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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

samzenpus posted about a month and a half ago | from the needs-a-cleaning dept.

Businesses 188

Deathspawner writes Windows 8 brought a lot to the table, with one of its most major features being its app store. However, it's not a feature that Microsoft seems too intent on keeping clean. As it is today, the store is completely littered with misleading apps and outright scamware. The unfortunate thing is that to find any of it, all you have to do is simply open the store and peruse the main sections. Not so surprisingly, no Microsoft software seems to be affected by this, but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost, or will lead the user to download a third-party installer. It's only a matter of time before malware sneaks its way in, if it's not there already.

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Windows 8 app store? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697485)

Who actually uses this shit? I'm not surprised it's filled with malware.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697557)

They wanted so badly to be Apple, taking a cut of every software sale by being the only vendor for their own system.

What they neglected is that people don't want brainless "apps" for true multipurpose computers. So their brainless store got filled with brainless garbage to take advantage of the brainless users who'd use it.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697793)

They wanted so badly to be Apple, taking a cut of every software sale by being the only vendor for their own system.

What they neglected is that people don't want brainless "apps" for true multipurpose computers. So their brainless store got filled with brainless garbage to take advantage of the brainless users who'd use it.

Uh, what exactly is a "true multipurpose computer" in your mind? Let's remember that cell phones come with quad-core processors these days.

Let's also remember that the average consumer throttles their smartphone/PC/laptop about 1% of the time. The hardware they have in their hand is usually more than adequate to handle the software it's running.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (1, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697857)

That's easy.

Can you code on it?
Multipurpose.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698259)

So Android & Windows Mobile 6.5 (both have a JDK and emacs) or if you want to be a hipster - anything with a web browser & a notepad.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (4, Informative)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698387)

I knew I hated hipsters. Everyone knows that you need Notepad++.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697861)

There isn't much in the way of video production / compositing /3D modeling software for Android, now is there?

Let's also remember that the average consumer throttles their smartphone/PC/laptop about 1% of the time.

And Apple's model works for the "average consumer." How about people who are producing content rather than consuming it? Right now, they use desktop PC's and software that will never been in the MS walled garden.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697961)

The hardware can handle it but the input method is inefficient, and the screen size is inadequate to be a proper replacement. There is more to a computer than processor cores and what the specs look like on paper.

But you probably knew that and were just trying to provoke a response by being ignorant.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698057)

Let's remember that cell phones with quad-core processors can be docked to Bluetooth keyboards and HDMI displays these days. So to a first approximation, what makes it a general-purpose computer is whether the device's owner can make and run programs for it, as programming is a "purpose". A lot of popular devices do not qualify as general-purpose computers if the user hasn't paid a recurring fee for a developer license.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698299)

Can you effectively program the device _with the device_. e.g. if you need a mac to develop an iPhone app the iPhone is _not_ a general purpose computer. If you need someone else to authorize a local install the device is _not_ a general purpose computer.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698385)

I'm going to throw an assumption out there: very, very few people are doing this. Yes, you could - in theory - "dock" your phone/tablet and do productive things with it. But a really top-notch phone is going to cost you $600+ and a really low-end computer that can kick the shit out of it will cost $200. I think that anyone who can afford the monitor, keyboard, and high-end phone will probably not sweat the cheap cpu too much.

So in the end, while I'm sure there are people in the fringes doing productive things on their phones and tablets, for the vast majority they are toys. This is not meant to be a disparaging comment - I have a smartphone, I have tablets... but I don't do anything more productive on them than take short notes and check email. Mostly they are consumption devices.

Re:Windows 8 app store? (0)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698389)

So their brainless store got filled with brainless garbage to take advantage of the brainless users who'd use it.

So, they succeeded in being like Apple?

Re: Windows 8 app store? (3, Informative)

John Nemesh (3244653) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698143)

The biggest scam was getting the suckers to buy into this failed ecosystem in the first place!

Yeah, it brought a lot to the table (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697519)

Sadly now the table is cluttered with crap nobody needs. Could someone bus the table, please? I got work to do.

