Windows 8.1 to be invaded by ads within Bing search results

Microsoft uses its Bing engine to serve search results from inside Windows 8.1. Those results came from inside a person's PC, from their SkyDrive account or from the Internet. As it turns out, the Bing engine in Windows 8.1 will also serve up something that some people might not care for: ads.

In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft says that ads will be an "integral part" of the search features in Windows 8.1 when the final version of the OS update is released later this year. Microsoft says:

Now, with a single campaign setup, advertisers can connect with consumers across Bing, Yahoo! and the new Windows Search with highly relevant ads for their search queries. In addition, Bing Ads will include web previews of websites and the latest features like site links, location and call extensions, making it easier for consumers to complete tasks and for advertisers to drive qualified leads.

Microsoft already puts in banner ads inside many of its in-house Windows 8 apps and allows third party app developers to do the same. The blog states that with this new ad feature inside the search functions of Windows 8.1, it will offer benefits for companies who are looking for easier ways to present their products to the public. The blog also says that it will also provide "the best consumer experience with the most relevant results."

The blog does not mention anything about if Windows 8.1 users can choose to opt out of seeing ads when searching inside Windows 8.1.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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First the Metro interface and removal of the start menu, then it was the Xbox DRM and now this.. What are they thinking???

The way I have my browser set up I don't see adds when I search with google and I don't use bing at all. Plus I have turned off the web search since I installed win 8 so this does not bother me as I know how to get around it.

And how would average Joe do that again?

link6155 is making this more complicated than it is. There's a toggle switch in the settings app that disables the ads. Very easy to find and turn off.

ModernMech said,

link6155 is making this more complicated than it is. There's a toggle switch in the settings app that disables the ads. Very easy to find and turn off.

I would appear that I did not see that option. Thanks for the tip!

mantequillas said,
I'd say invaded is a good word. Ads natively inside my OS are not going to happen. Ever.

It happens no matter where you get your web search results, in no matter what operating system you use.

What part of 'you can disable web search results' don't people get?

We have options people. If you don't like mixing the two, then MS is cool with that, disable it.

Why would people run away from Win8.1 thanks to an optional feature? Your giving up on windows thanks to that? Weird.

Personally, I'll give it a try first and then decide if I like the feature. If the ads are kept to the web search results, then fine, its like any web search experience. If they popup when I'm not exploring web results, I'll turn it off. Simple.

Either way, I think I'll decide for myself after trying it.

trooper11 said,
What part of 'you can disable web search results' don't people get?

We have options people. If you don't like mixing the two, then MS is cool with that, disable it.

Why would people run away from Win8.1 thanks to an optional feature? Your giving up on windows thanks to that? Weird.

Personally, I'll give it a try first and then decide if I like the feature. If the ads are kept to the web search results, then fine, its like any web search experience. If they popup when I'm not exploring web results, I'll turn it off. Simple.

Either way, I think I'll decide for myself after trying it.


Stop being logical in a Windows 8 discussion. It ruins the circle jerk.

if the ads come up when searching the web, ok. But if they come up while searching my local computer, its pretty lame. I started using the windows 8 music player, and when I use the DJ, I get audio commercials in the middle of playing my local music. I really don't like that so I stopped using it.

I can understand that Google can do this but you do not have to pay for any Google products. Last time i heard Windows 8 cost money yet they still put ad's in it. I don't like the new Microsoft very much.

lukeslife said,
I can understand that Google can do this but you do not have to pay for any Google products. Last time i heard Windows 8 cost money yet they still put ad's in it. I don't like the new Microsoft very much.

This is in the Bing search heros, just like in Bing and Google's current ads in their search results.

Im sorry NO, sure you can turn this off, and now i know how. BUT MS are targeting people who are not computer nerds. This is a low blow.

THE_OBSERVER said,
Im sorry NO, sure you can turn this off, and now i know how. BUT MS are targeting people who are not computer nerds. This is a low blow.
News flash, the only people that care are computer nerds.

For most of them, it's because they don't know their options. If they did, they'd feel this was a 'low blow'. The only reason most people look like sheep is they aren't educated enough to see how the wool is being pulled over their eyes.

Not that they're being shown in the way most people are thinking. Most people think ads as in "buy something you recently searched for the other day on amazon" that is shown with your search.

These are sponsored results which are the usual results at the top of a search done in the browser. Searching for jeans gives you a related sponsored result for levis and jc penney, which may have been what you were looking for.

This doesn't seem appealing at all. It does look like an invasion of privacy. Unified searches involving your hard drive and the internet would necessarily send your search terms out for ads, and somewhere that data will live on in storage ready for analysis.

Searching on the hard drive and on the internet? I think the two should be kept separate.

How many times can Microsoft shoot itself in the foot before they just fall over?

What about people who work all day long with social security numbers and HIPAA regulated things? Are we to assume they should switch to OS X or Linux, so that SSN's and other highly regulated data isn't transmitted across the internet in plain text?

Thats the whole point, they do this so they can accumulate as much data as they can, then share it with the NSA via programs like PRISM. Its a scary world my friend, especially if you are still sticking with Windows...

greenwizard88 said,
What about people who work all day long with social security numbers and HIPAA regulated things? Are we to assume they should switch to OS X or Linux, so that SSN's and other highly regulated data isn't transmitted across the internet in plain text?

Then they can turn off the Bing search.
Simple as this: if you want web results, they come with ads. Otherwise, turn them off and search through your browser like you normally do.

My guess is that they collect it all anyway, you're not really turning off anything, only the results won't show web results. Privacy is gone with a lot of active awareness and work these days.

Microsoft should thread cautiously , they could be in a lot of trouble and backlash for this.

If it was a standalone app that people downloaded on their own and used, it will be a different issue, but being integral part of the OS makes it just wrong especially since Windows isn't a free software.

I am so disappointed about how Windows 8.1 destroyed the usefulness and search charm to make a search experience so much less powerful than it was before - and quit obviously just so Microsoft can sell Bing. I'm sure there were some heated discussions internally about that sillyness...

The blog does not mention anything about if Windows 8.1 users can choose to opt out of seeing ads when searching inside Windows 8.1

Wow, John, did you even use Windows 8.1 for 5 minutes? You can disable the Search option to look for results over the Internet very easily. Why not include that information in your article?

youre only served these ads if youre being presented with web results, guess what,just as if you were using the search engine. if you turn off bing web results,you don't get ads.

Until you actually click a web result in the search charm window, which is after any local apps/files the search fines then you'll get the above posted image, and even then the ads are minor as you can see. You don't get any ads in the search charm window itself and you can even turn off web searching pretty easy from the PC Settings window.

This is hardly an issue and seems to be blown out of proportion.

just did a random search for a music artist (Ben Harper) and didn't get any adds.

First I got a link to some documents on my pc then some links to Wikipedia, pictures, music videos, links to music on xbox music and then more links to relevant web pages.
Were are the ads?

Stoffel said,
just did a random search for a music artist (Ben Harper) and didn't get any adds.

First I got a link to some documents on my pc then some links to Wikipedia, pictures, music videos, links to music on xbox music and then more links to relevant web pages.
Were are the ads?

Read the article:

"In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft says that ads will be an "integral part" of the search features in Windows 8.1 when the final version of the OS update is released later this year. "

Stoffel said,
just did a random search for a music artist (Ben Harper) and didn't get any adds.

First I got a link to some documents on my pc then some links to Wikipedia, pictures, music videos, links to music on xbox music and then more links to relevant web pages.
Were are the ads?


Search for AAA, the ad will be the 3rd or 4th result.

The ads are so unobtrusive you'll probably never notice them unless you're totally anal retentive, in which case just disable search results from Bing.

Read the article:

"In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft says that ads will be an "integral part" of the search features in Windows 8.1 when the final version of the OS update is released later this year. "


They're there now, just unobtrusive and not in your face. So much so, that people apparently don't even know they're there.

Ads when I get web results? OH THE HORROR.

Whatever John.
If I'm searching locally, local results come before web results and long before I see any ads. Stop posting this fud.

Does anyone get anything other then ads in Bing apps for other Bing apps (that you already own)?
I wasn't sure if this Microsoft testing it's ad servers or because they have no clients. Either way, it gives a poor impression of Windows 8 for developers who rely on ad income.

This author always over-reacts in every one of his articles. The ads are barely noticeable, and this is no different (in fact even less oblivious) than what you see on Google and Bing search results on their websites.

Umm... those aren't ads... those are previews of the search results. If you watched the Build conference, the search listings show the preview of the results like that.

*Invaded* is definitely a strong word to use. In that screen cap, there's only 1 ad and that's relevant to the results. It's nothing different than what you'd see on the Google or Bing websites. Except with Google you get *invaded* with a bunch of promoted results at the top.

Exactly what I was thinking, all other providers have the same excuse but don't charge you hundreds of dollars for the OS from the start.

It won't do that for me. The first thing I did in Windows 8.1 was disable Bing results when using the charm search, because at least for me it's bloody annoying.

I'll be killing this by GPO's the moment 8.1 is out. Internet results from a search for local files is just stupid, and my search terms are none of their business for local files. They never should have joined these types of searches/results by default.

Edited by ITFiend, Jul 2 2013, 6:25pm :

The intersection of local/web is really cool. The ability to find content in apps (i.e. artists in Music, locations in Maps, etc) is very useful.

Of course this should be the default. The thing that's best for the vast majority of users is what you make the default, not the less helpful thing some crotchety forum posters want for unclear reasons =P

If privacy isn't important to you, then it's likely you're not very important. In time, if that changes, so will you're attitude on these things. It should be important either way, but that's another story.

Brandon Live said,
The intersection of local/web is really cool. The ability to find content in apps (i.e. artists in Music, locations in Maps, etc) is very useful.

Of course this should be the default. The thing that's best for the vast majority of users is what you make the default, not the less helpful thing some crotchety forum posters want for unclear reasons =P

You see cool. I see an unnecessary privacy and security leak risk which leads to regulatory concerns.

I have not yet performed a wireshark capture of the data that the Everywhere search is sending to Microsoft, but initially I am assuming it works the same as browser based Bing searches, which means everything typed in the Everywhere search would be subject to a man in the middle privacy leak. Even if HTTPS is being used, if they are using URL fields to transmit the data, the search is exposed to everyone snooping data on networks between the computer performing the search and Microsoft. Now you might make an assumption that I trust Microsoft (which I do with limits), however I absolutely do not trust anyone between my computer and Microsoft.

A lot of people take care not to accidently put data into a web browser where it doesn't belong, and the same is not true when performing searches through the Start Screen/Menu. Many times I have purposely, and occasionally accidently, pasted clipboard data that my business would consider secret into local search which must be treated as a major problem if it leaks out to a third party. I have almost never accidently leaked something considered secret though the Bing app or IE that came from my clipboard, but when it happens I have had to take actions to fix issues that could arise from the data leak. Thankfully I have not accidently leaked anything that couldn't be rectified, but the possibility becomes much stronger if my System searches send everything out to an untrusted third party.

Kaedrin said,

Even if HTTPS is being used, if they are using URL fields to transmit the data, the search is exposed to everyone snooping data on networks between the computer performing the search and Microsoft. Now you might make an assumption that I trust Microsoft (which I do with limits), however I absolutely do not trust anyone between my computer and Microsoft.

I think you misunderstand how HTTPS works. The URL parameters are not visible to anyone between your machine and the target, unless someone is able to break the SSL encryption.

And yes, the queries are encrypted when you type in the Search charm (confirmed with Fiddler).

Edited by Brandon Live, Jul 11 2013, 5:11pm :

Brandon Live said,

I think you misunderstand how HTTPS works.

You are correct. It appears I mislearned that. Thanks.

Brandon Live said,

And yes, the queries are encrypted when you type in the Search charm (confirmed with Fiddler).

Also thanks, I was unfamilar with Fiddler. That is quite useful.

Welcome to the Ads everywhere world... You can't do anything without being invaded with ads.

I wonder if OSX or Linux is going to do the same thing.

TruckWEB said,
I wonder if OSX or Linux is going to do the same thing.

Ubuntu's Unity already does, but at least it's easily killable, for the moment anyway.

And the Google and Bing websites... which both show more ads than this. This isn't even really an ad, it's just a promoted relevant result.

greensabath said,
I'm assuming that this applies only when you set the unified search to include web results.

I am hoping this is the case. If not, seeing adds in Windows Search would be super odd. We are paying for the OS, and I really do not want to see ads in my dash!

