Update: Microsoft has responded to our report, stating that it’ll review the pirating apps and “work with developers” to ensure any of the Windows Store policies aren’t being violated. A Microsoft spokesperson stated:
“We take reports that there is intellectual property infringement or inappropriate content in our Store seriously and we will review this recent report to its fullest. In an effort to offer our customers quality content they can feel confident in, we continually work with our developers to ensure that they are in compliance with our Application Developer Agreement and our Store Policies.”
Our original report follows below.
Microsoft’s Windows Store sports some of the best streaming services, including Netflix and Redmond’s own Movies & TV platform. But it’s also possible to stream all the latest movies and TV shows without having to spend a single penny via the Windows Store. Windows 10’s app store is full of pirate streaming apps that let you illegally watch all the latest movies and TV shows on your Windows 10 device.
Microsoft’s Windows Store includes a range of different pirating apps that proudly promote their features in their app listings. Using these apps, anyone can watch latest movies like Dunkirk and Wonder Woman or keep track of all the wild things happening throughout Westeros in Game of Thrones. You may think these apps are falsely advertised and aren’t functional — but I was able to stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones in “FreeFlix HQ” without a hitch:
There are a bunch of other apps available from the Windows Store that will let you do the same, and Microsoft doesn’t seem to be taking any actions against them. Some of these apps are even available on other Windows 10 devices like the Xbox One, Surface Hub, and HoloLens because of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform. In fact, they also feature in-app advertising provided by Microsoft’s own advertising platform, reports TorrentFreak. During our own investigation, we even saw ads (sometimes full-screen ads) from Microsoft on one of the apps:
Our own investigation has also shown that these apps are against the Windows Store policies, as noted by Microsoft themselves:
“All content in your app and associated metadata must be either originally created by the application provider, appropriately licensed from the third-party rights holder, used as permitted by the rights holder, or used as otherwise permitted by law.”
Microsoft uses automated testing processes for Windows Store app submissions in most cases, and that might be the reason behind these apps passing the Windows Store certification process despite violating the policies.
We have reached out to Microsoft for a statement on this and we will update our article when we hear back.