Windows 8 app-based advertisement concepts revealed

Windows 8 isn't just a new PC or tablet operating system from Microsoft. The company also sees it as a way for other companies to get the word out on their products. In a new post on the Microsoft Advertising blog, the company talks about how it is working to create ads that will seamlessly blend into Windows 8 Metro apps.

An example of such an ad can be seen above, where an ad for a new shoe from Adidas is integrated into a Windows 8 app that promotes the Seattle Sounders soccer team. Clicking on the ad will bring the user to a full Adidas site.

Microsoft also said that it is partnering with six well known advertising design teams (AKQA, Big Spaceship, Razorfish, Team Detroit, UM and Y&R) to help create new Windows 8 app-based ads for clients. The blog states:

All six will be lending us their creative minds and expertise as we co-develop early advertising concepts. With these partners, we will look to create a new standard for what ads within Windows 8 apps can and will be, as well as ensure that experiences will be engaging for consumers and effective for marketers and publishers.

We should see the results of this collaboration later this year when Windows 8 launches.

Source: Microsoft Advertising blog | Image via Microsoft

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myxomatosis said,

Be honest... Microsoft pays you?

Graphically well-done and targeted ads are great. Text ads that have little relevance or context are annoying. Pop-up ads are evil.

You should know that any app that you get for free is likely to have some ads. If you're unwilling to pay for them, they might as well be good.

dagamer34 said,

Graphically well-done and targeted ads are great. Text ads that have little relevance or context are annoying. Pop-up ads are evil.

You should know that any app that you get for free is likely to have some ads. If you're unwilling to pay for them, they might as well be good.

Aside from Live Messenger none of the applications I run on Win7 have advertising, and I'd say about 75-80% of them are free.
And in the case of Messenger a third party patch can remove the adverts entirely, although obviously users won't have the same degree of control over their application usage in Metro.

Still, free applications without advertising isn't at all unusual right now.

dagamer34 said,

Graphically well-done and targeted ads are great. Text ads that have little relevance or context are annoying. Pop-up ads are evil.

You should know that any app that you get for free is likely to have some ads. If you're unwilling to pay for them, they might as well be good.

Agreed all around. If the app is free I have no issue with ads, but I'd better not see ads in paid apps or games. That I find outrageous.

McKay said,
That's stupid, it takes up most of the screen!
It's only here if you are dumb enough to scroll all the way to the far right.

Anthonyd said,
It's only here if you are dumb enough to scroll all the way to the far right.

That looks like the default page when you first open the app, and including adverts on the initial display page on opening the app would fit with the direction they've taken with their preview apps that include advertisements and the XBox 360 dashboard where advertisements get prominence over user content.

McKay said,
That's stupid, it takes up most of the screen!

If you go to the source link, you'll notice that the the advertisement only takes up 1/10th of the entire app, it's not constantly on the screen which is quite nice.

RandPC said,

That looks like the default page when you first open the app, and including adverts on the initial display page on opening the app would fit with the direction they've taken with their preview apps that include advertisements and the XBox 360 dashboard where advertisements get prominence over user content.

If you click on the link to the blogpost, they have a panorama view where you can see that the image above is only the very last portion to the right.

dagamer34 said,

If you click on the link to the blogpost, they have a panorama view where you can see that the image above is only the very last portion to the right.

Point taken, I was incorrect. Still, the stance they've taken thus far with advertisements has me really concerned.

Thrilling, just what people want in a new OS. Advertisements that take up a quarter of the screen.
The default Music/Video apps are already 85% advertising and you have to scroll to actually see/use any of your own content.

I'm not convinced the first thing you want customers to see in a new mobile OS is that you can host apps that are primarily advertising with a small slice left for user content.

I get that they want to advertise and push people to use their own services/stores as much as possible, but when the focus becomes almost exclusively on advertisements I'm dubious people will be enamoured with it.

And people coming from Windows 7 and approaching this as a desktop OS definitely aren't accustomed to seeing large amounts of advertisements in most of their applications.

They'll need to tread a careful line here, and frankly their examples so far seem uncomfortably tilted towards selling content rather then using content.

RandPC said,
Thrilling, just what people want in a new OS.
...

This is not the OS that have ads, it is apps. The app developer choose if they want ads in their apps, and you decide if you want to download the apps. If ads causes a developer to make an app free because of the ads, that is fine with me, I don't click on them and I don't need to pay for the app, so it is fine with me.

