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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware 188

Deathspawner writes Windows 8 brought a lot to the table, with one of its most major features being its app store. However, it's not a feature that Microsoft seems too intent on keeping clean. As it is today, the store is completely littered with misleading apps and outright scamware. The unfortunate thing is that to find any of it, all you have to do is simply open the store and peruse the main sections. Not so surprisingly, no Microsoft software seems to be affected by this, but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost, or will lead the user to download a third-party installer. It's only a matter of time before malware sneaks its way in, if it's not there already.
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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

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  • by man_ls ( 248470 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:09PM (#47697525)

    Lacking evidence to the contrary, it seems Microsoft actively approves this state of things. They have a human performing certification and content compliance, which involves actually installing and verifying these applications:

    "Content compliance: Our certification testers install and review your app to test it for content compliance. The amount of time this takes varies depending on how complex your app is, how much visual content it has, and how many apps have been submitted recently."

    With that statement, they must be 100% complicit in these scams, because it makes them money when someone bites, and because it keeps the number of apps in the app store up.

  • by chaosdivine69 ( 1456649 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:16PM (#47697587)
    I don't know about other users but I've had an ASUS Windows 8.1 desktop for almost a year now and have never downloaded or installed ANY apps from the Microsoft "store" and have only once clicked on the App Store tile itself once by mistake. I avoid their "store" like the plague on a desktop environment. I don't have the need or want to Skype or play Angry Birds on the desktop I guess...who uses the Microsoft App Store and for what purposes? I'm genuinely curious...
  • Nope. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:18PM (#47697613)

    , but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost,

    Not quite, Mr. Summary. There's nothing legally wrong with selling open-source apps if the license is followed. And ethically? Consider this:

    Why would anybody find this useful? If there's a particularly obscure but useful open-source app that updates irregularly, or it's difficult or cumbersome to install, or maybe Grandma just doesn't want to mess around with MSI and EXE installers, then the new publisher would be adding value and providing a service in providing the open-source across the Store interface; reducing the fuss needed to get the software working, updated and safe.

    There's nothing stopping the original developer / copyright holder / copyright assignment entity, or indeed any other legally allowed entity, from putting up the software on the Store for gratis (assuming the Store allows that) alongside New Publisher's paid for version, but if they haven't or don't want to that is their own problem. If the New Publisher has monitised the service they provide in packaging the OSS app, then bully for them.

    This is all in a fantasy land where said 'good' publishers existed and actually worked to keep the software updated regularly, I know.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:22PM (#47697649) Homepage Journal
    Apparently Microsoft is putting major service packs for Windows on the Windows Store now. For example, the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 is offered without charge through the Windows Store application. But if you waited until Windows 8.1 to buy your laptop, this upgrade was already done for you.
  • Microsoft also lies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:43PM (#47697805)

    I think we have plenty of evidence to the contrary. Microsoft has, and does, willfully provide false information. They do this deliberately and indiscriminately, even to judges while under oath. Maybe you forgot about the claims to a judge that "If you remove Internet Explorer the Operating system stops functioning.". Even though a judge was smart enough to remove IE and show they were lying, nobody went to jail. So the trend continued.

    Now what possible motivation would MS have for lying about approving apps? Easy, it's a numbers game. If Apple has half a billion applications how can MS fudge numbers to look relevant and not appear to be deliberate liars? Easy! Let people dump all kinds of crap into their app store so they can claim "look how many applications we have!' and "Look at our growth rate, thousands of new apps every day!". Both are technically true, though based on a lie about monitoring.

    MS further can easily blow off the lie about approving content. Expect something along the lines of "Our people were not trained properly" with some bogus "we were hacked" charges sprinkled in for FUD and sympathy.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:56PM (#47697935)

    The question runs deeper: Does anyone actually use Metro?

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:09PM (#47698845)

    What could possibly be important enough to put up with Metro?

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian