Despite the fact that I've been using Windows 8 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 Windows 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.
The Modern UI (Metro) interface of Windows 8 essentially delivers a mobile experience on whatever device it's used on, be it a desktop, notebook or tablet. 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, but again, as free services, that's to be expected.
The answer of just how wrong Microsoft 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 disable 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 would 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?
Just type "sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping", or uncheck the option in system settings.
Oh wait, on Windows.... just live with it.
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
He's talking about the Apps having ads, not the OS!
Anyway, apparently MS is doing this to promote the In-App Ads capabilities to garner advertisement business. So far 25 brands, including Coca-Cola, Ford and Samsung, have signed up.
So we may or may not see Ads in future paid Apps, since right now it's promotional.
Mind MS is spending hundreds of million, with possibly upwards towards a billion world wide, on advertisement for Windows 8. So they're not considering just the cost of the software and they are trying to set up some new business models going forward.
>> "He's talking about the Apps having ads, not the OS!"
Built-in apps are as much a part of the OS as Unity plug-ins are - they both come with the system, and you never have to use either. So, either both are part of the OS, or neither are. At least the ones in Unity are showing you things you're searching for.
There are two third-party programs I consider absolutely necessary with Windows 8: Classic Shell, and Hostsman. The former gives you back the Start Menu, so you aren't constantly seeing that eyesore called "modern UI," and the other completely blocks thousands of malicious Web sites - including the major advertising services.
No, Apps are Apps regardless of whether they come pre-installed or not. It won't change the OS UI if they are there or not!
Besides, the point of the article is they're putting it in paid apps!
Free Apps are pretty much expected to have Ads these days but people aren't used to getting them in paid Apps.
The comparison to desktop Linux is also flawed because there isn't a business model for desktop Linux Apps, most are Open Source and free, along with a smaller user base to earn enough income via adverts.
While the MS App business model is like the one Google and Apple are using.
Though I'm sure we'll start seeing ads on desktop Linux once options like Valve's Steam become available and introduce pay for games/apps business model...
What a non-story.
The built in Stock application on i devices are "powered by Yahoo". Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's an advertisement for Yahoo.
No, you'd be wrong. That's really a credit citation on a service being provided by the source service, in this case Yahoo, so there's no confusion on source information or copyright ownership.
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The only adds i have seen have been on the webpages which is standard, and some of the free apps i have downloaded. I get the same thing on my android phone with some free apps nothing really new or anything....
Alright, that made me LOL. Good one.
The difference is that these apps come included with the OS you paid for. We're not talking about third-party apps here. I don't recall ever coming across a first-party app bundled with a phone that had ads in it.
I agree on many points here. The sad thing is though, if Ubuntu implemented ads like Microsoft did here, people would be burning Canonical at the stake... that's a fact. Just look at how people treated the introduction of the Amazon ads in the latest release. And this... for a 100% cost-free OS! If companies like Canonical didn't need money, things like that wouldn't be implemented. I am quite certain the $40 - $200 people pay for a Windows license more than takes care of the need to introduce ads into the OS.
Been using win8 for a while now. Even in the free apps I've downloaded not an advert to be seen. What kind of timeframe are we looking at here I wonder.
Kindle Fire has ads in the OS.
I've been saying this to my friends for a while now. A few believed me. Everything in Windows 8 that has been done just SCREAMS that they are trying to move Windows to the Xbox route.
By default, you are stuck with the Metro interface. Ads in apps? Sure. Wait till they start putting the ads on the main metro interface. The metro "solution" to the start screen. This is what they do on Xbox, so it's not like they've not got a record of it.
And to help prevent you from ad-blocking, by default they ignore the hosts file. No more telling the OS that the ad servers are hosted on your local machine.
And just wait for the subscription service. Xbox you pay per month for the privilege of connecting over your own internet connection using your own hardware to another person's hardware to play a game online. The only thing the microsoft servers do is say "Hey, there's a game over here.". Oh, and they serve ads. - They're already known to be considering a subscription service for MS Office. Is a Windows subscription really all that far out?
I seem to recall them even saying you can play xbox games on Windows 8 PCs. That brings the xbox ecosystem itself right into Windows 8.
As far as I know, there is no "Stocks" application that comes with iOS 6. I added one from Yahoo!, but it's not built-in.
Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire roughly at cost. I don't have a Kindle Fire: are the ads for stuff that Amazon sells? Does clicking on an ad take you to an Amazon page? If so, that's the whole idea behind the Kindle Fire.
simple solution for everyone. get a Mac. problem solved.
> " there isn't a business model for desktop Linux Apps"
Then... you proceed to mention Steam, and its traditional business model. :\ Valve's not exactly the first company to do that on Linux. This might shock you, but Ubuntu has an entire store/"Software Center" that will sell you apps... and was doing so before Windows.
On Linux, there is every model present on Windows. I've bought apps on many occasions - it's just that most app-creating entities lean towards service models that only charge business clients instead. If you think Linux is thriving because no one knows how to get paid, you're wrong; many of the contributors are paid to do their work by large corporations.
> "Free Apps are pretty much expected to have Ads these day"
Except on Linux, where a huge percentage of apps are free, and damn near *zero* of them have Ads. I was being gracious by mentioning the Unity stuff, which you can easily disable - or sidestep completely by using more than a dozen other freely available desktops.
Because Apple think their OS as a platform, but MS think their's as a just another profitable product.
I'm not sure which one is better than the other, but I don't think Ads are long-term solution.
" This might shock you, but Ubuntu has an entire store/"Software Center" that will sell you apps... and was doing so before Windows."
Sorry, not news and it doesn't change anything stated! Fact remains that has never been the main business model for linux, especially for Open Source Advocates! Also doesn't change that until now that it has never had strong ties to other major companies but bringing in companies like Valve does!
Besides, the point is it's part of companies like Valve's business model and Apps acquired through them will likely have In-App advertisement and you will not likely be able to get rid of them!
"If you think Linux is thriving because no one knows how to get paid, you're wrong; many of the contributors are paid to do their work by large corporations."
Some are but that isn't the point to many who use Linux, especially the Open Source advocates! Also, there isn't the same incentive for developers to really invest their time as there are for more traditional business models. Thus why Linux still lacks many of the more advance software packages.
Solutions like gimp are no replacement for Photoshop, ditto for advance audio and video editing applications.
"Except on Linux, where a huge percentage of apps are free, and damn near *zero* of them have Ads."
You're confusing what used to be with what will be happening! The business model is going to change as Valve and others start to entering the Linux market and In-App advertisement will probably the least of the changes it will bring.
First, this is NOT Windows 8. These are Bing apps. Bing survives off advertising. You can remove these apps and install 3rd party. Remember, this is Windows, and you DO have freedom of choice of what you run and why. Also, why does THIS SITE have so much advertising? Seriously, be careful to not roll your mouse over a double underlined word in the article! You'll be redirected to an unknown 3rd party web site if your not carefull on this site. Bad Verge, Bad.
Not, these ads are not in Windows, they are in the Bing apps which can be unpinned and not used. So no, you don't have to live with it you idiot.
Editing the hosts file is a stupid thing to do. At least it will slow your system down. At worst, it will cause some apps to not work at all.
I guess you don't own a newer device then? Many new devices with Android are more and more coming with ads built into the included apps. Not to mention many tracking methods turned on and you are unable to turn them off.
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