation to one of strength. Ray Ozzie (while still at MS) was excoriated in the press for saying, "Apps don't make your phone special ... All the apps that count will be ported to every one of them." But I think he's right. Almost every app that I use every day is available on every platform, or has an excellent equivalent, but there are big gaps in niche categories and games.

It's funny because in the 90's, Windows had many more apps than Macintosh and made a lot of hay out of that fact.

So maybe MS should do what Apple did in the 90's to differentiate itself and get away from the raw numbers. Do you know what they did? I don't.

Get a good Steve back onboard. Rumours of which keep coming up, though generally not with a CEO role. It seems to me that he should either go all in as CEO or sever ties and allow a new person to live without his ever present shadow. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-30/microsoft-said-t...

Flounder around on the brink of bankruptcy until finding runaway success in a totally unrelated market?

Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1996 and 1997. The iPod wasn't released until 2001. Between 97 and 01 they returned to profitability and served one of the most brand loyal niches in the world.

Of course, there's no one in the world who doesn't work for Microsoft who loves Windows Phone even half as much as people loved their Macs in the late 90's.

There are very few killer apps on phones compared to productivity apps like CAD software etc. on the desktop. Plus there are mobile web sites that serve the same function as many specialized apps.

While I understand how you arrive at the conclusion that the iPhone made the game all about app counts, I can't see how that stands up to Android coming along and ending up with a way larger selection. Even though it started as the biggest, Apple has kept a threshold in place that keeps out a lot of the crap. Not all, for sure, but you'd never get away with releasing something with the Facebook logo (or a poor approximation).

The fact that Microsoft took the bait of buying into the size of the store rather than going for a curatorial approach is their own doing. Laying blame on anyone but their own decision makers for the quality of their app store doesn't make any sense.

Android still wins in sheer installed base. I believe all the metrics still show that iOS users -- on average -- use more data, buy more stuff, and install more apps than Android users, but there are still fewer of them. I don't have any data to support it, but I would guess that Android's foothold in international markets has allowed it to really grow out localized apps.


Honestly, I think the conversation in 2014 has already shifted to "strength". Ie. does my phone have apps for [insert new virally growing app here], and what's cool is the answer is "yes" a lot of the time now for WP. My girlfriend loves her HTC 8X, and loves the apps on there, but her needs are not long: Facebook/Messenger (the latter is built in), Snapchat (through an amazing third party app that I forget the name of, 6snap maybe?), Pintrest, Instagram, and her bank (she set up a tile for the mobile site).

What's crazier, is I've come to the conclusion myself that I don't care what OS my phone runs... All it needs in terms of apps are FB Messenger, and an awesome web browser that integrates with web apps like the iPhone does when you "Add To Homescreen" (the N9 was my favourite for this). Anything else is gravy, basically.

The one exception is VSCOCam. You can pry that app away from my cold, dead hands holding my iPhone, heh.

WP has none of the apps that I care about and I can't install approximations unless I trust the source. In the case of WP, the only approximations I've installed come from Microsoft, though for example their Facebook/Twitter clones are pieces of shit.

I would say that the low quality of WP apps is a separate failing of Microsoft's. In other words, their decision to focus on app counts in consumer marketing didn't force a consequence of low quality.

Microsoft could take the opposite approach and ruthlessly purge garbage apps so they could market a high quality app store. It's 2014. Most people know by now that a smartphone only needs a dozen 4 and 5 star apps to be useful.

It's ironic because initially that was their marketing message (even though it wasn't true at all). They said they have fewer, but higher quality apps. When in reality, they probably had a higher percentage of crappy apps to quality one than the other platforms. A lot of developers were releasing simple useless apps because they were getting paid to do it by Microsoft in the early days.

Seriously. My biggest issue with Android right now is finding apps that are actually good. App discovery in the play store is absolutely atrocious, and it's near-impossible to find good apps that aren't frequently downloaded (i.e. outside of the top 100 or so in the different categories) without wading through a sea of trash.

