Microsoft Wants You to Sample Apps Before Buying Them – Fortune

Microsoft has had it with the many crummy apps and games that detract from the good ones.

The technology giant said on Monday that a new feature intended to reduce low-quality apps on its Windows online store is now available to developers to test.

The feature, called Playable Ads, lets people interact and play with an app without having to actually download the software to their smartphones or personal computers. Playable Ads essentially lets people test-drive apps for three minutes, which Microsoft said is enough time for people to decide if they want to install them.

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Microsoft said that it’s sometimes the case that appmaker’s product description pages are “not always complete,” which results in people downloading apps that don’t deliver on what their advertising claims.

“This sometimes leads to a quick uninstall if the promise of the product description pages is not met,” wrote Microsoft product manager Vikram Bodavula in a corporate blog post.

Microsoft said that developers who are interested in the feature will not have to do any extra coding or altering of their apps. Bodavula wrote that Microsoft (msft) will do “all the background work to give a seamless experience to the end users without you, the developer, having to change anything.”

Although Microsoft doesn’t explicitly say it in the blog post, the new feature will presumably make it more difficult for deceptive app makers to create cheap, awful software that’s designed to trick people.

Google (goog), for example, has also experienced similar problems with low-quality apps plaguing its Google Play online store, like a fake Super Mario Run game designed to look like the real Nintendo-sanctioned app.

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In February, Google said at the annual Game Developer Conference in San Francisco that it modified its online store’s algorithm to more prominently display apps that people spend more time playing and using. The goal was to reward developers who make apps that people want to engage with for hours, rather than developers who convinced people to download their apps based on disingenuous graphics or advertising.


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