It's one, single screenshot and you're damning it already. It's the devs that are doing that. If people don't like it, then they won't get the app. This isn't MS. At least the ad looks tastefully done.

nohone said,

This is not the OS that have ads, it is apps. The app developer choose if they want ads in their apps, and you decide if you want to download the apps. If ads causes a developer to make an app free because of the ads, that is fine with me, I don't click on them and I don't need to pay for the app, so it is fine with me.

People are going to choose their OS based on what it allows them to do however, so advertisements within the built in apps and the apps available to users on the store definitely reflect upon the OS as a whole.

And advertisements clearly aren't necessary for free applications, we know this because most of us use tons of free applications in Windows 7 regularly that lack advertising.

I don't believe going from no advertising to a heavy focus on advertising over user content in built in apps and an unknown from third party apps is going to be as meaningless to the average user as you feel.

laserfloyd said,
It's one, single screenshot and you're damning it already. It's the devs that are doing that. If people don't like it, then they won't get the app. This isn't MS. At least the ad looks tastefully done.

I would disagree that this is the only evidence we have, I'd suggest we have seen already how Microsoft wishes to present Metro apps first hand without relying exclusively on one image.

We can see the Metro dashboard in Windows 8 prioritizes advertisements over user content.
We can see the Music and Video apps built into the OS put the user content off to the side and you have to scroll to interact with your own content as by default you have a full screen of advertising.

The image just serves to further my concern that MS wishes advertisements to be front and centre as a major part of the user experience.

RandPC said,

People are going to choose their OS based on what it allows them to do however, so advertisements within the built in apps and the apps available to users on the store definitely reflect upon the OS as a whole.

And we know that ads in an app means failure to an OS. iOS is a horrible failure because of the all the apps that have ads.


And advertisements clearly aren't necessary for free applications, we know this because most of us use tons of free applications in Windows 7 regularly that lack advertising.

No, they are not necessary. But if a developer wants to offset the costs of development with ads and make the app free, then go ahead. I am working on an app that will be free and use ads to offset the price of running the server and make a few dollars for myself. If a dev wants to give away apps without ads, then more power to them.

And if you don't like the app because of advertising, then either don't download it or uninstall it if already downloaded. If the horror of viewing an ad outweighs the usefulness of that app, no one is forcing you to use the app.

RandPC said,

The image just serves to further my concern that MS wishes advertisements to be front and centre as a major part of the user experience.

Apple built into their operating system a way to present ads to the user, and Microsoft is just doing the same. Neither of them are about basing the OS on an advertising medium, but rather to entice developers to write apps for the user. More apps, more users. And while ads make up a small portion of the MS/Apple bottom line, it is Google's entire bottom line.

It's hard to label Microsoft's design philosophy anything other than schizophrenic. On the one-hand they removed all the window chrome in Metro because it was considered distracting; on the other they design adverts that are over 20x the size of current ads, because obviously such large ads are not at all distracting - they're completely "seamless".

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's hard to label Microsoft's design philosophy anything other than schizophrenic. On the one-hand they removed all the window chrome in Metro because it was considered distracting; on the other they design adverts that are over 20x the size of current ads, because obviously such large ads are not at all distracting - they're completely "seamless".

It's at the very end of the screen and it's in the background, distracting is those 300x250 adverts on a website that plays audio, has a tiny mute button and turns back on every time you refresh that page. A lot of website have started using background adverts instead of blocks within the sites template, doesn't move your content around and gives your site a nice ever changing background.

Gaffney said,
It's at the very end of the screen and it's in the background

Firstly, it takes between a quarter and a third of the screen - that's far from inconspicuous; it's disingenuous to play it down as being at the "very end of the screen". Secondly, by what logic is it "in the background"? It attracts more attention than the application itself and is dramatically larger than any single content tile; it can in no way be construed as being "in the background".

theyarecomingforyou said,

Firstly, it takes between a quarter and a third of the screen - that's far from inconspicuous; it's disingenuous to play it down as being at the "very end of the screen". Secondly, by what logic is it "in the background"? It attracts more attention than the application itself and is dramatically larger than any single content tile; it can in no way be construed as being "in the background".

Could you at least look at the blog before you HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE?
The advert is at the end of a lot of scrolling. Look at the screenshot and you'll see.

I don't mind the ads for free apps if they're done in a non-instrusive way. If I paid for the app though, I don't want to see ANY ads.

bandwidth usage..... that might be a problem.... it's a problem on the xbox 360.... if they are in HD or something that might blow thru a 3G/4G plan too quickly....

not everyone has unlimited plans or they might be on cable with 30GB caps.... this is not cool.

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