I've long since resorted to finding apps on my laptop before installing them on my phone. It's easier to find reviews outside of the crap reviews on the Play Store, check out the developers' websites, etc.

Plus, I have reasonable belief that if I click a Play Store link from Evernote's website, I'll be getting Evernote's actual app.

True, but I don't think quality is an MS KPI.

I can confirm that too being a ms partner and having partecipated at some of their university labs. Their main goal is "We want you do some amount X of apps. It does not matter if they are all rss reader or just flashlight apps, you have to give us that amount X." I was not happy to hear that and also tried to discuss about it saying that I would prefere to focus on 2-3 apps making them great against just maxing X crap apps because I have not enough time until the deadline, but they just told me that those are orders "from above" and to focus on some great app just AFTER I made the X amount.

Microsoft management must be very intelligent but they seem like utter morons - I want to replace all their keyboards, monitors and mice with 15 different broken ones and say "see lots of really crap ones is far better than one good one".

Seriously it's not hard to market quality over quantity successfully is it? All app users are frustrated by low quality apps it would really make me notice if MS had a properly curated app store and said "we have less apps in our store because we value you and your time; excellence is our goal and we want our app developers to strive for that too; better quality, better performance, better life" [that sounds suitably hyperbolic].

It can be hard to market quality vs sheer numbers. Hell, the rise of the "phablet" and the lack of high end smaller phones other than the iPhone sort of proves that. Although I agree with you, they should try exactly that.

I don't see that as an example. Many informed users like their "phablets" a lot - anecdote: I'm surrounded by 16 Android users vs 1 iPhone user, all of then have larger screens and like them, and discuss the merits of their phones.

I dislike "phablets" as phones myself, so I use a Nokia phone as a phone (much better phone quality and longer battery life) and have an Android phone as a tablet with 3G.

Also, there are lots of smaller versions of Android phones, the S4 mini might not be what you want but it sells really well over here.

I am reminded about the story of the ceramics teacher


'The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pound of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A".

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay. '

Don't forget that MS also used pay anyone $100/app - regardless of quality. "Developers can net $2,000 in total by submitting up to 10 apps to each store."


When did this happen? My understanding is their scorecard criteria has changed recently, still incredibly idiotic that it was ever so though.

This happened just at December 2013. So nope, their criteria, at least in the last months, has not changed.

I can confirm this, having interned at MSFT. There were a lot of deals where developers would get free devices if they published x apps. The only thing that mattered was the amount of apps, they didn't really look at the quality. Management had yearly goals that described how many new apps they needed in one year, but as far as I know, nothing was written about quality.

typical for !Microsoft management, why I am not surprised?

I think people have made a mistake bragging about 'app store numbers'.

When Windows Phone 7 first came along, a lot of the tech press liked to simply score the platforms by the number of apps.

Microsoft originally were pretty hot at stopping the 'free' or 'light' versions of apps being entered, as anything on their store can have a trail mode. From a usability perspective this is just great. However people would compare the app count against android, not discounting the android apps that were just trails etc.

So sadly, as long as people keep talking about app count, it is not in the interest of MS to cleanse it.

I followed you until you shifted the blame from the tech press to consumers.

Consumers were not mentioned in the comment. The last sentence talks about "people" which in context means members of the tech press.

Hmm. Maybe I am wrong. I think it's not that obvious though. "People" used in a topic where the "press" is mentioned clearly means !press* to me. Maybe the author could clarify if he sees my comment ?

* not part of the press

Erm I think we are diving a bit deep into semantics. I guess it depends on why people talk about app count, is that due to press or their own way of understanding?

As a geek who uses the pretence he needs to evaluate all the platforms, I've iOS, Andriod, WP8, W8 devices. I have apps that I love which are only-on/muchbetter-on one platform. It is very hard to compare and contrast them. As much as I find my Lumia 1020 the most useful, and pleasurable to use device, I also have to have an Android or iOS tablet because of a must have app (SkyDemon if you are curious).

These shortcuts, comparing just the app count, provide a way of letting people summarise the complex underlying problem.