Re:Yeah, it brought a lot to the table (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697979)

Could someone bus the table, please? I got work to do.

That is the whole problem. Windows 8 is not designed to produce anything, only consume stuff produced by others. Probably another reason it has never caught on with businesses, you can't actually do anything useful or productive with it.

Re:Yeah, it brought a lot to the table (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698093)

That might be true of Windows RT, but Windows 8.1 with Classic Shell is just as ready for production as Windows 7.

Re:Yeah, it brought a lot to the table (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698109)

But why should I get Win8 when I have to get it and then jump a few hoops to get what I already had with Win7?

Three more years of support (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698175)

But why should I get Win8 when I have to get it and then jump a few hoops to get what I already had with Win7?

Because Windows operating systems have a finite life cycle [microsoft.com] . Mainstream support will end three years earlier for Windows 7 than for Windows 8, as will extended support.

Re:Three more years of support (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698283)

My hope is that by then either Windows 10 is out or a replacement OS is available to escape the upgrade hell altogether.

Clickbait (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697523)

This is a pretty bad example of clickbait. The linked bog basically says "There is junkware. Microsoft's Trademarks are protected but others, like iTunes and Firefox, get scammed by repackagers, same as any search engine.

Notify them (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697615)

All this means is that companies like Apple and Mozilla happen not to have notified Microsoft of the infringement yet. So if you're worried about it, go tell Apple's legal department [apple.com] and Mozilla's [mozilla.org] .

Re:Notify them (2, Insightful)

Rosyna (80334) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697647)

All this means is that companies like Apple and Mozilla happen not to have notified Microsoft of the infringement yet. So if you're worried about it, go tell Apple's legal department [apple.com] and Mozilla's [mozilla.org] .

Why should they have to? The store is supposed to be curated and given these examples, it's obvious it is not curated at all.

Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697693)

The monopoly app store of an operating system with the market share of Windows cannot be curated as tightly without raising red flags to regulators that Microsoft is abusing its monopoly. True, the US gave Microsoft a slap on the wrist after George W. Bush took office, but at least Europe's competition regulators still have some testicular fortitude. Apple and the major video game console makers get away with it because their market share is not necessarily large enough to produce what economists call "market power".

Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697819)

Does anybody actually buy apps for Metro?

Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697935)

The question runs deeper: Does anyone actually use Metro?

Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698345)

Not willingly.

Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697825)

Blah - We don't bring up Clinton on every DMCA article even though he was the one that signed the damn thing into law

Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698005)

We don't bring up Clinton on every DMCA article even though he was the one that signed the damn thing into law

Actually, blaming Clinton for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act happens fairly often here on Slashdot, and it's bullcrap. Both bills were bipartisan and passed both houses through voice vote. Under the US Constitution, a voice vote needs greater than four-fifths assent, which is well over the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto. So instead, I blame MPAA members' ownership of the news media.

But that's neither here nor there. I brought up the United States v. Microsoft wrist slap only as a contrast between antitrust penalties against Microsoft in the United States and those in the European Union. So long as there's at least one major market willing to prosecute Microsoft for anticompetitive conduct, Microsoft has to avoid the appearance of anticompetitive conduct.

Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698281)

Regardless, Clinton still could've vetoed it as a sign of protest, not just outright fucking signed it as if it's a-okay. You can blame him and every damn fool who voted for it.

Re:Notify them (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697833)

Currently Microsoft needs more apps than it does quality. When they approach a customer they can tell them they have a gazillion apps in their store to deflect the "but the iPhone/Android has so many more apps.". Rest assured once it blows up in their faces they will clamp down hard. They are famous for reactionary overcompensation.

Re:Notify them (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697969)

Given their current market share in mobiles, it might be too late.

Re:Notify them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698155)

This is the exactly the reason for the plethora of useless apps there.

Re:Notify them (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697929)

Why should Apple care? Actually, if I was Apple, I'd enjoy seeing my opponent's store being cluttered with crap which makes mine all the better looking.

Genericide threat (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698121)

Why should Apple care?

