Windows 8 Apps Can be Remotely Removed by Microsoft

Ryan Whitwam

Get your tinfoil hats on, folks. In the documentation released earlier this week by Microsoft on its upcoming Windows 8 Store, the software giant said that apps purchased from the App Store will come with a “ kill switch .”  Redmond can use this to disable or remove the app from Windows 8 machines. Even if its intentions are good, users are likely to be suspicious of Microsoft on this one.

Microsoft claims it will use the capability in cases of security or, more troubling, if they are “required to do so for legal reasons.” This is a common capability on mobile devices running iOS and Android, though even in the case of an app being pulled from the store, it is rarely removed from devices except in the case of malware. Microsoft will be reviewing apps in the Windows Store, so hopefully this won’t even come up. Programs outside that ecosystem should work as they always have.

Microsoft’s documents also seem to indicate that data created by an app would be removed along with it. The company wouldn’t be able to compensate you for any intrinsic value lost, but purchased apps will be refunded if indeed they are removed. Do you think this is going to be an issue going forward?

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