This is just glaring proof that whoever is in charge of Windows Phone at Microsoft is grossly incompetent. This is pure garbage and they've incentivized their team to go out and sell the wrong things.

Microsoft has a lot of talent, but it seems that too many divisions have people in power that are very, very bad at their jobs, which undermines the whole business. It's a shame, because a lot of their efforts show potential.

Windows Phone, Xbox One, Windows 8, have all had tragic blunders. The products seem to do so many things right, but suffered unnecessarily due to some astoundingly bad upper management decisions. They really need to solve that problem. I'm not sure that replacing Gates as chairman with the former CEO of Symantec, who led them through their bloat years and destroyed any good products they had, is a good start. I don't know anything about this new CEO though.

As others have said they like having these crap apps for the number count. Last summer Microsoft had a developer promotion where they would give you 100 dollars per successfully submitted app. You could submit 10 for the regular store, and 10 for the phone store, so you could get 2000 total.

The reason I even knew this was because a Microsoft rep came to my school to promote it. He did a workshop that basically taught us how to submit apps to the windows store. Part of the process was making a boilerplate app that we used a third party application to make. The entire class, about 20 students, made similar "whack a mole" game apps, all of which successfully submitted. We all got 100 dollars and all of our apps are still in the store.


Go ahead and check it out; I promise it's as horrible as it looks.

they like having these crap apps for the number count.

Which is a very strong argument for not using idiotic performance metrics (the app count is almost certainly built into multiple levels of policy goals at MSFT).

Or, as I like to say: be careful of what you incent for. You will get it.

Market share is another metric like this in my opinion. The local newspaper owns its market completely. I bet advertisers get given all sorts of impressive stats. I bet they count me and both my neighbours as readers, despite all three copies going from the letterbox, up the drive and into the recycling bin (or the fire in winter).

Right. That drives the distribution of "free" newpapers and publications of various stripes.

The real meat is in producing results -- a reason I've found CPM or clickthroughs or readership, or other forms of measurement to be somewhere between irrelevant and misleading. It's why promo codes (including branded URLs such as http://product.example.com/npr , say) are used (they track responses). Similarly coupons or other special deals.

Don Marti's long argued that highly-targeted advertising actually has strongly negative. That it's the very wastefulness of mass advertising that's a powerful part of the signal:


Quoting Evan Davis et al: “It is not so much the claims made by advertisers that are helpful, but the fact that they are willing to spend extravagant amounts of money on a product that is informative.”

Of course, this can backfire: if I'm aware that a specific advertiser (or industry) has a long history of deceptive advertising or trade practices, I may read their ads as a negative signal (as, in fact, I do for many mass-market consumer goods: if you've got to spend that much money convincing me this is something worth buying, it's quite possibly not).

Yeah, my buddy was the MS campus rep for the CSSE dept. at my university. Some if the guys were building lots of really quick do nothing apps to get cash. Microsoft was trying desperately to just fill its store with as many apps as possible as quickly as it could. I put one HTML5 peg game that I had built with Kinetic.JS together as a WinJS app and got a quick $100. I didn't want to put out ten crappy apps with my name attached to them though.

Yeah, this is obviously a problem but let's not ignore the other elephant in the room. Here's a search for facebook* on google play. The only reason this post about Microsoft made it to the front page of HN is because of a negative thing about the Windows Phone store. And please don't tell me HN moderators don't remove posts about Microsoft, I just asked something about WP8 a few days ago and within 10 minutes it was removed. Others have complained about it as well. I wish HN would stop being so damn biased.


I didn't see a single app in those search results that anyone would actually confuse for the real Facebook app. There are several which use obviously-modified versions of the Facebook app icon to indicate that they're like the Facebook app but somehow different, but none that seem to be actually claiming to be Facebook. Contrast with the windows store, where the first 12 results are all fake Facebook apps, and they don't even show you the publisher name, so there's literally no way to distinguish which one is the correct one.

Yes, the Google Play store has heaps of garbage apps as well (and worse), but at least other apps aren't permitted to directly copy and use Facebook's app icon, making their app indistinguishable from the official one.

