Microsoft clamps down on "racy" Windows Phone apps

Trademark abuse also under fire.

Saucy Windows Phone apps are set to suffer from a fresh round of policy changes by Microsoft designed to "keep the quality bar high" for Marketplace content.

The company has admitted that while it has never accepted "sexually suggestive or provocative" content, some existing apps now face removal after deciding on a "more stringent interpretation and enforcement" of existing guidelines.

Microsoft has also responded to a rise in trademark-infringing Marketplace submissions, and is taking steps to clean up abuse of the app shop's keyword system.

"We've noticed some developers have been entering keywords that are popular search terms - 'Justin Bieber,' 'YouTube' - but are totally unrelated to their app and what it does," Windows Phone marketing chief Todd Brix complained on Microsoft's official blog.

Incorrect keywords will be removed and apps with more than five - the allowed number, which until now Microsoft has not enforced - will have all keywords removed. Developers who bulk-publish their app in multiple categories will see their work deleted.

Microsoft's trademark advice is also fairly straightforward: don't use something unless you own the trademark, have secured permission or are using the name without suggesting you were the trademark owner.

Apple has repeatedly been criticised for its lacklustre policing of the iOS App Store, with blatant Mario Kart clone Mole Kart available for weeks. More recently a Pokémon Yellow rip-off that crashed upon loading duped thousands of customers into making purchases, and reached multiple top-selling lists before Apple took notice.

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