Owen Williams - 24 November 2012 - tnw
Every day, we’re bombarded with advertising. Billboards. TV. Internet. Flyers. Cereal. Shoes. Advertising comes in every form and flavor, and it’s impossible to get away from.
I wrote on my blog a few weeks back about how it was interesting that nobody was talking about the fact that Windows 8 bakes in ads
into Microsoft’s Operating System. Shouldn’t this be a big deal or something? Ten years ago Microsoft was in trouble for bundling Internet Explorer, but now bundling applications laden with advertising is okay? I disagree.
If you haven’t been following, various applications that were bundled with Windows 8 include advertising that cannot be disabled. The weather application has a large space for an advert, as does the Xbox Music application (which doesn’t go away when you subscribe to Xbox Music, either). There’s actually a few apps that include ads, and the common theme is that these applications were produced by Microsoft’s Online Services team (Bing). These applications are:
Across the internet, various writers have agreed and disagreed about advertising after it was brought up. Some were up in arms about it, and disgusted that Microsoft would do such a thing. Others… thought it was ridiculous to even be talking about it. Arguments like “but it’s not in the system interface or core applications” began popping up.
Ed Bott argues that the content in the applications in question far outweighs the amount of applications that don’t show ads, and says that Microsoft has to pay the Online Services team that is responsible for the applications somehow. He also argues that you can remove them, which is true enough for consumers, but Enterprises aren’t going to be able to without Microsoft InTune (not available until 2013, by the way).
Microsoft’s core business isn’t ads. It’s Windows. But that might change very soon, as the software giant realizes that it can’t try and sell the OS at such a high price point any more and moves to try something new. Ed’s right that the system interface doesn’t include ads, and that the money does go to a different department in Microsoft, but it’s not about that. It’s about what this means going forward.
You might argue that this is all supposition, but Microsoft isn’t new to subsidizing their products to get them in the market. Word Starter Edition is a version of Word that is free to users, but supported by advertising and limited in functionality.http://tnw.co/TV5sNO