32 posts in this topic

Posted

Despite the fact that I've been using [url="http://hothardware.com/Tags/windows-8.aspx"]Windows 8[/url] for the past three weeks, I somehow managed to overlook a rather stark feature in the OS: ads. No, we're not talking about ads cluttering up the desktop or login screen (thankfully), but rather ads that can be found inside of some Modern UI apps that [url="http://hothardware.com/Tags/windows.aspx"]Windows[/url] ships with. That includes Finance, Weather, Travel, News and so forth. Is it a problem? Let's tackle this from a couple of different angles.

[img]http://hothardware.com/newsimages/Item23251/Windows_8_Ad_01.jpg[/img]

The [url="http://hothardware.com/Tags/modern-ui.aspx"]Modern UI[/url] (Metro) interface of Windows 8 essentially delivers a mobile experience on whatever device it's used on, be it a desktop, [url="http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Asus-Vivo-Tab-RT-Windows-RT-Takes-Flight/"]notebook or tablet[/url]. On previous mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android, seeing ads inside of free apps hasn't been uncommon. It's a way for the developer to get paid while allowing the user to have the app for free. That's where the first big difference comes in. While people can expect ads in a free app, no one expects ads in a piece of software that they just paid good money for. I actually can't think of another immediate example where a piece of paid software shows ads.

But there are other angles to look at this from. People subscribe to cable, and see ads. However, the difference there is that's a recurring subscription, and it could be assumed that without ads, cable fees would be much higher. Then there's the fact that the apps inside of the Modern UI are all Internet-capable, so in a sense, they all act like their own customized browser. We're used to seeing ads on websites, so is this really that different? It's hard to say, [i]but again[/i], as free services, that's to be expected.

[img]http://hothardware.com/newsimages/Item23251/Windows_8_Ad_02.jpg[/img]

The answer of just how wrong [url="http://hothardware.com/Tags/microsoft.aspx"]Microsoft[/url] is to cram advertisements in its commercial software will differ from person to person, I'm sure. Me, I'm not too bothered, but I can totally relate to anyone who is. From all I can tell, none of the ads are intrusive, and I appreciate that. As for them being in paid software, that doesn't bother me either because of that above fact. However, I am bothered by other aspects.

The biggest mistake here on Microsoft's behalf is that no one is made aware of these ads until they happen to stumble on them. No one is going to expect ads to be loaded in their paid-for OS, so a notification of that at first boot would be appreciated. Further, no one is given the option to [i]disable[/i] them (though I'm sure it'd take little more than an editing of the hosts file). Finally, there's also the fact that these ads haven't decreased the price of the OS, else that'd be a point Microsoft would no doubt flaunt.

We can't talk about the inclusion of ads and not mention the "T" word: tracking. I haven't been able to find any information on whether or not Microsoft's tracking the ads you are clicking on, but if that is indeed the case, we'll find out soon enough. Unlike Windows 7 and earlier, your entire Windows 8 account can be tied to an e-mail account, so it [i]would[/i] be rather easy for Microsoft to track things on a personal level - much like how Google does with its search engine, e-mail and so forth. This alone gives good reason to be concerned.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you okay with Microsoft infusing the Modern UI with ads? Would you ever be interested in a less expensive version of Windows that was ad-supported?

















[url="http://hothardware.com/News/Microsofts-Big-Hidden-Windows-8-Feature-BuiltIn-Advertising/"]http://hothardware.com/News/Microsofts-Big-Hidden-Windows-8-Feature-BuiltIn-Advertising/[/url]

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Posted

I've said it about Android and I'll say the same for Microsoft. If developers wish to support their software with advertising that's their choice. Anyone that bothered should just use an adblocking solution.
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Posted

Fuss about nothing. They aren't ads in the operating system. They're apps in optional apps that ship by default with the operating system. They're supporting the free apps that you can uninstall and install at will, or replace with other free or paid apps. That's all there is to it. It's not some kind of big hidden secret at all.
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Posted

We've known about this for several months, so I really don't know why the OP thinks it's new information...
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Posted

Because, it is new information, to me, and anyone else who hasn't used Windows 8!
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Posted

It's been on the forums for months.

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Posted

No, it's not new information but it's still pretty bad. The ads in the XBox Music app are particularly egregious because they're noisy and interrupt your music.

I don't think the situation compares to the case of 3rd-party developers including ads in their apps either. If you pay for Windows the assumption is that you also pay for the built-in apps that come with it. If I bay an ad-supported app from a 3rd-party developer I do so knowing that the app includes ads - Windows should be different.

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Posted

It is new to me, and that's all that matters, and like I said, it's also new to people who haven't used Win8, and that's all that matters as well.

Now I am done arguing!

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Posted

Embrace the future of computing... and block it using hosts.
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Posted

As mentioned, these have been known about for months, they're not in the OS but in some apps.
If an app is free or has a nominal price then i'm happy to have a few ads in there to support the hard work of the developer.
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Posted

[quote name='jakem1' timestamp='1352400167' post='595306659']
[. . .]
The ads in the XBox Music app are particularly egregious because they're noisy and interrupt your music.
[. . .]
[/quote]
Isn't that only if you don't have an Xbox Music subscription, though? Spotify and others play ads in their free packages, too, as no company can offer an unlimited free version without ads.
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Posted

This is the least of our worries considering the changes to the EULA... but yes.. another reason to run from Win 8

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Posted

it is news to me, just another reason why i don't want to upgrade from win7.

