Microsoft confirms Marketplace 'kill-switch'

September 18, 2009 | 12:01

Tags: #android-marketplace #app-store #blacklist #kill-switch #killswitch #windows-marketplace #windows-mobile

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed that its Windows Marketplace for Mobile application store will include functionality to disable and delete applications from users' handsets remotely.

According to GeekZone - via jkOnTheRun - the company has admitted that any application which is downloaded via the Apple App Store-inspired Marketplace can be removed from customers' devices automatically should the package be removed from sale - for example, for a terms-of-service violation or copyright issue.

The clause appears to indicate that "if an application is approved but later removed from the marketplace it will then be automatically removed from all mobile devices."

The move to a central repudiation system for applications isn't new for the mobile application marketplace - with Apple landing itself in hot water over a hidden blacklist feature in its iPhone device, and even 'do-no-evil' Google getting in on the act with its Android Marketplace - but marks a departure for Microsoft, which has previously had no such ability in the Windows Mobile software.

Developers and end-users are concerned that the clause doesn't appear to indicate who holds responsibility for the deletion of a previously paid-for application: presuming that the end-user gets a refund - and if they don't, it's not likely to be a popular function of the Marketplace - is it Microsoft or the developer who ultimately ends up out of pocket?

Do you think that application marketplaces need a 'kill-switch' function, or does the idea of a company reaching out and remotely deleting an application you've paid forconcern you? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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