Microsoft’s Latest App Update Drives Negative Reviews in Windows Store

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Microsoft was off to a good start with Windows 10 early on by offering free upgrades to anyone on older versions of the platform. It burned a lot of that goodwill with its heavy-handed attempts to get everyone to upgrade. Perhaps that made everyone hyper-conscious of Microsoft’s update approach, because a relatively minor app update recently sparked a torrent of negative reviews in the Microsoft Store. You know people have to be upset when they’re going to the trouble of leaving reviews in the Microsoft Store.

The app in question is called simply “Photos Add-on,” and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from the name–it’s an add-on for the Windows Photos app. The app description doesn’t make the functionality clear at all, though. “Photos app downloadable content for all users,” is all the information you get.

As soon as this new app appeared several days ago, Windows users took to the Store to vent their frustration. The review titles include titles like “Installed Without Permission” and “Didn’t ask for this, can’t uninstall it.” The listing is currently sitting at two out of five stars, with more than 100 one-star reviews. A number of newer reviews attempt to calm the mob by pointing out it’s just an add-on for Photos.

So, what is the point of this app in the first place? It’s basically a new module for Photos that manages downloadable content (the official name of the app is Photos.DLC.Main). Microsoft first talked about the add-on model for photos at Build 2016, but apparently it has only now started implementing add-ons. The goal is to make more features like filters and 3D effects available in Photos via downloadable modules. The Photos Add-on enabled the promised support for these. In fact, it looks like Microsoft is rolling out some features via the new plug-in on devices running preview builds of the upcoming Fall Creators Update. More apps with downloadable content could be launched later, but Photos is the only one for now.

While the store page list a total size of over 400MB, the final installed size looks to be around 150MB. You’ve probably got that much to spare. It’s not unreasonable to be annoyed at Microsoft adding bloat to your machine, but it’s just an update to a pre-installed app. Still, this looks bad, and Microsoft should be better at anticipating such things. Hopefully, it plans a little better for the next add-on rollout.

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