Buying a smart phone isn’t an easy choice for those open to any platform — in addition to deciding the size of handset and price, there’s the matter of how big and safe is the app ecosystem.
Apple and BlackBerry have the reputations of having the safest app stores because they are so picky about the applications it allows to be listed.
Android has the reputation of being the least safe operating system because apps are available anywhere on the Internet, and the Google Play store — while more secure than a few years ago — isn’t up to the standards of the others.
What about Windows Phone? Microsoft does restrict the sale of apps for handsets using its OS to the Windows Phone store but is its security enough?
Maybe. Once in a while thing slip through, the most recent evidence of which was six fake paid Google apps discovered by WinBeta.org. They’ve been deleted, but as Graham Cluley noted in his blog, one has to wonder why Microsoft didn’t spot them earlier.
Looking at a statement Microsoft issued on the matter, Cluley concludes the company doesn’t actively police its store.
There’s no indication (yet) the fake apps had malware. In fact Microsoft told thenextweb.com that the apps were removed for attempting to misrepresent the identity of the publisher.
Arguably, having an ecosystem with a risky reputation hasn’t hurt Android sales. And as long as you buy apps through Google Play the odds of downloading a malware-filled app are lowered — but not eliminated. But if Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) wants to ensure its reputation is spotless it will have to do better.