Whether it’s pre-installing Candy Crush Saga, showing full-screen ads on your lock screen, or displaying banner ads in File Explorer, Microsoft has been shoehorning ads into every inch of Windows 10. The Mail app is getting them next.
Update: Microsoft’s head of communications, Frank Shaw, just backpedaled on Twitter. He said “this is an experimental feature that was never intended to be tested broadly and is being turned off.” As Mehedi Hassan notes over at Thurrott, this is a strange claim because Microsoft has a detailed support page explaining these advertisements.
As originally spotted by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia and noticed by Mehedi Hassan over at Thurrott, Windows 10’s Mail app is getting a a personalized ad banner at the top of your inbox. Here’s what Microsoft’s Mail app says about it:
The ads at the top of the message list come from Microsoft. You’ll see them whether you are using a Microsoft email account, like Outlook.com, or an account from another email service provider, like Google.
You can only get rid of these ads by paying for an Office 365 subscription. They have nothing to do with Outlook.com—they’ll appear no matter which email account you’re using, even if you’re using a work email account.
This feature is new and just in Insider builds of Windows 10—for now. Microsoft could be A/B testing—in other words, testing advertisements in Mail for some Windows users, but not others, to see what the response is like (and how much money they’ll make.)
But, even if Microsoft is A/B testing this advertisement, it’s our job as Windows users to be upset about it and show Microsoft we aren’t happy. If we don’t, Microsoft will slowly place ads in every inch of Windows 10 where there’s some free space. Of course, Microsoft might do that even if we’re unhappy about it.
This just shows the problems with “Windows as a Service.” Microsoft would probably say it needs this additional revenue to help keep Windows continually updated, but lots of Windows users would rather have an ad-free operating system than constant feature updates.
Remember, Windows 10 isn’t free! Microsoft actually charges $200 for Windows 10 Professional licenses, and people who pay that $200 to get work done have to put up with Candy Crush Saga and all these other advertisements, just like the rest of us.
Three years ago, Satya Nadella said Microsoft wants people to love Windows. But, when it’s time for hard decisions, Microsoft would rather make some extra cash than have Windows users love the operating system we’re all stuck using.
Image Credit: Aggiornamenti Lumia