Apple should care about the misuse of its own trademarks because of the threat that they'll become no longer distinctive.

Re:Clickbait (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697873)

More like the Microsoft App Store is a bad example of clickbait.

Remember, Microsoft Approves (5, Interesting)

man_ls (248470) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697525)

Lacking evidence to the contrary, it seems Microsoft actively approves this state of things. They have a human performing certification and content compliance, which involves actually installing and verifying these applications:

"Content compliance: Our certification testers install and review your app to test it for content compliance. The amount of time this takes varies depending on how complex your app is, how much visual content it has, and how many apps have been submitted recently."

With that statement, they must be 100% complicit in these scams, because it makes them money when someone bites, and because it keeps the number of apps in the app store up.

Re:Remember, Microsoft Approves (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697589)

So that raises a question then: is "not spying on/advertising at your users" a requirement?

What other possible criteria could there be?

Are they more concerned with, say, pornography, than actual user experience?
What are they worried about stopping?

Re:Remember, Microsoft Approves (2, Funny)

Narcocide (102829) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697689)

What are they worried about stopping?

Linux.

Re:Remember, Microsoft Approves (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697931)

Linux is so bad it pretty much stops itself.

Re:Remember, Microsoft Approves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697985)

Herp derp. Get back under your bridge, troll.

Microsoft also lies (3, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697805)

I think we have plenty of evidence to the contrary. Microsoft has, and does, willfully provide false information. They do this deliberately and indiscriminately, even to judges while under oath. Maybe you forgot about the claims to a judge that "If you remove Internet Explorer the Operating system stops functioning.". Even though a judge was smart enough to remove IE and show they were lying, nobody went to jail. So the trend continued.

Now what possible motivation would MS have for lying about approving apps? Easy, it's a numbers game. If Apple has half a billion applications how can MS fudge numbers to look relevant and not appear to be deliberate liars? Easy! Let people dump all kinds of crap into their app store so they can claim "look how many applications we have!' and "Look at our growth rate, thousands of new apps every day!". Both are technically true, though based on a lie about monitoring.

MS further can easily blow off the lie about approving content. Expect something along the lines of "Our people were not trained properly" with some bogus "we were hacked" charges sprinkled in for FUD and sympathy.

Re:Remember, Microsoft Approves (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698091)

This is no different from the Apple store or Google's Play Store. All app stores, by their very concept, are full of scamware.

There's a fine line between scamware and malware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697533)

As we realize the OPERATING SYSTEM is phoning home already, aren't we splitting hairs really?

Activation (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697661)

Windows has been phoning home since the introduction of Windows XP in the fourth quarter of 2001. Yet most people don't care, as the ability to run Windows-exclusive applications and drivers for Windows-exclusive peripherals outweighs the pain of product activation and Windows Genuine Advantage checks.

What they will say: (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697535)

"Well that's what you get for buying non-Microsoft products. Maybe you should have tried something from a reputable company, like say Microsoft."

The same thing however, killed a videogame company or two. It's not the maker that suffers, it's the market.

Crapps® (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697541)

Did you really expect anything less from a store that only has 16-color single-tasking Crapps®?

Does Microsoft f*ck up everything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697553)

Sometimes I have the feeling they just don't care.

Re:Does Microsoft f*ck up everything? (1, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697619)

Their business is going well. Why would they care about their customers? Of course, if ever a real alternative comes along (or they cannot bribe enough people anymore), quite a few people will never look back.

Selling Free Software (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697579)

but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost

FSF says it's perfectly fine to distribute free software for a fee [gnu.org] , so long as the license is followed.

But platforms relying on a single app store have in the past made copyleft license compliance difficult or impossible. The GNU General Public License, for example, defines "source code" to include what GPLv3 calls "Installation Information" and GPLv2 calls "scripts used to control compilation and installation". When a platform requires all code to be digitally signed, a signing key is part of this "Information" or these "scripts". And the terms for obtaining a code signing certificate tend to forbid developers from sharing the private key with the public. This is why GPL software like VLC can't be on Apple's App Store [slashdot.org] , nor can ScummVM be on the Wii console [slashdot.org] .

