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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is about to give pornography, suggestive images, and racy text the beat down.  (Source: YouTube)
Windows Phone 7 bans porn, suggestive content, and racy text

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has recently led a crusade against pornography on the iPhone and iPod touch.  Emboldened perhaps by the vocal cries of family advocacy groups, Jobs engaged in a 2 a.m. flame war with a news editor arguing that he is offering the world "freedom from porn."  Jobs has dismissed Google's Android handsets as dirty "porn phones."


Now Microsoft looks to continue "following in Apple's line" as one Microsoft exec involved with Windows Phone 7 once put it.  Microsoft has announced elaborate restrictions [PDF] to cure its app developers and users of their dirty, puerile urges.

The first prohibition is fairly predictable:
  • Any content of a sexual nature depicting children or animals.
From there they get increasingly subjective, though:
  • Sex / Nudity – Images that are suggestive or sexual (e.g. sexually provocative touching, bondage, masturbation) or provocative images that reveal nipples, genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair.
  • Any adult and/or borderline adult content (images or text).
  • Content that generally falls under the category of pornography.
  • Content that depicts or suggests prostitution.
  • Any content depicting sexual fetishes.
The ban on provocative or suggestive content means its unlikely that swimsuit apps like an app featuring Sports Illustrated's swimsuit models will come to the phone anytime soon.  And the ban on app suggesting prostitution may make it tough for apps like Grand Theft Auto to reach the phone in all their glory.

It's unclear whether these prohibitions existed in the Windows Mobile 6.x marketplace era, but were merely not broadly publicized or are something new.  What is clear is that Microsoft is taking a hard-nosed stance when it comes to sexual content and is making it absolutely clear that it will not be tolerated in the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem. 

In the words of Steve Jobs, "If you want porn, get an Android."


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RE: How stupid...
By Jeffk464 on 6/8/2010 11:12:15 AM , Rating: 3
I guess this means android will be the dominant phone OS. Why would MS do something like this when they are the underdog in the phone OS market. Winmo7 was pretty much there best hope of regaining market share. MS has been making bad mistakes and with competitors like Google I don't think they can afford to make mistakes.


RE: How stupid...
By mcnabney on 6/8/2010 11:51:24 AM , Rating: 2
I was hoping they would apply the same standards to Xbox360.

/won't somebody think of the children?
//no, not that way.


RE: How stupid...
By omnicronx on 6/8/2010 12:27:04 PM , Rating: 4
Are you seriously trying to imply that a porn sells phones? Taking this further are you seriously trying to imply that porn APPS sell phones?

Get this through your heads, from a business perspective, having porn on the app store is far more likely to have a negative impact than a positive one.

Android does not sell because you can have crappy porn apps on your phone (which all suck btw), its sells because of its openness.

So to say that Windows Phone's hang in the balance because of their porn omission really makes me laugh. You are kidding yourself if you think more people care about having porn on your phone, then off of it. Either way Windows Phone is a closed platform, this is what will make the difference, not the fact you can get porn apps.


RE: How stupid...
By MozeeToby on 6/8/2010 2:09:40 PM , Rating: 3
The argument isn't that porn apps sell phones, the argument is that I want a phone where I get to decide what is and isn't installed on it. Now granted, MS has said that you will be able to install third party apps that aren't from the official store but the same cannot be said for Apple. And I wouldn't be surprised if after a few months that ability goes away (when they start to see piracy as a threat to their app store model).

On an Android phone, all I have to do is go into settings and check a box and I can download apps directly to my phone and install them. Google doesn't like the app that I'm downloading? Too bad for them, I can get it anyway. You're right, the argument is that they are closed platforms versus Android's open platform. Today the most obvious example of that closed-ness is porn, tomorrow (or even yesterday) it might be a competitors VOIP software, search tools, etc.


RE: How stupid...
By omnicronx on 6/8/2010 3:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Today the most obvious example of that closed-ness is porn, tomorrow (or even yesterday) it might be a competitors VOIP software, search tools, etc.
Ahhh.. but you see this is where you are getting a false sense of true openess with Android. They still reserve the exact same right to remove applications for whatever reason, and have done so in the past. (i.e tethering apps for certain carriers). There is also a built in kill switch just like all other platforms.

So this problem is not limited to closed platforms, even 'open' platforms like Android are affected.

Good post though, and I 100% agree, I don't like anyone telling me what I can and cannot do. At the same time I still respect their right to do so. I won't support them, but I do respect the decision from a business perspective.

That being said, I think people give Androids 'openness' far too much credit when it comes to its popularity. They have a variety of devices (I for one do not want to have the same phone as everyone else), with cheaper phones/plans than their competitors. I really find it hard to believe that guys like you and I are the majority. I can see it on the developer end, but I can't see it on the consumer end of things.


RE: How stupid...
By MozeeToby on 6/8/2010 3:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
True, Google can and has pulled apps from their app store but the point is that if that happens I can go to the developer's homepage and download the application from there, without rooting my phone or voiding my warranty.

Put another way, my favorite 5 apps on my droid aren't available on the iPhone due to Apple's restrictions. I don't use the built in browser, onscreen keyboard, or widgets. I enjoy playing emulators (NES, SNES, even Gameboy Advance) and Google Voice. All of which aren't available on an unrooted iPhone, and except for the browser I wouldn't expect them to be available on a Windows device either.


RE: How stupid...
By Alexstarfire on 6/8/2010 8:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
I can give you most of those, but emulators? Seriously, what company would openly support that? They are illegal no matter how you look at it.


RE: How stupid...
By sprockkets on 6/8/2010 9:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
emulators are perfectly legal; its the roms that aren't

but we know, apple banned that torrent app that controls torrents from the iphone on the computer, because all torrents are evil.


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