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Windows Mobile store can remote-delete apps

updated 11:25 am EDT, Wed September 16, 2009

Win Mobile Marketplace can remote delete

The upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile will let Microsoft remotely delete apps from Windows Mobile phones without the user's consent, the company said in a presentation as part of its Tech·Ed New Zealand conference. In the event an app is approved but later pulled, Microsoft will automatically wipe the app from every phone that had previously downloaded the app. It's not clear if Microsoft will also automatically refund paid downloads.

The move is unusual and contrasts sharply with Apple's approach to iPhone apps. It so far has made no attempt to remotely delete apps that it has pulled from the App Store. In its terms of service for the store, Apple warns only that it may pull content from the store itself. Microsoft did note that it will continue to let users download and install Windows Mobile apps from outside the Marketplace.

A policy such as Microsoft's has already proven controversial in the past, as Amazon remotely deleted books from Kindles without readers' advance knowledge or permission. The titles had been illegally published and therefore weren't allowed on the store, but enough readers criticized the step that Amazon voluntarily compensated those affected by the retraction.

The company also added that its policies on allowed Windows apps will be stricter than for Apple. It shares the iPhone's ban against apps that replace "core functionality" but will also reject mapping and navigation software from its store. Why this is hasn't been detailed at this stage, but Apple so far has encouraged turn-by-turn GPS apps for its handhelds ever since iPhone 3.0 was released earlier this year.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Just MS copying the iPhone 1.0 again. No mapping apps (can you say "lawsuit scared"?). And the iPhone has had the ability to delete since Day 1. Doesn't mean they'll use it. But, then again, if an app gets through that all of a sudden starts sending your contacts to some IRC channel or something without you knowing, wouldn't you expect Apple or MS to remove it as quickly as they can?

    We always complain about how ISPs should just kick infected computers off the internet until they clean up their act (well, OK, I do)!

    The move is unusual and contrasts sharply with Apple's approach to iPhone apps. It so far has made no attempt to remotely delete apps that it has pulled from the App Store.

    How can it 'contrast' with Apple's approach? Technically MS has NOT remotely deleted apps. Neither has apple. Seems like they are the same...

  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I somehow can't see how this little tidbit won't garner for MS a lot more "nays" than "yays"!

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's a good idea...

    unless users don't get refunds for the deleted apps.

    You know people are going to be bitching about how they own the apps they purchased and won't like the idea of MS taking them away. They'll be griping about "big brother controlling them" or some nonsense. If the app becomes disruptive to the overall network, it probably should be deleted and the cost automatically refunded.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    And people said Apple's policy was draconian

    Leave it to Microsoft to make Apple's App store policies appear easy-going.

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You've got to be kidding.. Can you say 'death knell'? Never in a million years would I agree to those terms. But, let's wait and see just how dumb the public is.

    Openness Chart:
    Google > Wide Open
    Apple > Somewhat Open
    Microsoft > Can we confiscate your children?

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    uh oh

    oops - I mistakenly hit the up button for Testudo's post instead of the down button (I was a math major - shouldn't the down button be to the left?)

    That post is so off the wall I'm beginning to fear for Testudo's sanity - and the safety of those around him.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "You got stem the Evil tide...and keep it all on the inside" - PF


  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you can get the same app back on your WinMo from elsewhere (probably the developer), what good does it for MS Marketplace to enact such a policy of auto removal? CYA tactic?

    This appears to be an end-around to Microsoft's PR spin that Apple's App Store approval procedure is draconian and unpredictable. MS, instead, will allow anything onto its users' phones until enough problems arise as to then auto remove it as quickly as possible...and of course, no word yet as to whether refunds will be granted (that's got to be a real nightmare for developers..."We need your sales revenue back, NOW!").

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