And the Facebook app is written by Facebook. And it is the first one. So even on the basic search page, it is easy to figure out which one is the official one.

That's not to say the Play store doesn't drive me to distraction sometimes... I recently had to look at over a dozen flashlight apps to find one or two that weren't spamming me with ads and looking at my personal information.

Idea: a "premium" flag/badge set by human curators (GOOG/AAPL/MSFT employees). Then add an easy way of toggling "premium" searches, and voila, no more trash.

PS: Here's the Mac App Store 'Facebook' search: http://i.imgur.com/8o8mveb.png

The Google play store already has "top developer" and "editor's choice" badges that show up in search results.

About your screenshot - maybe I'm missing something, but where in the results is the official Facebook app? Do they hide already installed apps?

> I just asked something about WP8 a few days ago and within 10 minutes it was removed

I can't speak for others, but for me the Microsoft dominance has been a pain until I started mastering Linux. I am very happy if it is confirmed that HN actively removes links about Microsoft, just as a cold personal feeling of street justice. So it's not HN, it's the crowd of geeks.

On the other hand I don't see why HN would do that. Sounds like a loss of time and a PR risk. Maybe your content was average quality, maybe it wasn't cool enough, maybe it contained inappropriate contents. Please refer to the guidelines [1] to check whether your content had a chance to survive.

[1] http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

Why would moderators remove a post because it mentions Microsoft? That doesn't make sense.

At a glance, Google Play appears to have similar levels of app-spam for Facebook [0], Chrome [1], and Firefox [2]. The iTunes Store, on the other hand, seems quite sanitary for these queries. Just 1-2 potentially-junk "browsers", and nothing bogus for Facebook.

Disclosure: I work for Microsoft, but not in the Windows Phone division.

[0] https://play.google.com/store/search?q=facebook&c=apps

[1] https://play.google.com/store/search?q=chrome&c=apps

[2] https://play.google.com/store/search?q=firefox&c=apps

Uh, in no way shape or form are those results the same as the screenshots for the Windows App store. I don't see a single result where an official name is used to fake being the real thing.

It looks like only the official apps have the official name and the other things are just add ons or silly, small value additions to Facebook, Chrome, or Firefox.

Having said that, that is a shit load of low quality crap, but all app stores have junk like that including the iOS app store.

Uh, in no way shape or form are those results the same as the screenshots for the Windows App store. I don't see a single result where an official name is used to fake being the real thing.

I agree that the Windows App Store examples are way more egregious, but some of the apps in the Google store are nearly as bad. Top right among the Facebook examples is especially deceptive.


The key difference here (and this is true on Apple's App Store also) is that the publisher name is directly under the app name. Users in general are aware that there are many scam/fake/imitator apps out there, but the publisher name provides a quick way of verifying the legitimacy of an app.

Compare that with the Windows Store screenshot where there's literally no way to tell which is the real one.

The existence of this problem is shitty, absolutely, but on Android and iOS there exist viable, discoverable workarounds. On Windows Store...

You're right, the Play results are mostly of the form "Facebook $FOO" or "$FOO for Facebook" and many have goofy icons.

Apple seems to have done a good job hiding the cruft, at least for "top-100" searches of "companies you hear about on the nightly news" (Facebook, Vine, Snapchat, etc.). When my mom searches Facebook on her iPhone, she's absolutely going to get the right app. Based on these results, I'm not at all convinced of that if she were an Android or WP user.

In what way is this relevant, pointing out that the competition may be similarly flawed?

In order for Microsoft to succeed in this market (and to satisfy its customers and legitimate app developers), Microsoft has to step its game up, in general, as high as possible, not settling for whatever will be perceived as about as decent as Android.

As much as Apple's review process and curating can be a pain in the ass. This definitely shows the other end of the spectrum and what happens if you don't have any reviewing.

I'm not sure anyone objects to curating, per se, more the fact that Apple isn't transparent, fair, or consistent about what causes an app to be rejected.

