The Official Windows Store is Crawling with Piracy Apps

Ryan Whitwam
The internet is a big place, and there are plenty of nooks and crannies where you can pirate movies and TV shows. However, Windows users don’t even have to travel far afield to get their piracy fix. Microsoft has been good enough to offer a large number of illegal streaming apps in the Windows Store.
The piracy apps aren’t hard to spot in the Windows Store — they’re right in the top free apps list. They’re not at the top of the list, which has legitimate apps like Netflix and Hulu. However, “Free Unlimited Movies” and HD Movies Online” outrank apps like NBC Sports, Todoist, and NFL Mobile. This is just the tip of the iceberg, too.
There are at least a few dozen piracy apps in the Windows Store, and they aren’t at all coy about what they offer. The screenshots include catalogs of movies and TV shows, many of which are not officially available for streaming anyplace. Most are general streaming apps, but there are also some that purport to offer specific content like Batman cartoons and anime.
Many of these apps appear to be re-branded versions of the same software packages. The developers are using popular new movies like Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in order to attract users. It’s a lot of the same stuff. Although, maybe they come with different malware bundled. We don’t know for certain that you’re going to catch a virus from downloading these apps, but this is exactly the kind of sketchy app that would do it. Microsoft apparently isn’t screening what gets into the Store, and that’s probably the most concerning part.
Most of these apps are compatible with at least PC, but some also add support for mobile, the Xbox One,  and Microsoft’s Holographic UI. Not a lot of work went into making the apps pleasant to use on all those platforms, but it’s all in service of getting as many eyeballs as possible. These apps are free, but they include ample advertising in the form of banners and high-quality pre-roll video ads. In fact, many of the ads appear to be from Microsoft’s own Ad Monetization platform.
You can obviously access the same content in your web browser, but offering piracy apps like this in the official store is just bizarre. It looks like Even Microsoft isn’t paying attention to the Windows Store anymore. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if the company has any response.
The Official Windows Store is Crawling with Piracy Apps Reviewed by Bizpodia on 15:51 Rating: 5

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