The official VLC player for Windows 8 just cannot get here fast enough. The VideoLAN team regularly provides updates on the development status of the anticipated Metro app.
And the latest on the matter is that the app could be ready for action any time now.
But third party developers around the world are trying to cash in on the hype and make the most of the delayed development by releasing utterly basic clones of the app. Several cases have already been reported (a couple of them taken down by Microsoft), and now we have a whole bunch more.
Three new entries recently landed on the Windows Store with the obvious intention of trying to trick people into believing that they are getting the real deal.
VLC 8.1 HD Player comes with an astronomical price of $8.99, while VLCC Direct Pro Video Player and VIC* Media Player * are coded by the same developer and retail for $5.99 a pop.
The situation is further muddied by the fact that no trial versions are available, while the descriptions published in the Windows Store are often minimal and lacking details. Throw in the fact that the included screenshots reveal little about the app and things get even more confusing.
It is obvious that these apps are designed to trick unsuspecting users into making purchases. Needless to say, if you come across such an app, hit the back button — unless it is really something special and offers some unique features.
The bigger question is why Microsoft is approving them in the first place, when it is aware, and in fact, helping with the development of the official VLC multimedia player app.
Incidents like this only harms the user sentiments for the platform. And at this stage, every little negative publicity hurts.
Microsoft has already announced that it plans to clamp down on fake, clone and low quality apps in the Windows Store. And there is no better time to get started on this than now, with the launch of Windows 8.1 fast approaching.