Microsoft removes 'racy' apps from Windows Phone store

Microsoft's image examples
Image caption Microsoft said the images shown would still pass its guidelines

Microsoft has announced a clean-up of its phone-app store to tackle software containing "racy" or "sexual" content.

The firm's Windows Phone Marketplace guidelines already ban "content that a reasonable person would consider to be adult or borderline adult content".

However, the firm said that it had decided to enforce a more stringent interpretation of the rules.

Analysts said the move should reassure parents who let their children play with their phones.

"Specifically, we will be paying more attention to the icons, titles, and content of these apps and expect them to be more subtle and modest in the imagery and terms used," wrote Microsoft's senior director for Windows Marketplace, Todd Brix, on the company's blog .

"This is about presenting the right content to the right customer and ensuring that apps meet our standards."

Apple's lead

The firm suggested that developers could use silhouettes as a possible alternative to more risque images.

It added that app writers who fell foul of its crackdown would be contacted over the next few days.

One industry analyst said Microsoft had decided to follow one of its rival's leads.

"Apple has been particularly strict about this issue from the beginning. Now Microsoft is aligning itself with it, which I think is the right step to do," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president of consumer devices at Gartner.

"By contrast Android does not implement a vetting system before apps go live - so from a consumer perspective parents need to be aware that their system is not as regulated."

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