Windows Mobile 6.5 will include Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile. And along with the store comes a remote app kill that the guys in Redmond can use to wipe an application off a Windows phone. But before you grab the torches and your buddies and start heading out in the middle of the night singing, "Kill the Beast!", Microsoft says it will only use its power for good, not for evil. Well, maybe the software company didn't phrase it exactly like that. What they did say was that the switch will be pulled only if an app exhibits "harmful behavior or unforeseen effects" which is basically the same statement that all of the other firms said to justify having the ability to reach inside your cellphone to wipe away something that you have purchased. Hmmm. Makes you wonder. Do you really want Bill Gates well manicured fingers rummaging through the mechanics of your phone deciding whether or not you can keep that fart app you just paid your hard earned money for? Any action can be justified by the harmful behavior clause. And what exactly is harmful behavior? Are they worried that a specific app, once loaded, will cause all handsets to plot stealthy amongst themselves and unite ala the Power Rangers to destroy mankind? The only way we will know is when the tool is actually used by one of the firms to perform a remote kill, and we are pretty sure this is something that will not be taken lightly by the company that does it first.
Loke Uei Tan, Senior Product Manager on the Windows team, put it all in perspective, ""In the vast majority of instances where an application is removed fromWindows Marketplace for Mobile, users of this application will continueto be able to use these applications on their phones," a Microsoftspokesperson told Ars. "In the rare event an application fromMarketplace exhibits harmful behavior or has unforeseen effects,Marketplace has the capability to remotely uninstall theseapplications. While we hope to avoid this scenario, we will makerefunds available in such cases." After the Windows Mobile launch on October 6th, if you hear what sounds like a couple of voices talking and no one is there but you and your cellphone, better start thinking of pulling the battery because if the cellphones ever take over, you might find yourself stuffed in a too small pocket, dropped on concrete too many times to count, and thrown against a wall in a fit of anger.