Also, the fact that the curated store is the only way to get your software onto their device.

If Best Buy doesn't want to sell my PC software, I can sell it through other channels.

If Apple doesn't want to sell my iOS software, I can't.

Android lets you sell stuff outside of the play store - look how well the Humble Android bundles do.

selection bias. we of course inevitably hear about the cases where Apple is not fair or acts inconsistently. but we do not hear about the vast majority of cases where they either allow apps in the store immediately or work through the issues with the developer so the app is compliant with the rules.

Microsoft has a reviewing process for the WP Store. They don't enforce a "this is another FB web wrapper so it's not allowed" kind of rule, but the rules in place for quality and stability are pretty strict.

It's weird that Microsoft apparently doesn't give a shit about trademarks or IP in their app store admissions reviews. That seems like it would make them liable if they actually manually give these apps a pass.

How does Microsoft know if a trademark is being used with or without its owner's permission? I mean, you can make a pretty solid guess in these cases, but it seems like waiting for a takedown request from the trademark owner is reasonable. (Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft, but in a different division, and I'm definitely not a lawyer)

How does anyone know they are hosting illegal software? Seems like Microsoft is doing something worse than a file host or torrent site. They are actually paying the criminal and themselves. Its perfectly sane to bring down entire website/ecosystem when it is found to host a movie or song. Is software IP less important than Justin Bieber new soundtrack? Were are the suits to knock on Microsoft's door when they turn a blind eye to what they are hosting and profiting on.

For the smaller trademarks, I'm not expecting every Microsoft reviewer to know about them. But for Facebook and Twitter? Yes, I'm expecting them to know something about that.

How does MSFT define "quality" though?

  1. New platform with not many apps
  2. Gotta play Apple's game and tout the app count
  3. Devs plz more apps kthxbye; don't worry about quality -- we'll look the other way and hose down criticism with excuses
  4. Consumers see how desolate, harsh, and unusable the whole ecosystem is -- further rerouting them to Apple
  5. Goto 1, with more gusto and a new reorg

It's just pathetic how dumb they are.

A year ago, Microsoft needed to do this to inflate their app numbers because there were much fewer apps in the Windows Phone store.

But now I'm actually shocked how many apps/games are available on Windows Phone. Jetpack Joyride, Subway Surfers, Minion Rush are three popular games on other platforms that I recently installed for my youngest son while at my older son's basketball game recently.

...and as a former 6 year user of iPhones, the "Kids Corner" that is on Windows Phone totally separates kid-approved activities (games) from non-kid-approved activities (my email, twitter, facebook, etc). That feature alone is worth upgrading to Windows Phone if you have kids that occasionally use your phone.

An evangelist came to my university to try to get the students to make apps.

They just wanted to boost their numbers artificially, and they were willing to pay hundreds to students for making these crappy things.

I have had events like that from all kind of companies, nothing unique about this, and it's certainly not about boosting their numbers. It's about getting students to learn their technologies and then use them later.

Blackberry recently paid developers to port apps to their platform. Is that "artificially boosting their numbers", or just smart marketing? I don't see any problems with this.

When they literally don't care what the app is (paying a developer $100 for a flashlight app), yeah, it doesn't speak well of their desires to serve their users.

Similar experiences here. Our bog standard "write an Android application for an external client" had the strange requirement of "port to Windows 8 Phone" attached to it.

I went to a congress, last year, I think, and Microsoft and Nokia representatives came on stage to announce that for every Windows Phone app they got on the store (and they had an expedite process going on during the event), they'd gift a Nokia phone.

For many it wasn't clear it would be a Nokia Asha phone, but, still, they got a crapload of young students writing apps for them.

This slightly angers me coming from several attempts to upload legit WP8 apps.

Privacy policies not being "good" enough, no location tracking switch in a "location aware" app, little to no experiences from other developers(typical stackoverflow trouble shooting becoming impossible), worse app approval process than Apple.. the list goes on. This being in a platform which they're trying to push. :(

Call me crazy, but I WANT the privacy policy and to be able to switch off location services if I don't trust your app. I'm glad they have these policies in place.

