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Google slips Chrome stub into Microsoft’s app store

Google’s attempt this week to plant an installer for Chrome in the Microsoft Store failed when Microsoft yanked it from the Windows 10 app market.

The “app” Google submitted Tuesday – and which Microsoft’s review process greenlighted – was more a glorified link than a true application. Users who downloaded, installed and ran it on their Windows 10 device simply saw a window open with a button marked “DOWNLOAD CHROME.” Clicking the button downloaded the x86 or x64 version of Chrome for Windows, not, as some expected, a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app suitable for Windows 10 or its spin-off, the locked-down Windows 10 S that runs only UWP programs.

Within hours, the applet had vanished, pulled by Microsoft. The Redmond, Wash. company did not reply to a request for comment, but told other news outlets Tuesday that the Chrome installer had gotten the hook because it “didn’t provide a quality/valuable experience” and “it violate[d] our Microsoft Store policies.”

Sources familiar with Google’s plans said that the maneuver was meant to stifle the Chrome copycats the company thinks mislead Microsoft Store patrons into downloading worthless apps.

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