Clarifying “Rubbish”

Well hello there everybody! My stats have gone totally crazy! Apparently there are a lot of you out there now reading this! Wow!

I feel like I should just clarify something. The apps I’m highlighting aren’t just apps I feel shouldn’t be in the store due to having limited functionality, terrible UI, icons drawn in MSPaint. The reason I’m naming and shaming these apps is because they should have failed.

Microsoft has strict guidelines for store submissions. They even have a very thorough review process from what we’ve seen with our apps. They spend time checking things, making sure everything is good, and that they will not crash. At least, they did with us, and many others we’ve spoken to who have been frustrated by the difficulties of getting approved.

Yet here are all these apps which managed to get into the store with no icon, without a functional snapped mode, without a privacy policy, with crashes which appear within moments of testing. These apps should NOT have been approved because they don’t obey the rules!

How do some developers bypass these rules? Why are some people allowed to submit broken rubbish whilst others fight to get awesome apps into the store because of minor issues? How do the awesome apps get seen when lost amongst all of these?

I will keep posting the rubbish in the hopes someone at Microsoft reads this blog and does something about it!

In good news, both Pavan and Kusuma appear to have taken down most of their apps. They did both apologise and say they would so I’m pleased to see they’ve followed through. There is still hope… if I can just contact every developer and get them to see sense!

Interesting Developments

Last night this blog got noticed by people in America – my stats got rather exciting looking!

Then, at 6:05am I received 2 emails. Yes, at exactly the same moment. From Pavan and Kusuma. Both would now like to retract their previous comments about Pooja and would like it known that she’s great, and very supportive, and didn’t tell them to submit the same app over and over. It was all just a misunderstanding. Apparently.

Interestingly, Pavan’s looked like a forwarded message, by the interesting indentation and markings.

I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that the moment this blog gets found by someone in the US, both Indian’s who’ve blamed someone at Microsoft simultaneously change their minds.

I never heard back from Nikhila after the message stating “I was told to do so. I know this serves no purpose.”, but I doubt he would name Pooja now.

Amar, on the other hand, has been rather more defensive about the whole thing. He appears to be part of the Microsoft Student Program, and rather than apologise as the others have, his response was “I do knew that am using sample codes. But almost every people are doing the same…” Obviously just following the crowd… except that most people have at least tried to make the games their own.
Regarding submitting multiple times – “by the time I finish my application there wont be any cool names available. So I just did that to reserve cool names.” I look forward to seeing how he uses 8 Balls, Crash Ball, Maze Ball, Hop Ball, Ball Balance and Dragon Balls for these new games he’s working on! Interestingly, he was also the first to ask who I am!

I have at least one more developer I’d like to talk to about pointless app cloning, although I suspect the responses will be more guarded from here on out. It’s a shame, I was hoping for a third developer to confirm Pooja’s involvement, rather than have the first 2 change their minds.

Of course, even if they weren’t told to do this, there’s still the question as to how these apps are being approved. Broken snapped mode, no store logo, demo code, missing privacy policies, and the out right cloning. These should all be reasons to fail, and in fact are reasons apps have failed if you follow the complaints from other developers. Is there a special “this came from India, just let it in” policy? Do apps which have stolen clipart and logos drawn in MSPaint get fast tracked? Is the number of the apps in the store really that much more important than maintaining a standard of quality? Do Microsoft really want to be seen endorsing this kind of rubbish?

The Plot Thickens!

I feel like I’ve uncovered a conspiracy and I have no idea what to do with the information!

I emailed both Kusuma Sruthi and Pavan Kumar asking them why they had felt the need to submit their game multiple times to the Windows 8 store. I wasn’t really expecting a response. Yet both replied, pretty quickly, saying that they were told to do it but would remove the duplicates if I told them to. Was my email written with such authority?

Both claim to have been contacted by POOJA PATIL and told “to upload our apps with DIFFERENT NAMES and with SAME SOURCE CODE”. Whilst Pavan Kumar claimed not to have contact details he did say that she was from Microsoft. Kusuma Sruthi was more forthcoming with both a microsoft.com email address and an Indian mobile number. A brief Googling confirms the existence of a Pooja Patil with this phone number working for Microsoft to organise the Windows 8 Guiness World Record attempt in Bangalore.

Why would someone from Microsoft have told these two developers to submit their game multiple times? Were they really so desperate for apps that they encouraged this cloning? Were they really expecting that no one would notice?

I feel on a mission now to find a third developer to confirm this suspicion! Have you noticed any clones in the store?