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One of the reasons Microsoft loves PWAs is that they are not tied to a proprietary platform like iOS or Android, meaning it should, in theory, allow them to bring apps from rival services easily to Windows.
That seems to be exactly what is happening, but in a rather underhanded and deceptive way that leaves end users at risk.
A PWA of the Google Photos website has shown up in the Store, supposedly published directly by Google LCC. The only way to see it is not intentionally published by Google is a small disclaimer at the end of the description, saying:
This app lets you experience publicly available website content as an app;
trademarks and copyrighted content belong to their owners.
People who have downloaded the app are however reporting that the PWA also tries to install malware, and appears to come bundled with their own ad clicking service which loads ads in the background and clicks on them, designed to defraud ad companies. Due to the way Microsoft designed the store it is impossible to check who the actual developer is and also their history of other applications.
While ultimately the “developer” is responsible for the deception, Microsoft is failing in their duty to protect Windows users by not properly policing the store, and in addition, has put roadblocks in place preventing users from checking for themselves if a publisher is the real deal or not.
Turning the Microsoft Store into a free for all for scammers is not the way to boost store usage and app count, and despite the low priority Windows currently has for Microsoft we hope the company reconsiders their approach.