Microsoft removed a 'useless' Google app from its store for violating its policies

  • The Google Chrome browser finally came to the Windows Store. But it was only in the form of an app that opened a browser tab so you could download it the regular way.
  • It’s a snub of the Microsoft Windows Store, and the Windows 10 S operating system: If you want Google Chrome, you have to go to Google.
  • Microsoft pulled the app, citing a violation of Windows Store policies around apps needing to provide “distinct value.”

The good news for Windows 10 users is that Google Chrome finally came to the Windows Store, as originally spotted by The Verge.

The bad news is that the installer app was almost entirely useless, and was taken down hours after being put up after users slammed the app in the ratings. Microsoft tells Business Insider it was because the app violated Microsoft Store policies.

If you downloaded the “Google Chrome Installer” app and launched it, and it literally just opened up a browser window so you could download Google Chrome for real from Google’s website.

You can get the same effect by going to Google. Or by searching “Chrome” in Google (or Microsoft Bing, for that matter).

Here’s what the app looks like when you open it:

Google app installerScreenshot/Matt WeinbergerThis is literally all the Chrome App Installer does.

It’s almost like a joke. As Microsoft continues its push to stock up the Windows Store – its biggest weakness put up against the Apple iOS or Google Android ecosystems – Google is making it clear that it has no plans to fully embrace Windows 10, in a way that’s actually kind of funny.

But if it’s a joke, Windows users weren’t feeling it. Before Google took it down, just hours after first getting discovered, the Google Chrome Installer app was averaging 1.5 stars with 74 reviews. Here’s a look at what that looked like:

Google app installer ratingsScreenshot/Matt WeinbergerBefore getting taken down, Google Chrome Installer had terrible ratings on the Microsoft Store.

For its part, Microsoft us that apps in its store need to “provide unique and distinct value.” It also welcomed Google to try again, saying that “we welcome Google to build a Microsoft Store browser app compliant with our Microsoft Store policies.”

For most Windows 10 users, that app was more of an annoyance than anything: They can download Chrome, as they always have. However, earlier this year, Microsoft introduced Windows 10 S, a special version of Windows, aimed at students, that can only run software from the Windows Store. Those users will find that this Google Chrome Installer app doesn’t help at all: While users can download the file, Windows 10 S won’t let them run the software.

There’s a good technical reason why Chrome can’t come to the Windows Store in a way that’s more helpful for Windows 10 S users: Google insists on using Blink, its own web rendering engine, while Windows 10 S requires browsers to use Microsoft’s own technology for the same. Unless Microsoft ever relents on that requirement, Google Chrome will probably never really come to the Windows Store.

Still, while Google seems not to be all aboard with the Windows Store, it hasn’t been all bad news: Spotify came to the Windows Store earlier this year, with Apple iTunes soon to come. That said, iTunes for the Windows Store was recently delayed, with Apple citing technical issues in bringing it over.

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