Microsoft: please do something against Media Player spam in Windows Store

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 26, 2013
Windows, Windows 8

Windows MediaPlayer 11 for $4.99? VLC* Player for $8.99? Media Player Classic Black Edition for $4.99? Those are just three examples of Windows 8 apps that try to take advantage of the popularity of popular media players even though they have nothing in common with them. When you open Windows Store right now and browse the top 100 new releases, a selection of releases that meet certain criteria, you will find ten media players listed there.

  • Win-8 HD Media Player for $4.99
  • Win-8 Media Player for $1.99
  • Media Player Classic Black Edition (which is not black at all) for $4.99
  • Windows MediaPlayer 11 for $4.99
  • VLC* Player for $8.99
  • Mediaplayer Pro for Windows 8 for $1.99
  • Win* 8 Media Player for $4.49
  • Win 8 Media-Player for $4.99
  • Windows 8 Top Most Player for $3.99
  • Windows 8 HD VIC Player for $2.99

A search for media player returns 486 hits currently. Not all of them are spam or use deceptive names to lure users into making a purchase. But the list does contain a large number of players that I'd categorize this way. There is VLC3 Player, VMG Player, VLX Player, IVC Player and my personal favorite VIC which not only resemble VLC Media Player name-wise, but do use a similar icon as well.

Then you have players that use names that make them look official. Windows Media Player 9, 10 and 11, Windows 8 Media Player and Window's Media Player fall into that category.

One would think that Microsoft would at least prevent Windows Media Player apps from being listed in store, especially when they are offered for money and violating the company's trademark.

Further investigation reveals that many publishers have released multiple media player apps to the store that are not really that different from each other. The main difference it seems is the name and sometimes the layout, while the functionality does not seem to change that often after all. This is likely done to release a fresh app that may find its way once again into the top 100 new apps listing in store that is prominently displayed there.

Besides issues with trademark violations and names that many would call deceptive, it is also not clear how that many players manage to land in the top new 100 apps listing in store.

While it is certainly possible that those players are popular because - at least some - users believe them to be official products from companies they trust, it can also be that they are artificially pushed to the front. That's however something that only Microsoft can analyze and prevent if this is indeed the case.


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  1. KRS said on June 27, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Hanlon’s Razor applies here. As Richard Feynman said, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    In this case, slime-balls jumped through a day-one crack that Microsoft left in the Store structure. Whack MS upside the head with a 2 by 4 to get their attention, and I give them credit for enough intelligence to fix things. If the problem is still there in a month (and remember that they have a lot on their plate, what with Code Blue and all), then we’ll have a complaint to make noise about.

  2. SuilAmhain said on June 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    That’s insane. I genuinely thought they policed their store. Good to know.

  3. Andrew said on June 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hahaha… that is awesomely hilarious… think of those that actually buy them

  4. David said on June 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    It was inevitable. Rip-off apps have made their way to Google Play, Apple App Sore & even Windows Phone Store for some time. Now it’s Windows (8) Store’s turn.

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