Microsoft Cracks Down On Spammy Windows Phone App Submissions

There may be more than 20,000 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace now, but it seems as though some “developers” are intent on fiddling with the cool-to-crap ratio. As low-quality, low-functionality apps flood the marketplace, Microsoft will be limiting developers to 10 app submissions per day starting tomorrow.

Microsoft had previously set the number of apps a developer could have approved in a single day to 20, which was honestly sort of a joke. Sure, it’s entirely possible that some super-motivated developer would want to submit 20 legit apps at the same time, but how likely is that? Or, better question, how good could any of them possibly be?

Not very, if the marketplace’s New section is any indication. Those 6 apps you see up top, for example, are just a fraction of the 40 that “developer” Jonathan Toh Jun Hong uploaded between September 22 and 24. As you may be able to guess from the icons, they’re all essentially RSS feeds for a slew of popular sites. While those in and of themselves aren’t terribly harmful, the fact that they were submitted en masse and bury new (and potentially good) apps is.

Developers who violate Microsoft’s new rule will have to face a number of penalties, ranging from the “unpublishing of apps” to “temporary or permanent suspension of an offending developer’s Marketplace credentials” depending on the severity of the situation.

It’s great that Microsoft is taking steps to defend the quality of their marketplace, but I’m not sure dropping the number of allowable submissions per day is going to be enough.

It’s a question of scale — if some developers (and I use that term loosely) are capable of cranking out and submitting 20 useless apps within a day, they’ll have no problem doing the same for 10. What’s really needed here is a more stringent approval process that prevents junky apps from making into the market in the first place. With Mango already beginning to hit handsets, Microsoft needs to figure out a better solution and quick.