Re:Selling Free Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697697)

If GPL forbids code signing how does apt-get work?

I guess I assumed that apt-get used signed code because, well not using signed code would be a vulnerability. Are you saying that apt-get cannot use code signing?

This seems like a pretty serious deficiency in the GPL to not allow redistribution through secured channels.

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697757)

The difference is that every platform I can think of that uses APT allows root to add signers.

Debian-based PC operating systems allow the administrator to add third-party repositories with their own certificates. They also don't require that code be signed just to execute; one can install applications from outside the repositories or use applications compiled from source code without having to pay a recurring fee for a "developer license". This is in contrast to platforms designed to work with only one repository maintained by the operating system publisher, such as game consoles, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows RT, and the Windows Runtime environment of Windows 8 and 8.1.

Re:Selling Free Software (2)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697725)

For your amusement: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/ap... [apple.com]

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697803)

That can happen if all GPL code gets relicensed or rewritten. VideoLAN's page about VLC for iOS [videolan.org] states that it was relicensed under the Mozilla Public License, and presumably that wouldn't include any contributions from a contributor who declined to relicense his contributions. I wasn't party to the relicensing negotiations, and I lack my own iOS device on which to evaluate this app. Are any significant codecs or containers missing?

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

Himmy32 (650060) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697925)

Yeah, the problem before was that Apple was selling a license on behalf of a third party, which runs a foul with the GPL. If Apple charge for the software and not for a license then they would be able to sell it. Since this is "Free", they aren't selling a license so it doesn't have issues with the GPL.

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697783)

I must have missed where the OP said that this behavior was illegal, or that the FSF said it was wrong to profit from software. The point was that Microsoft endorses the behavior of scamming the unsuspecting noob into thinking they have to buy a product, when it is available for free.

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697911)

And I missed the point where OP said someone had already made the open-source stuff available for free - in the windows app store.
Just because its open source doesn't automatically mean you can "apt-get install" it on Windows.

Re:Selling Free Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698079)

You evidently missed all the points actually, from the looks of the drivel you just spewed.

Re:Selling Free Software (3, Informative)

Himmy32 (650060) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697897)

If I remember correctly, the issue with VLC on the Apple store was that the GPL allows charging for the software but does not allow charging for the license. Since Apple doesn't charge for the software but instead charges for a license to the software on behalf of a third party. So you can put free GPL on the Apple store but not pay for, even though GPL allows for it.

I actually had to read about the Wii store issue. The issue there seems to be that a subcontractor used both ScummVM and Nintendo's SDK. Nintendo explictly prohibits use of open source software together with their Wii SDK. Again nothing have to do with keys. Use of the Wii SDK forbids Open Source, so it doesn't what the terms of the GPL are, no GPL at all on the Wii Store.

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697963)

If I remember correctly, the issue with VLC on the Apple store was that the GPL allows charging for the software but does not allow charging for the license.

I thought it involved ensuring that anybody possessing a usable copy can make and distribute usable and modifiable copies to other users, and Apple doesn't let app developers ensure this.

Use of the Wii SDK forbids Open Source

There's plenty of non-copylefted open source software in the Wii Menu, Internet Channel, and Wii Shop Channel. Nintendo's SDK license appears to just forbid use of copylefted software. If you want, I can hook up my Wii console and find exactly how to open the list of copyright notices for the non-copylefted open source libraries used in the Wii system software.

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698105)

But nothing forbids getting the unsigned code via a side channel. So get ScummVM on your console and it includes a note about how to get the unsigned version along with an HMAC or MD5 sum to verify it is secure.

Re:Selling Free Software (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698151)

If this "side channel" does not allow the user to install a modified version of the work on at least some device, then it does not include "scripts used to control [...] installation of the executable" and is thus not "complete source code".

Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (4, Interesting)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697587)

I don't know about other users but I've had an ASUS Windows 8.1 desktop for almost a year now and have never downloaded or installed ANY apps from the Microsoft "store" and have only once clicked on the App Store tile itself once by mistake. I avoid their "store" like the plague on a desktop environment. I don't have the need or want to Skype or play Angry Birds on the desktop I guess...who uses the Microsoft App Store and for what purposes? I'm genuinely curious...

Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697649)

Apparently Microsoft is putting major service packs for Windows on the Windows Store now. For example, the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 is offered without charge through the Windows Store application. But if you waited until Windows 8.1 to buy your laptop, this upgrade was already done for you.

Re:Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 (2)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697701)

I see. Thanks. It makes me wonder then why they don't remove the Windows Update separate program altogether and have all OS updates done through their store if they're wanting more customer awareness and compulsive drive-buys for apps/media.

NX and SSE2 (2)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697815)

I imagine that Microsoft didn't offer Windows 8.1 to Windows 8 users through the normal Windows Update mechanism because Windows 8.1 introduced additional hardware requirements. For example, unlike Windows 8, Windows 8.1 requires NX and SSE2 support in the CPU.

Re:Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698003)

That's exactly what Apple is doing. The OS and assorted upgrades and patches are delivered through the app store.

One store to rule them ...

Re:Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697681)

Kids mostly. I remember being a kid and installing free games from cnet all the time, no cares in the world to what they actually were, what potential damage they could do or anything. The only difference now is the means to which these kids get the games.

Re:Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697773)

The news reader and weather apps are nice, as are a few small utilities (currency conversion, unit conversion)

Re:Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (1)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698171)

I do this stuff too but not through multiple apps coded by different sources. I use the web browser and associated Speed Dials (free visual thumbnail extension) for URL's of those types of websites in Pale Moon. I get way better (more detailed) information for weather, currency conversions, stocks, unit conversions etc. Anything I need for more serious productivity, I download and install apps from vendors I know and trust (and after doing detailed reviews through a search engine). In fact, the other day, I picked up my friend's iPad and asked her, hey lets listen to some music while we're out on the patio...load up YouTube. She runs the app for YouTube and handed it to me. I was like WTF is this? It's way, way more complicated than it needed to be. I said, just load the actual website through Safari. She looked at me like I was strange... For the majority of simple things, apps are just NOT needed in my opinion. Now even with pretty awesome 3D gaming in JavaScript and HTML5 Canvas I really don't see much use for standalone apps at all. At least with a website I can block ads using FlashBlock or AdBlock Plus. I can't do that properly with store bought apps since they're siphoning off my user data and begging for rights all the time they just don't need.

Re:Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698013)

Some "software" (Like Nook for example) requires this method. Barnes and Noble no longer makes a proper desktop version - which caused me to seek books elsewhere.

NOOK for PC (for Windows 7) (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698077)

Some "software" (Like Nook for example) requires this method. Barnes and Noble no longer makes a proper desktop version

Google barnes noble nook windows 7 led me to this app that works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 [barnesandnoble.com] . What do you mean by "proper"?

Re:Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698153)

I use the Citrix receiver, since the Windows App Store version doesn't start up stuff (like the Citrix Connection center) when you log into your PC that disables window effects/themes. It also doesn't throw annoying icons in your start menu and on your desktop for remote apps. Great for the PC you only occasionally connect to Citrix with. I also use a cool Kanji lookup app on my convertible ultrabook. I have a few games I've bought through it, but it's pretty minimal.

Re:Never used any 8.1 apps from their store (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698167)

I use it quite a bit. I like the metro Skype better, since I want it more full screen. I like it for email and chat too since I can have metro snapped to the side with desktop full screen. I also use a metro calculator for similar reasons.

What do you expect? It is MS! (0)

gweihir (88907) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697599)

They are just true to themselves with the most crappy thing they can offer. As there are by far enough stupid MS fanbois and people that think there is no alternative, they do not have to do anything well in order to continue to make huge and entirely undeserved, profits.

That said, the only legitimization for an OS-vendor App-Store is a high quality level and security level. Otherwise you can just download and buy anywhere.

