Built-in advertising: The Windows 8 feature you haven't heard about

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Windows 8 has been one of the most anticipated and talked about tech launches of 2012. Discussions intensified as the operating system neared and for the most part, everything went off swimmingly for Redmond. Sure there was the post-RTM update ahead of Microsoft’s October 26 release date but there’s something else with Windows 8 that most aren’t yet aware of: built-in advertising.

The advertisements are reportedly found inside some of the applications that ship with Windows 8 under the Modern UI (Metro) user interface like Finance, News, Travel and Weather. Advertisements in free mobile apps or even trial software are perfectly understandable, but how should you feel about finding ads inside software you paid full price for?

Several prominent figures from around the web are voicing their opinion on the issue, both in defense of the ads and against them. As ZDNet highlights, John Gruber from Daring Fireball simply believes it’s “gross.”  But it’s not just Mac fans that feel that way as Paul Thurrott from Supersite for Windows essentially believes it cheapens the operating system.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott doesn’t feel the issue is nearly as big of a deal as Gruber and Thurrott, however. Instead of seeing this as another revenue stream for Microsoft at the expense of paying customers, he says the ads are simply part of a project from Microsoft designed to inspire Windows 8 app developers.

Granted, the ads themselves aren’t terribly obtrusive. In fact, most say you have do a little digging to find the ads which is probably why we haven’t publically heard about them sooner. As Bott points out, the ad in the News app is found by swiping through seven full screens in landscape move. It’s similarly placed in the Sports app shown above as well.

Have you had an opportunity to try Windows 8 and if so, have you noticed the ads before? How do you feel about them being in a piece of software you’ve already paid full price for?

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