There are a lot of things to complain about the Windows Store but from a consumer's point of view that's not one if them.

The root problem here is the single storefront exhibited in each of the major device universes: Apple Store, Microsoft Store, etc...a permanent solution to the problem is simple. Create a series of storefronts that are tiered. You can get almost anything into the dollar store equivalent. And then you have to apply to move into the higher tier, or a focused tier. It should cost money to do so -- which could be paid back out of sales at the new tier.

Physical stores have buyers who inspect products, negotiate, and select. App stores need to the same thing.

It's been a long time since I've bought anything on an app store. There's just way too much crap to wade through, making it a waste of time.

Maybe Microsoft thought WP owners would give the bad apps bad reviews, so that the best app would rise to the top?

I suppose if I wanted the real Facebook app for Windows Phone, I'd just go to Google and search for:

site:facebook.com app "windows phone"

Most people aren't going to do that though.

There's a lot of fake review spam. It's pretty blatant too.

The funny thing is, that these days the simple 3rd party "fake" and costly clients are often superior against the official apps. Less leaking location, address books, text messages and usage patterns, please.

Sounds like cases where the owners of the trademarks (Faceboook, Google and Mozilla) should get active.

It was news regarding Facebook apps 2-3 month ago, that Microsoft will remove them all.

As you can see its not done :(

They (well, in this case Facebook) did request it:


They might, but Microsoft should be far more proactive in cleaning up this crap. Even apart from the big name trademark infringement, most apps are total and utter junk. It's hilariously bad.

MS should at least have some sort of search filter to say "please only show apps that have been reviewed by a human or two and are not obvious crap".

The best way to get good apps on a Windows phone is to get an app (developed by Microsoft!) that warns you when new & popular apps are here.

The fact that this app exists tells there's a problem with the Windows store search.

But as the OP says, they're also plenty of good quality apps: from small tools like the Bill reminder, or non-shady flashlights apps which doesn't require an Internet connection and your phonebook address, to an official GTA San Andreas.


We recently released a Windows 8 app [1], categorized as news, pretty cool I'd modestly say... but if you search for "news" it takes 10 pages of horizontal scroll to find Theneeds... and most of the app out there are really poor (I'd modestly say :)

[1] http://www.theneeds.com/p/win8

The frustrating thing is that there are some really good apps amongst all the clutter. Thankfully you can download a free trial of almost all paid apps so you can figure out which one is for you, but it still takes a bit of work. But I was very pleasantly surprised that I could find high quality apps to cover just about everything I did on my phone, when I had a Windows phone for a month.

Another problem I noticed at the time (I don't know if it is still the case) was that the store was flooded with fake reviews. Painfully obviously fake. So you have to try before you buy - which fortunately they do make very easy.

So why hasn't Facebook taken them to the cleaners for IP and brand damage?

or trademark infringement.

Maybe the offending WP app makers are in a legal jurisdiction beyond Facebook's reach?

Doesn't matter, they should be able to DMCA the hell out of MS.

I thought the DMCA was about copyrights, not trademarks.

They probably need some smart ranking/popularity algorithm. Apple's app store has a lot of junk as well, but somehow they manage to sort them in a good way.

It's not about quantity. It's about quality. And every big player is trying to crush Windows Phone platform. Google is so ridiculous that they're willing to lose big money by not making its glorified ad service on the platform. Google made Youtube and pulled back, Google search on WP is ridiculous. Not even Maps, which has great social network potential, much more than Youtube.

It's ridiculous that you think that

"Google is so ridiculous that they're willing to lose big money by not making its glorified ad service on the platform."

On the contrary, Google is brilliant by not wasting their time and money on an irrelevant platform that has no hope for success and market share adoption.

# of apps as a metric is like # of lines of code - it ought to be "booked on the other side of the ledger" ( http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/transcriptions/EWD05xx/EW... )

Yes, but then how would they be able to mislead people into thinking their platform has a lot of apps, too?