Nope. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697613)

, but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost,

Not quite, Mr. Summary. There's nothing legally wrong with selling open-source apps if the license is followed. And ethically? Consider this:

Why would anybody find this useful? If there's a particularly obscure but useful open-source app that updates irregularly, or it's difficult or cumbersome to install, or maybe Grandma just doesn't want to mess around with MSI and EXE installers, then the new publisher would be adding value and providing a service in providing the open-source across the Store interface; reducing the fuss needed to get the software working, updated and safe.

There's nothing stopping the original developer / copyright holder / copyright assignment entity, or indeed any other legally allowed entity, from putting up the software on the Store for gratis (assuming the Store allows that) alongside New Publisher's paid for version, but if they haven't or don't want to that is their own problem. If the New Publisher has monitised the service they provide in packaging the OSS app, then bully for them.

This is all in a fantasy land where said 'good' publishers existed and actually worked to keep the software updated regularly, I know.

Re:Nope. (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697807)

"Not quite, Mr. Summary. There's nothing legally wrong with selling open-source apps ..."

Not quite Mr. AC. You see, the submitter never said it was illegal.

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698063)

The title says "Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware", brother. I don't think it's much of a jump to assume that a given 'scam' is illegal.

Re:Nope. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698163)

Well that is where you would be wrong then. Not all scams are illegal.

Who Cares?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697621)

Microsoft gets paid, who cares... (nobody at Microsoft that's who!)

Wow. Shocker. (1)

BenLutgens (56508) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697663)

This just in: Windows users targets for software meant to DUPE them into doing something stupid! This and other startling revelations at 10PM on "News that isn't New!"

So in Google Play (4, Informative)

CptChipJew (301983) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697673)

But you don't see the Android marketshare suffering do you?

Re:So in Google Play (1)

The Raven (30575) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698421)

The difference is in the prevalance. Scamware in iOS and Android exists on the fringes; some % of all software will always be illegitimate. But Microsoft has so little legit content that the scamware rises to the top way more often than occurs for the other stores.

So unoriginal (2)

mtthwbrnd (1608651) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697729)

Google have their stupid "store", Apple have their stupid "store", Microsoft have their stupid "store". These companies try to force you to go through their stupid "store" for everything. Even free things. You just want to download something and they force you to create a store account and verify with some kind of tracking like a phone number because god forbid that you can upgrade Notepad these days without the FBI receiving a notification.

In my opinion, these companies have completely lost the plot. They have started to change things for the sake of change, probably because they employ too many people and those people have to create things for themselves to do. Their latest thing is "store". Using computers was easier, less frustrating and more fun when we did not have the "store".

Re:So unoriginal (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697831)

I have used the Google Play store a fair but limited number of times. In each case I found a great app for free in almost no time. I have never used, nor would I ever use the Windows App Store, so I can't speak to that, but apparently the submitter can. If I believe him, and I do, then comparing the two is absurd at best.

Apple problem. (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697867)

Google, unlike Apple, doesn't actually force you to go through its "stupid "store"". And Microsoft doesn't force you either, at least on its non-RT, non-phone versions of its Windows OS.

Sideloading (2)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697891)

Android OS has supported two ways to "sideload" software outside Google Play Store from day one. One is through "Unknown sources": if you download an Android application package (APK), you can open it in a file manager (or even just the Downloads app) and install it. Just about every Android device, except AT&T's first few months of Android phones, has a checkbox in Settings to allow "Unknown sources" installations. But even on those more restricted AT&T devices, one can still use Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to install any APK through a USB cable. Google in fact requires ADB to work as a condition of being allowed to bundle Google Play Store on a device (source: Android CDD).

Re:So unoriginal (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698039)

Easier for you, easier for me, but not easier for the PEBKAC folk that outnumber us by a couple of orders of magnitude.

A well organized and vetted store can be a big help to naive users. The annoying part is that even Apple can't figure out how to do this properly.