And that's it for Windows 8 as far as I'm concerned, I'm out. I was totally willing to deal with a lot of the quirks and shortcomings with the new platform, but this is a deal breaker.

Max Norris said,
And that's it for Windows 8 as far as I'm concerned, I'm out. I was totally willing to deal with a lot of the quirks and shortcomings with the new platform, but this is a deal breaker.

Wait, having ads when you do a web search is a deal breaker? News flash: this is how every web search engine works.

Brandon Live said,
Wait, having ads when you do a web search is a deal breaker? News flash: this is how every web search engine works.

Sure, it's to be expected in a browser. Having this stuff thrown at you while you're just using your operating system is a whole new level of annoyance. News flash, I can do federated searches in Windows 7, ad free.

Max Norris said,

Sure, it's to be expected in a browser. Having this stuff thrown at you while you're just using your operating system is a whole new level of annoyance. News flash, I can do federated searches in Windows 7, ad free.

But you're not just using the operating system. You're doing a web search using Bing. So... don't do that?

Brandon Live said,
But you're not just using the operating system. You're doing a web search using Bing. So... don't do that?

I can search multiple web sources now in Windows 7, Bing included, no web browser required, completely ad free. You seem awfully set on trying to justify viewing ads in software that's already been paid for...

Brandon Live said,

But you're not just using the operating system. You're doing a web search using Bing. So... don't do that?

Windows 8.1 by default includes web results when performing local searches through the start button search charm. You either have to disable the Bing intergration, or only perform searches through Explorer, if you don't want this junk in your results.

If I read correctly, the new bing features will be a global search - files, programs and web. Its stated to be highly relevant. If you are searching for something online, and a relevant advertisement is shown, is that not what you are looking for?

If I searched for AAA, I expected to be provided with a link to go to the AAA website. And in that image it has done that and more. Ads are just like search links.

Brandon Live said,

But you're not just using the operating system. You're doing a web search using Bing. So... don't do that?

It also suggests crap when you do local searches.

Max Norris said,

I can search multiple web sources now in Windows 7, Bing included, no web browser required, completely ad free. You seem awfully set on trying to justify viewing ads in software that's already been paid for...

Welcome to the new reality. People have already accepted ads as the norm. It's not just big corporations profiting off it. We can thank the app craze for widespread use of ads in recent years. It has made it possible even for the small time programmers to make money by stuffing ads in their crappy software and websites.

It may already be paid for software but the justification now is that services have continuous operating costs.

If we were to show people a decade ago what it's like today they would be absolutely disgusted at what it has come to.

MidTxWRX said,

It also suggests crap when you do local searches.

Source? It doesn't in the Preview or according to anything they've said anywhere.

Max Norris said,

I can search multiple web sources now in Windows 7, Bing included, no web browser required, completely ad free. You seem awfully set on trying to justify viewing ads in software that's already been paid for...

You're not paying for Bing. Maintaining that service is expensive, and ads are the most common way to pay for things like that. Would you rather pay a subscription?

If you don't want the feature, turn it off. Then you won't see any ads.

Brandon Live said,

Source? It doesn't in the Preview or according to anything they've said anywhere.

"In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft says that ads will be an "integral part" of the search features in Windows 8.1 when the final version of the OS update is released later this year. "

It might be.

The blog does not mention anything about if Windows 8.1 users can choose to opt out of seeing ads when searching inside Windows 8.1.

greenwizard88 said,
It might be.

The blog doesn't mention anything about it, but the options are already there. Are you suggesting they're going to remove them?

Brandon Live said,

You're not paying for Bing. Maintaining that service is expensive, and ads are the most common way to pay for things like that. Would you rather pay a subscription?

If you don't want the feature, turn it off. Then you won't see any ads.

Brandon you are clearly very clueless on this so I will try to explain it to you in the most simplest way I can. No one is saying you are paying for Bing, you have to pay for the Windows 8.1 Operating System. When I search the word Fluffy on my computer because I am looking for a PDF saved on my C drive (C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Fluffy-Ticketek.pdf) I do not want ad's popping up while I am trying to find a file on my local hard drives.

The complaint is that when you searched and it displayed web results before there was no ads now there is so I like possible others will be turning off Bing from being used when searching.

