Microsoft is addressing the bane of modern day app stores, with a pledge to ‘recalibrate’ its Windows Store by ridding it of ‘misleading’ apps.

And, so far, it has removed more than 1,500 apps in an effort to improve customer experiences of the Windows platform.

The problem stems from the fact that Windows Store has some fake apps, uploaded by unscrupulous developers, that seek to “game the system with misleading titles or descriptions”. These counterfeit apps essentially seek to trick users into buying what they think is a legitimate title, by utilising the same icon or similar sounding app title as the legitimate version.

But now Microsoft is tackling this issue and in a blog posting, revealed it will implement three changes to its app certification process.

Windows Store“Earlier this year we heard loud and clear that people were finding it more difficult to find the apps they were searching for; often having to sort through lists of apps with confusing or misleading titles,” said Microsoft. “We took the feedback seriously and modified the Windows Store app certification requirements as a first step toward better ensuring that apps are named and described in a way that doesn’t misrepresent their purpose.”

The first change concerns naming, and Windows apps will, in future, have to “clearly and accurately reflect the functionality of the app.” The second change change concerns categories, to “ensure apps are categorised according to the app function and purpose.

The third and final change is to do with icons, which must now “be differentiated to avoid being mistaken with others.”

Microsoft said that it has been reviewing both its Windows and Windows Phone Store to identify titles that do not comply with its modified certification requirements. It said that most developers with good intentions agreed to make the necessary changes when notified that their apps violate Microsoft’s policies.

However, some did not, and Microsoft has already removed more than 1,500 apps. Redmond has also promised to refund any users who paid for a misleading app.