Windows Phone 7 has an Application Kill Switch! Nobody Panic!

Back when Windows Phone 7 was still pretty much a big mystery to everyone, Microsoft quietly hinted that their new OS — or more accurately, their new OS’ application store — would be able to remotely remove applications from user’s handsets. They didn’t really want to say much about it, and rightly so — when people hear the words “kill switch”, they tend to imagine the worst.

Fortunately, Microsoft has come forward with some details on the matter: Yes, just as with the iOS App Store and Android Market, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace can remove applications from your handset. No, they don’t plan to use it unless absolutely necessary. has a few choice quotes from Todd Biggs (No relation to our own John “Uncle Greasyfingers” Biggs), Director of Product Management for WP7’s Store. To cite a few:

“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”


“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.”

In other words: Don’t worry. Microsoft’s not going to pull Netflix off your handset just because they’re mad that Watch Now only has Blade Runner in its original theatrical cut, and not the far superior Director’s Cut (seriously, what’s up with that?) Until they do something that proves otherwise, it sounds like Microsoft only plans to use their almighty banhammer in cases where a malicious app is trying to break your handset, steal your data, or otherwise ruin your day.