Doubts have been cast over the number of legitimate applications on the Windows Phone 7 platform, after Microsoft moved to limit the number of apps that developers can bulk publish to 20 a day.
Microsoft had originally imposed no limit on the number, no doubt because it wanted to populate the store with applications as quickly as possible to entice customers to its operating system.
The company recently boasted that it had already surpassed the number of apps available for BlackBerry devices, but admitting that the marketplace is being flooded with bulk apps suggests that many of them could be spam.
Microsoft was careful not to use the word 'spam', however. Todd Brix, senior director of Windows Marketplace, said in a blog post that the move is designed to solve the issue of swamping other developers' applications.
"In recent weeks a handful of companies have individually published hundreds of apps in a matter of a few days. While these apps meet our certification requirements, we're finding that publishing them in bulk degrades customers' experiences," he said.
"By publishing hundreds of apps in a short amount of time, the popular 'New' Marketplace list category fills quickly, pushing the other new apps out and reducing the diversity of the shopping experience."
Brix added that Microsoft is talking to companies that are bulk producing apps to ensure that they avoid this in the future.
"We're offering to work with these developers to explore how they can better take advantage of the Windows Phone platform to improve the functionality of their apps and reduce the need for large numbers of similar apps," he said.
"Many of the most recently published bulk apps are being removed from Marketplace while these developers update and republish their apps."
Microsoft's change in stance still makes it possible for developers to publish numerous applications at once, although the number of legitimate developers who need a limit of 20 a day is questionable.
Microsoft's policy is in marked contrast to Apple's, which has a notoriously rigorous application approval process. Submissions are often rejected for minor infringements on policies, which are often viewed as draconian by developers.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007