*Windows 10 is Really an Advertising Platform, Not Just an Operating System

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After Microsoft’s ethically questionable rollout of Windows 10, and it’s pushed data collection from users, we are now learning that Windows 10 will become its primary platform for advertising.

Except the ads are being called, “suggestions”.  Ahhh, Semantics…..

They are beginning to appear in the Start menu, in the taskbar, in the Action Center, in Explorer, in the Ink Workspace, on the Lock Screen, in the Share tool, in the Windows Store and even in File Explorer.

This is not the first time Microsoft has crammed ads into the Windows UI — there are the lock screen ads disguised as backgrounds, notification ads for Edge, and a strange pop-up ad for Microsoft’s personal shopping assistant in Chrome. But as more and more ads have gradually crept into Windows 10, the implications of using Windows 10 become ever clearer.

Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable, and even goes as far as pretending that these ads serve users more than the company. But if we’re honest, the company is doing nothing more than abusing its position, using Windows 10 to promote its own tools and services, or those with which it has marketing arrangements.

Does Microsoft think we’re stupid?

When Windows 10 first hit computers without a price tag, questions were asked about what the hidden cost might be. We’ve talked about the various telemetry, privacy-invading and tracking features that are to be found, and this is certainly part of the price one pays for a free operating system … sorry, ad platform.

We are not just additions to the user-base, we are consumers ready to be advertised at. It is a captive audience staring at screens all around the world — perfect for pummelling with ads as there’s nowhere to hide!

Over the months since the Windows 10’s launch, users have been gradually pushed harder and harder. It’s as though Microsoft is trying to see just how much it can get away with before people reach breaking point. The company is utterly shameless, and it’s high time more people spoke out about it.

Microsoft has found itself in court on more than one occasion for anticompetitive behavior with Internet Explorer, and if its actions with ads are anything to go by it would appear that the company has learned nothing about stopping abusing its position.

As each new layer of advertising has been revealed in Windows 10, Microsoft has managed to annoy and alienate more users. Each time there have been plenty of people to jump to the company’s defense and stick up for what it is doing. But the sheer prevalence of ads in myriad forms is making Microsoft’s actions indefensible.

It’s odd that Microsoft has suddenly become so enamored with ads. Maybe it assumed we’ve all become so accustomed to ads on the internet that a few more in the OS won’t bother us. However, people pay for Windows. Even if you got a free upgrade, you’ve probably paid for at least one Windows license on your PC. Putting ads on it seems mighty shady, Microsoft.

It might feel as though we’re going over old ground here, and we are. Microsoft just keeps letting us (and you) down, time and time and time again.

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