In a bid to purge insecure software from the Windows Store, Microsoft Tuesday announced that it would remove apps that it deems to have critical vulnerabilities.

Within 180 days, Microsoft said, those apps must either be patched or they will be removed. And if an insecure app is being exploited in the wild, it risks getting pulled even sooner, executives said. The policy will also be extended to apps found in the Windows Phone Store, Office Store, and Azure Marketplace.

Microsoft outlines the vulnerabilities found within its own software, publishing the a list on the second Tuesday of each month, when it issues patches. But with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT, the Windows Store has become an important clearinghouse for distributing apps, and Microsoft has become more of a gatekeeper.

“We want our customers to know that, if there’s a problem, we’ll be working on a solution,” wrote Dustin Childs, the Group Manager for Response Communications for Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, a blog post outlining the seven patches that Microsoft announced last week. “But there are some things that can affect your computing experience that I can’t directly control. For example, we can’t directly update third-party apps that you install from the Windows Store if they have a problem. But we can influence when they get updated.”

In certain cases, developers will receive more than 180 days to fix their apps, but those are special cases and will be handled on an individual basis, Childs wrote.