Not surprising (0)

istartedi (132515) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697731)

As a long time Windows user, I didn't want a crApp Store. At the outset of this whole Win8 fiasco I said, "If I wanted an iPad, I'd already have one". So. I got a lot of down mods for that, IIRC. I think events since then have confirmed my PoV. If the customers don't want/don't care, then morale at MS has to be pretty low. Maybe they're just happy that anybody, Anybody, ANYBODY will show up at their party. That's not a recipe for a good relationship. Ugly person at the party, reeking of desperation... get's taken advantage of. Utterly and completely unsurprising. They shouldn't try to be cool. They should just go home and play on their computers. If they do, the coolness will come to them. Remember when it wasn't cool to be a geek? Where were we? Not at the party. At home. With the computer. Get it, MS? Go back to the drawing board, not the tablet.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698099)

But there is simply nothing MS can do to be cool. MS is like a 40 year old pretending to be a 20 year old. That's not going to be cool in any way, no matter what you do.

They could do what smart 40 year olds do, accept their place and build on it. They will not hit with the chicks that wants a 20 year old, but they sure can get those that dig age. Provided they don't embarrass themselves with acting like something they simply are not. THAT is a relationship killer. For everyone.

First Experience with Surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697749)

This was my first realization after picking up a Surface Pro 3. I went to the app store and tried to find google chrome. Found something for $2.99 or something. Went looking for Opera. Same thing. Every piece of software I looked for within the store that was not legitimately in the store, was faked by someone.

Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697817)

I miss the days when only seasoned, professional programmers working for actual companies and releasing under that company released software. What we have now is a major charlie foxtrot. I agree with Andrew Keen. The notion of professionalism has been eroded.

Re:Honestly (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697835)

I miss the days when only seasoned, professional programmers working for actual companies and releasing under that company released software.

So how should people go about becoming "seasoned, professional programmers" in the first place?

Re:Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47697909)

Get a job with a company and develop software, not go through the backdoor of the Apple or Google Pay stores. I don't trust people who have not worked for software houses or actual companies. I need to be able to call someone and vet you.

Bootstrapping (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698027)

Get a job with a company and develop software

Who starts such companies?

It's there already... (2)

SansEverything (3785255) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697837)

Isn't this a trend with all app stores now? There's little incentive for any developer to create something only to have it cloned the next day, and have your original app downvoted by the army of the "competition", e.g., http://www.reddit.com/r/gamede... [reddit.com] . I'm starting to think there are more "rogue" apps than legit ones.

Many apps use Adware anyway, which is just a backdoor waiting to happen. Do you trust the developer not to sell you to the highest bidder? The information you hold might be more valuable than you think.

Personally, I forgot about the "Smart" in "Smartphone" for a while now. It's not worth the trouble I'll be in, if I get attacked successfully. I know someone who used an online bank app, and had her account hacked into, because she installed an app from an untrusted source. I'm sure you guys know many cases like this. In my view, any app store is an untrusted source nowadays :)

Actually, it's worse (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a month and a half ago | (#47697899)

Worse that pay-to-play software of dubious quality is the entire lack of support for major applications, and a complete lack of serious productivity and mainstream apps. Many of the apps are poor stepchildren of their Android and iOS counterparts if they even exist at all. A useful, app-style browser is woefully missing (for those who have convertible tablet/laptops, you can't have Chrome, IE or FF act as an app/finger centric if you use them in desktop mode.)

The iOS and Android app stores are full of shit, too, but at least there's some good stuff out there. For MS, all they have is the shit.

News Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698051)

News flash, "internet full of scamware."

I suppose Win8 "brought a lot" of....something... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698073)

....to the table. Some of it might even be good, but hiding it under a steaming pile of UI was not the smoothest of moves. As for their store, color me shocked that MS of all people copied a competitor's product with a half-assed implementation.

Windows is dead. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47698257)

Period.

Open-Source? (1)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about a month and a half ago | (#47698443)

many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost

So, serious question... is this a bad thing? With a few caveats, I don't really see a problem with someone making a bit of money from packaging an open-source program for a different OS, if they're going to the work of compiling, testing and packaging it. Obviously they should somehow make the source available if the license requires it, but beyond that they may be doing that software a favor, assuming an official package doesn't exist (which for the Windows app store, may very well be the case).

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