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First smartphone 'kill switch' bill in the US passed by… Minnesota

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Rumors

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Windows Phone 7 "kill switch" gets detailed

One little feature that was mentioned long ago for Windows Phone 7 was the ability for Microsoft to have a "kill switch" for any "rogue apps" in the Marketplace. Similar to the iPhone and even on Android (to a lesser extent), Microsoft can quickly unpublish an app from the store and in a worse-case-scenario, remove the app from all devices. While this was a known feature, it wasn't understood how the mechanism exactly worked, until today.

In an interview with PC Pro, Todd Biggs, director of product management for Windows Phone Marketplace, described how such a situation could unfold:

If in the Marketplace an app does get through and goes rogue there are a couple of things we can do about it, depending on what it was...

We could unpublish it from the catalog so that it was no longer available, but if it was very rogue then we could remove applications from handsets - we don't want things to go that far, but we could.

The method is simple: our Windows Phone 7 devices periodically "check in" with the Marketplace to see if there are any updates. During that process, Microsoft could "pull" an app from everyone's device if it contained a threat. Now, seeing as MS has strict publishing/approval requirements just to get to the Marketplace, this will probably never be used. But they did think ahead, just in case.

Anyone feel safer yet? (Rhetorical)

Source: PC Pro

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Reader comments

Windows Phone 7 "kill switch" gets detailed

3 Comments

Sounds good to me, last thing we need is spyware apps or some sorta virus app getting in.

i'm fine with a kill switch as long as it's used only for malicious apps. What i don't want to see is Microsoft using it to yank apps off devices that slipped through approval but have some functionality that they don't approve off, such as torrent client or emulator.

I guess malicious is a vague term but I hope it incorporates battery drain. Considering battery life is so important on a smart if said app was killing the power bad enough I hope MSFT would remove ASAP.