back to article Microsoft nicks one more Apple idea: An ad-supported OS

Microsoft's Department of Annoying The Users has been quiet since the end of the GWX scheme. The Department's Greatest Hit so far has been the "Get Windows 10" promotion, which involved a pervasive popup reminding Windows 8 and 7 users to upgrade. This co-opted a number of sophisticated malware techniques to get the message …

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: I presume

      >That as I'm being forced to watch adverts, the cost of all their services will be drastically reduced?

      Haha! No.

      It just pays for more advertising.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the only way?

    "Unfortunately the only way to disable the promo blaster is as follows:"

    No - I can think of several other ways. But I guess it depends whether you still want to run Microsoft windows afterwards.

  2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Adverts, etc.

    I saw another, sort-of-related, story on /. today about the pervasiveness of adverts in Windows 10, and it made me think...

    I don't think I've ever had ads imposed on me by Windows on any of my Win10 machines - nothing in Explorer, nothing in the Start Menu...not anywhere.

    I can't recall switching them off (from what I read, you can't switch them off anyway). It's got me wondering how come I'm leading a (thankfully) ad-free existence while other people seem to be getting ads foisted on them all the time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adverts, etc.

      "I don't think I've ever had ads imposed on me by Windows on any of my Win10 machines - nothing in Explorer, nothing in the Start Menu...not anywhere."

      Have you managed to remove or disable Cortana by any chance? Ad-pushing is, I believe, the only REAL reason that this abomination exists - given its symbiotic relationship with Bing!

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Adverts, etc.

        I think you could be onto something with Cortana. I saw no use or purpose to it, so disabled it. (using Home edition)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Adverts, etc.

        Not using a Microsoft account when using Win10 is the key step in disabling Cortana. Many of Win10's features e.g. Onedrive, Cortana, Microsoft app store require a Microsoft account to function.

        Of course, there are various other tweaks and patches which have been generously contributed by the techies to get rid of the telemetry stuff in Win10. These should be used in addition to not using a Microsoft account.

        The only negative drawback is not using Skype... which may be annoying for people who do video calls often. But there are alternatives out there which are better than Skype. Also, you might be able to use Skype without linking it to a Microsoft account.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Adverts, etc.

      Which version are you running? I'm quite sure they won't show in Enterprise, and probably in the Education version as well.

      1. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

        Re: Adverts, etc.

        Indeed. Windows 10 Pro takes a great deal of my time to rip out all those unwanted store apps that I don't want users touching, let alone trying to use. Then it tries its damn hardest to restore them. As a non-subtle hint that I should be using Enterprise, it's like a rino horn up the jacksie.

    3. Chemical Bob

      Re: Adverts, etc.

      > It's got me wondering how come I'm leading a (thankfully) ad-free existence...

      I'll bet it's because you never, ever use the internet.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Adverts, etc.

        I use TehIntraWebTubes. I never see ads.

    4. Jez Burns

      Re: Adverts, etc.

      Same here - I purchased an OEM Windows 10, switched off Cortana, set all phone-home options to 'nope', decided never to go near Onedrive and have never seen any adverts..

  3. Dr. Ellen
    Black Helicopters

    Starve the beast

    A much easier way to avoid ads is to avoid Windows 10. I'm happy with 7, and getting practiced with Linux.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Starve the beast

      Windows 10 is fine stays out of my way. Rarely does anything annoying.

      On principle I would like to use Linux instead. Itss just that everytime I try I end up forced to a command line to try and do what I want to do and invariably fail. Just too old to learn a new languagge to do simple thingss (though Spanish lessons are coming along a treat - but thats a bit different to sitting on my own swearing at my computer and resorting to rum to help the giving up processs. Spanish is a bit more social).

      1. King Jack

        Re: Starve the beast

        @Mark 110 You like the spying and phoning home? I guess it must be ok then. Baaa!

      2. Avatar of They Silver badge

        Re: Starve the beast

        Lol, Used windows 10 once and found myself in the DISM. Powershell by another name, trying to add windows features.

        Windows has a command line now and we ain't talking DOS, if you haven't had to use it then you are lucky. It is there and needed if you want to do something "extra"

        Needless to say windows 10 didn't last as I couldn't understand why my new laptop had me in a command line and removing adverts for

        Minty penguins all round. Ain't no adverts here.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Starve the beast

          Powershell by another name, trying to add windows features.

          Ah yes - PowerSHeLL. The monstrosity that came about then Microsoft engineers first got exposed to the linux CLI and thought "How can we take every broken feature in the Linux CLI and port it to Windows? And make it worse?"

          They then proceeded to do things like random capital-letter sensitivity and huge processor use.

          Run away. Run away now.

  4. InNY


    will they allow Apple and/or Google to buy advertising space on Windows 10?

    1. MD Rackham

      Re: But,

      Better yet, buy the space to advertise Windows 7.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: But,

      They already did for Apple. Windows 10 itself is one of the most effective ads for Apple gear and macOS. Maybe for ChomeOS too, after all, if you really want to be utterly spied, there cheaper alternative, and you're being spied by the original, not a copy.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: But,

      Eventually, when they aren't selling Windows, but can make money from Adverts. They do want to be Google.

  5. Hans 1 Silver badge

    In other words, the only way you can blot out Microsoft's adverts is by turning off the service that delivers important, even critical messages from OneDrive too – such as telling you synchronisation has failed, or your cloud storage is full, for example.

    Yeah, but those who use OneDrive will not mind the ads, anyway, right ?

    I am astounded at how MS has since 2001 consistently tried VERY HARD to make Windows non-worthy for real business work. Ok, 7 to 8 really was an incredible leap forward, more so than 8 to 8.1 or 8.1 to 10, the funny thing is, each time, they try some new way ... I do not really think it is the department to p*ss off users, more like, Self Destruct HaraKiri Division ...

  6. Hans 1 Silver badge

    At least now we know what the data-slurping is for .... targeted ads!

    Anonymized Usage data MY FSCK'ing r's, it is data for targeted ads .... LYING b@st@rds!!!!!

  7. LosD

    Errrr... I'm pretty sure it is enough to disable "Get tip, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows" in the "Notifications and actions" settings (at the very least I don't see the ads, and I haven't disabled sync providers).

    Of course, that shouldn't even be necessary. I paid for Windows 10, I shouldn't have to jump through hoops avoid spam, phoning home and similar malware ('cause that's what it is!).

  8. thomn8r

    The Jobs' version would disable system features at boot time until the user had seen the advertisement, which could be "visual or audible."

    To paraphrase HHGTTG, death was too good for him.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      There are people who equate power over other people with a carte blanche licence to do to them whatever they see fit. They live simpler lives than most, unencumbered by any kind of moral concerns. The rest of us all, we're just Non-Player Characters in the great game they are the heroic protagonist of. If they could, they'd probably be deeply offended that we don't just stop existing and de-spawn when their game ends. I don't think they ever realize the real name of each of them is Ozymandias...

  9. Len Goddard

    Never seen this

    Maybe because I replaced the start mess with Classic Start Menu, File Manager with MultiCommander and both M$ browsers with Palemoon.

    And I don't have an M$ account, I use local login.

  10. Polardog

    I have a legacy Windows 7 installation for some older games. Everything else is now done via fedora. I won't buy any games now that aren't Linux ready.

  11. patrickstar

    My first reaction upon seeing that "suggested apps yaddayadda" (Netflix ads, WTF!) in Win10 was that it's almost like they believe noone uses computers for anything serious anymore.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      they believe noone uses computers for anything serious anymore.

      deserves its own title

      obvious implications obvious.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: they believe noone uses computers for anything serious anymore.

        Guess the average mobile phone user gave them the idea...

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: they believe noone uses computers for anything serious anymore.

        noone uses computers for anything serious anymore

        Too busy, that's why.

        Noone presents a weekly show on SiriusXM satellite radio.

        Noone was Herman (of the Hermits).

        The word you're looking for is "no-one" </grammar-pedant-mode>

  12. 45RPM Silver badge

    I don't like the idea of advertising in the OS. I don't like the idea of advertising in any software. But the prevailing opinion is that software, not being tangible, isn't worth anything. It's a race to the bottom, and it's the professional software developers who are being squeezed.

    So what should we do? Put advertising, however unwanted, in the software that we write? Starve? Or are users going to start ponying up and paying for the tools that they use?

    The free model works for Apple because Apple sells hardware, which pays for all that development work - with cash to spare. The free model works for Google because they can sell data scavenged from their users (oh, and advertising besides). The free model works for some Linux distros because they sell vastly expensive support contracts to enterprise. But other than that, it's a bloody bad time to be a developer.

  13. Mark 110 Silver badge

    Might be time to try . . .

    . . . Linux again.

    Last time I tried I had two big niggles and a small niggle:

    - lack of an acceptable DLNA server - I've fixed that now by buying a NAS box. Which works great using Plex. The Linuux desktop version of Plex was pants. Wht the f**k did it want to run fullscreen - I didn't want it too.

    - unable to get the screen on my Yoga to autorotate. I don't use it as a tablet very often - but I do. I died a death in the command line trying to get that to work last time I tried.

    - lack of native Office install - I would have had to use Office 365 web apps. Microsoft might come around on this one eventually if tthey keep forcing people onto Linux. They did it for Macs.

    Oh well - I don't use IE. I'm not going to see the ads.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Might be time to try . . .

      They did it for Macs…

      I could argue that Office was Mac first, Windows second. Certainly, Excel and PowerPoint were Mac first, Windows second. As was a GUI version of Word. So the circumstances are a little different from those for Linux.

      On my Linux box I use LibreOffice. After all, if you're going to break from Microsoft then you might as well go the whole hog. I use Office 365 on my Windows PC - and it works nicely enough with LibreOffice.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Might be time to try . . .

      "lack of native Office install"


      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Might be time to try . . .

        "lack of native Office install"


        Don't mind if I do old chap. Cheers! Bottoms up! Hic

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Might be time to try . . .

      mark 110 You don't like Libre Office? I seldom, if ever, use my MSOffice anymore. Outlook kept me on it for a while. But no more. Now it's just there for the odd niggle of formatting. I could manage happily with just Libre Office

    4. Chemical Bob

      Re: Last time I tried I had two big niggles and a small niggle

      That happened to me once when I drank from a bottle with no label.

      At least I *think* that's what happened...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft + Samsung too...

    Just dream of becoming Facebook... Google... Why? Creating products takes time / effort, whereas Slinging Ads / Slurping just takes gullible end-users....

  15. J. R. Hartley Silver badge


    Windows really is an abomination. It's almost like they are purposely killing it. Win7 and Office 2007 are definitely peak Windows. I miss the Amiga.

  16. ShelLuser

    Thanks Microsoft!

    For making up my mind. Win10? No way, ever. You guys have fun now.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tipping Point

    The Cumulative Effect of everything slurps, is I buy nothing now. No smart TV's, no IoT, no Android Smartphones, and certainly no Win10 infested sh*t.

    For now at least its possible to buy basic non-smart TV's and basic feature phones, and we can safely ignore smart IoT, after all who needs to spend 1,2,3,4 grand on a Smart Fridge etc. But you can't ignore Windows-10 slurping even on Pro / Enterprise judging by comments on the Reg recently.

    Tech is at a serious tipping point. Even if you're in a coma you can't ignore how few benefits there are versus the risks from surgically invasive Tracking, Snooping, Ad-Slinging and leaks to Hackers / Cybercrims / Spies...

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Tipping Point

      "The Cumulative Effect of everything slurps, is I buy nothing now. No smart TV's, no IoT, no Android Smartphones, and certainly no Win10 infested sh*t."

      You're that paranoid and still go on the internet? Go figure.....

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Tipping Point

        I don't have any of that, nor do I intend to any time soon^w.

        I don't call it paranoia, I call it pragmatic. Life's too short.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I no longer Help anyone

    Who buys Windowns-10.... And I used to help loads of users on lots of forums over many years. The population must wake up. People need to ask their local / online store, why don't you stock Linux alternatives...??? Its time!

  19. Frank N. Stein

    Sure, it takes effort to disable the Windows 10 crapware, but I've done it, and others have too. We'll see what they bring with that "Creator's Update". It would be interesting to see what happens if you DO NOT up date to that.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I've done it

      You may well have 'done it'.

      Ask yourself if the average user could do what you did?

      The answer is certainly a big fat NO.

      Us smartarses here can do all sorts of tricks that just bamboozle the average user. There is no way that that can do that. So they are left to suffer at the hands of the Ad slingers unless we can persuade them to move platform.

  20. Timmy B Silver badge

    I had a bit of a search...

    ...and it seems that this is currently only happening in the beta for the creators update. May well explain why the vast majority of sites that mention this are, like the reg, just pointing back to the same reddit article. I use Windows 10 all day every day at home and work and the only adverts I see are in browser windows and they are pretty infrequent.

    I do also find it interesting that several people on here have complained about Windows and how much they hate it and then put down a long list of hoops they have to jump through to make their chosen Linux look and work just like it.

    I welcome your downvotes,

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "only happening in the beta for the creators update"

      Well, it's important that bugs like that surface and people talk a lot about them, so they can be squashed before they reach production... <G>

    2. Avatar of They Silver badge

      Re: I had a bit of a search...

      Make a good point, people jump to Linux and immediately make it look like windows. Not sure why myself as I like the cinnamon look as is.

      Like the Golf adverts in the UK they used to have, where they made a point of people buying a car that was like a golf, but wasn't a golf.

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