Microsoft details Windows Phone 7 kill switch

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Marketplace could remove apps if they pose a security threat.

Microsoft has outlined how it might use the little -publicised “kill switch” in Windows Phone 7 handsets.

A kill switch is a tool that allows software controllers to remove certain apps or software from handsets if they pose a security or privacy risk, such as a trojan planted in an app.

Apple's iPhone and Google's Android phone software also have kill switches built-in to cover the eventuality that they need to remove malware, or even just apps that break guidelines, but talk of a kill switch on Windows Phone 7 handsets has been muted since the platform launched last month.

“We don't really talk about it publicly because the focus is on testing of apps to make sure they're okay, but in the rare event that we need to, we have the tools to take action,” said Todd Biggs, director of product management for Windows Phone Marketplace.

“Market Place is a complex operation and we need to have the capability for dealing with different situations.”

According to Biggs, Microsoft's strict testing of apps when they are submitted for inclusion in Marketplace should minimise kill switch use, but he explained how the company would react if an application was deemed unsafe once it had been approved.

“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,” he said.

“We could unpublish it from the catalogue 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.”

Rather than pushing out an instant zap the kill switch would be activated when handsets “checked in” with Marketplace as part of routine maintenance.

“From a high-level perspective, phones check in to see if there are any downloads or updates available and it will also check if there are any apps that shouldn't be on there,” he said. “There might be instances where we would remove the app.”

Microsoft was reluctant to give examples of situations that would warrant app deletion, but agreed privacy and security concerns would be on the list.

Related articles

Windows Phone 7: Our verdict

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing


Microsoft details Windows Phone 7 kill switch
 
 
 
Top Stories
Don’t mention digital disruption to David Whiteing
Buzzwords don’t curry favour with CBA's new CIO - it’s all just innovation to him.
 
Content, cost & constant innovation: How Foxtel plans to take on Netflix
Nell Payne inhabits the “brave new world of blue strings and networking”. Just don't ask her to put a TV screen on your microwave.
 
Westpac fires starting pistol on core banking upgrade
St George readies itself for move to Celeriti.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft launches Office for Android preview
May 22, 2015
Microsoft has launched a preview of Office for Android smartphones. Pre-release versions of ...
Microsoft is working on an iOS email chat feature called Flow
May 22, 2015
Microsoft is working on a new chat app, but at the moment we know more about what we DON'T know, ...
Windows 10 free upgrade: Microsoft details who gets what
May 22, 2015
Microsoft was meant to be streamlining its OS with Windows 10, so why is upgrading so confusing? ...
Windows 10 has an edition to suit everyone's needs
May 15, 2015
Microsoft unveils a mind-melting six editions of Windows 10 ahead of its Winter 2015 launch. ...
Firefox 38 FINAL released, debuts new tab-based preferences
May 13, 2015
Mozilla has unveiled the latest version of Firefox 38.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should Optus make a bid for iiNet?

   |   View results
Yes
  43%
 
No
  57%
TOTAL VOTES: 565

Vote