back to article Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

Microsoft was, and maybe still is, considering injecting targeted adverts into the Windows 10 Mail app. For a few, er, lucky folks, ads would appear at the top of their inboxes, they were using the client without a paid-for Office 365 subscription. The advertising would be tailored to their interests. Revenues from the banners …

  1. