Windows 10 Anniversary Update will double the number of Start Menu ads

By Shawn Knight ยท 58 replies
May 16, 2016
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  1. Microsoft is gearing up to launch its Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer. The Redmond-based company has spent the last few months detailing all of the wonderful new features and improvements it plans to ship including Windows Hello Authentication support for websites and apps, Windows Ink, proactive Cortana suggestions and more. Word of one particular “feature,” however, is already being met with a hearty helping of angst.

    Windows 10 users are already well aware that ads are commonplace within the operating system. They appear in your apps list, on the lock screen and even on the Start Menu as promoted apps. Currently there are five slots reserved for these promoted apps which Microsoft says are designed to expose users to new, relevant apps within the Windows Store.

    Neowin recently came across a couple of slides in Microsoft’s WinHEC 2016 presentation discussing its promoted apps, also called programmable tiles. In it, Microsoft outlined plans to double the number of promoted apps from five to 10 with the arrival of the Anniversary Update.

    The good news is that these promoted apps can be removed (right click, unpin) but that’s somewhat irrelevant. The bigger story here is the fact that Microsoft is becoming increasingly more comfortable with the idea of milking its users for additional revenue at a time when the PC industry is already on the decline.

    What happens is that people develop a level of distrust with the service or its provider. When you call an operating system free but populate it with various upsells and ads, consumers take notice (not all, but some). What’s really ironic here is that Microsoft advertises Signature Edition PCs that come without third-party bloatware yet they’re essentially doing the same thing – the only difference is that Microsoft is now the one earning revenue from such deals.

    By the way, the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 is scheduled to end this summer. If you want in on the action, you’ll need to act soon as the offer will go away on July 29. After that date, a copy of Windows 10 Home will set you back $119.

    In related – and much more pleasant – news, Microsoft is actively working on a new tool that’ll make it easier than ever to install a fresh copy of Windows 10 on your device.

    A Microsoft forum administrator recently said the tool is in the final testing and validation stages. Once it’s ready, they will of course want feedback from Windows Insider participants. Unfortunately, the moderator didn’t provide a timeline of when exactly the new tool will be ready for Insiders.

    Windows 10 isn’t exactly difficult to install as-is although simplifying the process will only make things that much easier.

    Permalink to story.

  2. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    That's odd. I haven't seen a single ad in any of the places mentioned or anywhere else for that matter. I guess the anti-spy software I installed is working better than I expected. Yay me.
    needforsuv, Reehahs, DJMIKE25 and 2 others like this.
  3. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    Same. I have a local account with Spybot Anti-Beacon installed. No telemetry and no ads.
    hahahanoobs, needforsuv and Reehahs like this.
  4. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +203

    I will install. As soon as they disable spying by default at install and introduce win7 updates install selection by default at install. Unlike those 300million users that already updated to 10, I'm not retarded. If not, I'll wait till 2023 till M$ execs grow up. Then will consider working on unpatched OS or will move to something new.
    alabama man, Nobina and rpjkw11 like this.
  5. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    Sadly, MS is becoming increasingly irrelevant these days, and every move it makes only makes it more so. W7 remains the innocuous OS most Windows users want it to be. MS can't change that despite the hype, its harem of Chamber of Commerce hacks and strongarm marketing tactics.
  6. Solitaire888

    Solitaire888 TS Rookie

    I don't get the ads where they talk of them. I do get them when I play the puzzle app though.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  7. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,877   +1,298

    Its nowhere close to 300 million. Best data available places adoption at somewhere between 70 and 100 million, tops.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,829   +634

    Step one when installing Windows 10, install Classic Shell so you don't have to look at any of that crap in the start menu.

    Step two, disable all the telemetry that comes enabled by default.

    Step three, disable the auto updates so you never get inconvenienced by a restart for no reason.

    Step four, enjoy what is essentially Windows 7, with exception to the additional settings panel, but you still have the old control panel so it's not such a big deal to me anymore.

    It's still disgusting that Microsoft feels they have the right to do this and force promoted apps on the general public, this is the real problem, people who don't know any better that are being taken advantage of without knowing how to protect themselves, and or disable all this crap.
    EClyde, alabama man, rpjkw11 and 3 others like this.
  9. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 712   +382

    It is amazing how many people don't know that by turning off
    all the Cortana nonsense and telemetry, none of this presents a problem.

    Multiple machines ... never have seen a single ad.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    Is that the same thing as hiding Cortana in the Taskbar context menu?
  11. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Guru Posts: 345   +98

    Sounds like skipping step one all together is the easiest way to avoid the crap that's going to come down the win 10 pipe,I've been an insider,installed on 4,rolling back a second one now, I may keep it on one just for shits and giggles ,and to prove a point.

    so I installed with the gpu on the 3570 k, then tried to jnstall a graphics card later ,and the system keeps hanging on boot,do I have to uninstall the onboard gpu driver(don't remember installing one)to install a dedicated gpu?or install again with the dedicated gpu in the system..? I never had this issue before,anyone else?
  12. I can understand the tiles for a touch based interface, but for everyone else is there anyone that can say that not only are the tiles distracting and slower to actually find stuff than the nice text style list in Win 7?
    BSim500 and alabama man like this.
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,829   +634

    Well unfortunately that is what Windows 10 does with new hardware, it'll install the best available driver, sometimes it's the right one, other times not so much. Now in itself that should not be causing the issue you are having, as far as I know you can use multiple GPUs of different makes and have done so, but I have not tested this with an integrated GPU on the CPU. Why this would be different I don't really know but this is a question you should be asking on the forums. You might get more help there, personally I would try to uninstall the integrated GPU driver via device manager, reboot into the bios and turn off the on board GPU. Then install the dedicated GPU and try to boot, if still no luck then I'd look at the graphics card being part of the issue. Again start a thread in the forums section for further help.
  14. zavrix

    zavrix TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +12

    At the end of the day the consumer shouldn't have to go out of there way to disable all of the crap MS push on us, and what's their excuse? Oh Win 10 is free so we can do what the F.....k we want. Well what about the people who will end up paying for Win10 when the free promotion runs it course will they still push adds and all of their crap on a paying customer?
    BSim500, rpjkw11 and cliffordcooley like this.
  15. lazer

    lazer TS Booster Posts: 111   +26

    Boy am I glad I downgraded from windows8 to win7 and not upgraded to win10. I am not interested in Micro$hit gleaming my personal info and using it to send me adverts.

    The next OS I will use will be Ubuntu. I have used it nicely on an old XP Dell and it works very nicely except for old paid for windows-only programs.
    BSim500 likes this.
  16. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Addict Posts: 173   +56

    I never see these five ad tiles on my start menu? I guess I clicked uninstall on them and didn't even notice. Actually, I vaguely remember seeing a get Office and Candy Crush icon both of which I just deleted. It's hardly a big deal if that's the case is it?
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  17. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +136

    To be honest, as long as you can disable it - what is the problem?
    Windows is Microsoft's product, and you can remove the adds for free rather than pay money to remove them (like Kindle or paying for an adblocker).
    And milking revenue from consumers at a time PCs are on a decline?
    - The PC and tablet market is saturated, shipments will only decline to a point but hardware failures on PCs will always keep a steady revenue, manufacturers will just have to slow down production)
    - These adverts I imagine will be for software and apps, something there is an abundance of, and a growing market. I wouldn't imagine this would have any affect on PC shipment sales.
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  18. BreathlessTao

    BreathlessTao TS Rookie

    It's kinda outrageous that they feel it's ok to do this in a piece of software - and OS, at that, one that people actually pay for. I mean, if Windows was free, sure I could accept this sort of "marketing". But since Windows has never actually been free......
    And "users are in control and can remove apps"?? Please. 3D Builder, App Connector, Camera, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Connect (something to do with Miracast I think?), Cortana, Films & TV, Get Office, Get Skype, Get Started, Groove Music, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft WiFi Sense / Paid Mobile & WiFi, Money, News, Phone Companion, Sports, Voice Recorder - just the initial list of apps I can think of that are a) potentially irrelevant either because of lack of hardware or simply no interest / better alternatives; b) not removable at all, I mean newsflash: that right-click uninstall option, IF at all available, does not actually remove them from the disk. And the best part is, you can't even hide UWP apps from the Start menu, so even if you don't use them and want to just ignore them, they'll still bloat that. Apps like Mail and Calendar and Maps - at the very least if you actually have a MS account, they make sense. The rest though.......
    I just really fail to see how they reason this as a good thing. Cortana in itself, its data collection and complete and utter iremovability, is alienating a lot of people already. And that's just the civilians; I can't imagine how they expect corporate environments to put up with it. But apparently that's not enough, they need to take one more step with all the bundled crapware - and now yet another step further, with ads and even more ads.
    Raoul Duke and alabama man like this.
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Me either. Maybe they've just given up on us as a lost cause because they think we're thick skinned and they're banging their heads against a brick wall. That'd be nice.
    alabama man likes this.
  20. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,670   +1,102

    I've never seen more than 1 or 2 promoted ads at the same time and I have no antispyware installed. Maybe it's the region I live.
    alabama man likes this.
  21. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 113   +72

    You didn't see an ad for MS Office in the notification center as soon as 10 was installed? It's usually there waiting for you.

    "Get Office" and "Get Skype" are preinstalled on Windows 10 (and arguably should not even exist). Xbox and OneDrive are ads too; those are the kinds of things that should only be installed for people who specifically approve them (like Skype itself).

    The entire Windows 10 start menu is basically an ad for Windows mobile. MS could put up a billboard with the "tiles" motif, without even having any text in any of the tiles, and people would know what they're advertising. That's why having tiles was never up for discussion in 10 after the failure of 8: Using 10 as a vehicle for advertising had already been set in stone.

    If you look deeper, you can see that the way Microsoft has sprinkled the very mobile-looking UWP design language throughout the desktop version of WIndows 10 is nothing more than an ad, in what amounts to an internal form of product placement. So is the focus on programs being called "apps" throughout Win 10 ("app" being a word usually associated with mobiles... hint hint!)

    The ads in the start menu and the lock screen are just some of the more overt ads we've seen thus far. What awaits Windows 10 users in the future? Who knows? The sky's the limit! They've already got your approval to install anything on your PC they want.

    MS has somewhat blunted the criticism for its use of Win 10 for ads with its free upgrade offer, as people are used to suffering ads in "free" versions of things, but ht has never been "free." If it were, you could download a copy right now to install on your Vista PC or business PC in an enterprise setting. It's not a free product; you have to have a pre-existing valid license to get it.
    BSim500 and alabama man like this.
  22. commanderasus

    commanderasus TS Booster Posts: 195   +72

    I tried Windows 10 on a client's pc. It was the most frustrating operating system I have ever seen in 40 plus years of repairing pcs. The only reason that the client came to me was that he could not access his files. I suggested that he put every thing on a external hard drive and wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit. One happy customer and I discovered that I am not going to update any of my own machines.
    BSim500 likes this.
  23. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    I am back to Windows 7 on my big (old) rig and laptop.
    After 2020 when Windows 7 is no longer supported, it may be my last Windows based system.
    The only reason I would want Windows 10 is for high-end PC gaming and I don't even care to do that anymore.
  24. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,339   +843

    Microsoft is tired of having customers.
  25. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 378   +244

    Installed custom start menu right after chrome. Haven't seen one ad. Customized my moms start menu also, she was afraid to use the computer cause it "had programs she didn't know about", thought it was invaded by hackers.

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