Oddly enough, there's at least a dozen Hacker News apps at the Android store. Granted, there is no "official" HN app, so these aren't fakes of anything. I decided that the last thing I need is HN burning a hole in my pocket all day long when I should be working.

I recently switched to WP and was surprised at the low quality apps. But, for me it's a good thing because it presents an opportunity for me, as a dev, to create quality apps. Microsoft really does need to clean house in the store.

Microsoft likes to bring out the number of apps in their store, especially so it looks competitive to the Apple App store.

Unfortunately, cleaning junk out of the store is counter to that goal.

Microsoft truly never ceases to amaze me. Good reminder of why I hate them. I was almost starting to believe that WP is actually quite good.

I love Microsoft, and their technologies. I love Windows Phone. I am just not happy with the apps in the store.

I recommend you Windows Phone :)

Have you tried purchasing Windows 8 online? That's another experience altogether. I did that. It took 2 hours to make the purchase, with their horribly buggy store that doesn't even allow removing items from the shopping cart (had to clear cookies). It also requires Silverlight, which also crashes during the payment verification.

It cost me $199 and all I got was Windows_installer.exe, what a horrible joke. Well, let's try to get my hands on a Windows machine and proceed to generate installable boot image from the downloaded files. That went quite well, but I was furious at this point.

Ok, let's install and boot into my fresh Windows 8. That went fine. Next, let's try to activate it, and it says: 'This product key can only be used for Windows updates'.

Microsoft, are you kidding me? At that point I decided that I won't ever touch any Microsoft products even with a ten foot pole. I don't trust them, they are liars, and their products suck. Microsoft will not improve.

Look at that page: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-...

Then tell me how that is not lying to your customers? The information that this product is just an update from existing Windows installation is at the bottom of the page, no one reads that!

Same experience. Wanted to setup a VM with Windows, purchased Windows 8, and ended up with a .exe and no legal way of getting the actual image without already having Windows. It's ridiculous.

It is really strange that the US store has that special condition. For India, that same page offers the full retail version http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msin/en_GB/pdp/productID...

If downloading an app in WP is as good as downloading an App in Windows (last time I did this I felt like I was cleaning a septic tank with my bare hands) then there are no advantages at verticalization.

MS has cost me a lot in time and money, and this is something I try to avoid.

if they removed the apps, their app stats would really fk up.

had they been smart enough, perhaps the company would have been in better share than it is today, in regard to smartphone warfare.

Anyone who's owned a Windows Phone already knows this. Search for anything. Doesn't matter what it is. No matter what you search for, you'll get pages of results - of the worst apps you have ever seen. Absolute trash. It's disgusting. It makes me never want to use their app store. The fact that they not only condone it, they actively encouraged it just makes me sick. How insecure are they? How stupid are they? Do they really think the best way to cover their insecurity about being 3rd place is with bluster and bullshit? Do they really think their customers are that stupid? Whatever happened to the old philosophy of competing by trying to build clear, demonstrable superiority - a better product?

It's mind-boggling. From which point in the organisation does this insanity stem? I want to like Microsoft, but shit like this makes me feel like a fool for ever giving them a chance. Seriously. Good thing my next phone is a Nexus... great job Microsoft. Way to build loyalty among your customers. And Steve Ballmer has the nerve to call MS "ethical" and "forward-thinking."

Anyone reading this who works at Microsoft - I am genuinely curious - how do you sleep at night?

> Anyone reading this who works at Microsoft - I am genuinely curious - how do you sleep at night?

Dude. Do you really think that everyone who works at Microsoft is responsible for or even has the ability to change their app store?

So what, they just say, oh well, nothing to do with me? Great, how noble.

What are they going to do? It's Microsoft, it's not like the rank and file employee can just tell the executives "I don't like your apps strategy in Windows phone" and expect them to immediately change it.

Do we really want another crappy mobile browser and platform to support? We don't need them in mobile space anyways. I don't see a future in Microsoft mobile devices. They really missed the mark while everyone else is on their 4th lap of the race.

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