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Posted

[quote name='Asrokhel' timestamp='1352400863' post='595306681']
It is new to me, and that's all that matters, and like I said, it's also new to people who haven't used Win8, and that's all that matters as well.

Now I am done arguing!
[/quote]

You guys are forgetting that it's all about this guy and what he thinks matters. :rolleyes:
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Posted

[quote name='Phouchg' timestamp='1352400919' post='595306683']
Embrace the future of computing... and block it using hosts.
[/quote]

Or a network firewall, I wonder if these ads will also send your music choices to sleazy tracking domains like scorecardreserch ... Do I even have to ask ?

These days you need a bloody enterprise level firewall just to use a computer or browse the internet.

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Posted

Wow way to go MS! I thought I might keep windows but with Steam moving to Linux I guess I am done now with MS since they have to advertise now inside their already crappy OS. I mean the touch interface was already enough but now you have to watch ads in a peice of software you already bought? I think not MS!

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Posted

[quote name='LIBER000' timestamp='1352402393' post='595306759']
Wow way to go MS! I thought I might keep windows but with Steam moving to Linux I guess I am done now with MS since they have to advertise now inside their already crappy OS. I mean the touch interface was already enough but now you have to watch ads in a peice of software you already bought? I think not MS!
[/quote]

I'm amazed that you were able to cram that much mis-information into one posting.
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Posted

[quote name='Javik' timestamp='1352399296' post='595306627']
I've said it about Android and I'll say the same for Microsoft. If developers wish to support their software with advertising that's their choice. Anyone that bothered should just use an adblocking solution.
[/quote]

Is there a way to turn this off or circumvent this? I mean besides adblockers. I haven't personally seen this myself, however, it's nice to know about these things and how to get around it

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Posted

[quote name='Javik' timestamp='1352399296' post='595306627']
I've said it about Android and I'll say the same for Microsoft. If developers wish to support their software with advertising that's their choice. Anyone that bothered should just use an adblocking solution.
[/quote]

Windows costs money, users shouldn't be subjected to adds when they've already paid for the software. If the software is free, then I have no problem with it being add supported, but windows is not free.

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Posted

Microsoft wants to attach their rail car to the money train that is iOS and Android, and having little success with Windows Phone, Windows 8 is their desperate attempt to capture a large portion of that market. Advertising, tracking, data mining, keeping 30% of developer profits, lots of cash to be made here.

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Posted

But the app is free, so what is your point?
You pay for the windows OS not the pre-install app. You can switch to the paid one, so you don't see the ads anymore.

[quote name='ViperAFK' timestamp='1352403647' post='595306795']
Windows costs money, users shouldn't be subjected to adds when they've already paid for the software. If the software is free, then I have no problem with it being add supported, but windows is not free.
[/quote]
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Posted

I have no issue with the ads in some of the apps, since they are just added at the end of the screen, so you don't even see them if you never scroll all the way to the right (like in weather).
The mandatory ads you have to look at when playing the daily challenges in Minesweeper on the other hand I do have an issue with. They are 30sec long video's you can't skip. And they appear after every 3 or 4 games you play

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Posted

Ads suck in general. They're annoying, distracting and destroy every bit of consistency wherever they are located. I don't want to see single one of them, I don't care of the shyte that is being advertised, I'll make my own informed choices, thank you very much.
What happened to free trials? Warez? Ok, I can see that being a fair bit of a problem. However, ad blocking does lead to practically the same outcome, with addition of some p*ssed off people like OP here, and me, too.
Also means that developer has little confidence in the product, and with good reason, too, - frankly, five nines of app store, be it Windows, Play or Apple, is total shyte.

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Posted

My firewall is set to block all Webads in the filtering settings... I honestly never noticed these.

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Posted

[quote name='torrentthief' timestamp='1352401505' post='595306709']
it is news to me, just another reason why i don't want to upgrade from win7.
[/quote]

News to you? You've been one of the most vocal critics of Windows 8 over the past few months. Are we to believe you've just "missed" all the previous forum topics and news articles about ads in the free apps that come pre-installed on Windows 8?

[quote name='ViperAFK' timestamp='1352403647' post='595306795']
Windows costs money, users shouldn't be subjected to adds when they've already paid for the software. If the software is free, then I have no problem with it being add supported, but windows is not free.
[/quote]

<facepalm>

I'll make the important bits bold and underline so you people pay attention to them.

[b][u]There are no ads in Windows 8[/u].[/b] The ads are in the [u][b]FREE[/b][/u] apps that Microsoft bundle with the OS. The apps that you can remove from your start screen and replace with others if you see fit. The only difference between these apps, and Windows Live Essentials style apps is that Microsoft bundled these with the OS installer for the convenience of the users.

Regarding the ads in Xbox Music... that is expected and normal. All streaming music services have ads in their free verson, spotify included. They couldn't afford to operate otherwise. Some have reported the ads play even when listening to your own local media files though, which I suspect is just a bug.
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