Knifey said,

Brandon you are clearly very clueless on this so I will try to explain it to you in the most simplest way I can. No one is saying you are paying for Bing, you have to pay for the Windows 8.1 Operating System. When I search the word Fluffy on my computer because I am looking for a PDF saved on my C drive (C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Fluffy-Ticketek.pdf) I do not want ad's popping up while I am trying to find a file on my local hard drives.

The complaint is that when you searched and it displayed web results before there was no ads now there is so I like possible others will be turning off Bing from being used when searching.

What?

There are no ads with your local file results. And if you don't like the global search option, you can use Explorer, or disable web search results entirely. The only place you see ads are with web search results, exactly as in Windows 8 with the Bing app and Bing in the browser.

This is also just like other platforms (iOS, Android, etc). Really making something out of nothing here.

Brandon Live said,

There are no ads with your local file results. And if you don't like the global search option, you can use Explorer, or disable web search results entirely. The only place you see ads are with web search results

As you yourself have pointed out, these changes may not be in the public Preview of Windows 8.1 that we have now. If they are in fact partially referring to the start-button search, which is how most people have inferred Microsoft's comments, then it's the way it will in the final version come the end of August. Peoples concerns in this matter are not unfounded, as the source announcements first picture is focused on the new 8.1 default Everywhere search.

You do know that's no different than using Google or Bing websites right? It's just ONE promoted search listing in the front that's relevant to what you're looking for. The author was stupid to use the word "invaded"

SharpGreen said,
Guess it's a good thing I disabled that bing crap. I don't need YET MORE ads in my OS.

Lol @ the clueless comment. As if Google don't also display "sponsored" results when you search.

Last time I checked I only get ads in the Google results, not in my desktop search.
"Microsoft uses its Bing engine to serve search results from inside Windows 8.1"
Not from http://www.bing.com, but from good ole Win+F now too....

SharpGreen said,
Guess it's a good thing I disabled that bing crap. I don't need YET MORE ads in my OS.
So, you use Google now which has even more ads?

first it's ads on my windows. Next it's ads beamed directly into my brain. where does it stop? (source: futurama). lol

TCLN Ryster said,

Lol @ the clueless comment. As if Google don't also display "sponsored" results when you search.

When you search your computer for files or docs,stored locally? LOL.....

TCLN Ryster said,

Lol @ the clueless comment. As if Google don't also display "sponsored" results when you search.


Note I said "OS" not web browser. Might need to brush up on your reading skills there guy.

Fritzly said,

When you search your computer for files or docs,stored locally? LOL.....

What? That's not what's going on here. Searching for apps or files is going to be done in the sidebar. The picture is obviously from a search hero, which is basically an enhanced Bing web results search page. Search heros aren't going to work without the internet, so this is just like Google and Bing's existing search results.
The idiocy in this thread is abounding.

schubb2003 said,
Last time I checked I only get ads in the Google results, not in my desktop search.....
Not from http://www.bing.com, but from good ole Win+F now too....

You can completely turn off web search in the settings.

PC Settings->Search & Apps->Search->Get search suggestions and web results from Bing:Off

onedrummer2401 said,

What? That's not what's going on here. Searching for apps or files is going to be done in the sidebar. The picture is obviously from a search hero, which is basically an enhanced Bing web results search page. Search heros aren't going to work without the internet, so this is just like Google and Bing's existing search results.
The idiocy in this thread is abounding.


The only obvious thing here is a reading problem:

"In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft says that ads will be an "integral part" of the search features in Windows 8.1 when when the final version of the OS update is released later this year. "

Fritzly said,

The only obvious thing here is a reading problem:

"In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft says that ads will be an "integral part" of the search features in Windows 8.1 when when the final version of the OS update is released later this year. "

Yes, and that's because they consider the Bing search integral to search in 8.1.

Just more of the continuing Windows-8 "mess."
Yes, I may be considered an "old f____" being 69, and having just moved from XP to Windows-7. It is more than I what I need from an OS for my laptop and desktop, most especially since I use both of them for intense data entry and content creation within the Office 2010 suite, not to mention a very capable 16-bit AutoCAD LT. Replacing perfectly good hardware just to upgrade to Windows-8 and its Metro UI, and Office 2013 makes no sense.