The author of this piece is making an assumption about how it would be best for developers to only engage with reviews that have constructive criticism. I believe that conclusion cannot be supported. I expect that if a user makes false claims about a product and the developers corrects the false claims that is not "misuse(ing) the ability to respond to app reviews". One would hope that Microsoft can parse out what is an appropriate response to false or inflammatory claims by reviewers, versus snippy and inappropriate bickering over personal tastes.
If they have any problems doing so, my background in philosophy can help and my pay needs are reasonable, if not relatively minimal.
It's better to not respond to "Your app sucks. You are Hitler for making this not work!"
Now, "I can't use the app; it crashes on my Galaxy S3" can be replied with "Sorry about that! We hope to issue a fix for this soon! We are a small team that only had an S4 at the time" [/quotemsg]
I agree with the examples that you gave. To respond to the first example would be absurd. There is no specific data that you can work from and it's just inflammatory. Your second example gives sufficient data and in the example you posit a particular scenario that would suggest the need for a response.
The main point of my post though was that there could be examples of comments where the reviewer is either making false claims about the product because they don't know how the product functions, or they are being malicious. A potential developer may want to assist those not understanding how the product functions, or respond to the false claims by the malicious. I realize that some of the responses I am talking about veer into support issues, rather than straight customer reviews, however I bet that is a common issue.
In the end I think this discussion is simply an artifact of the way the author of the article emphasized features of how the ability to review was launched. I believe the conclusions that were drawn by the author do not necessarily reflect how Microsoft will handle their sanctioning of developer's responses.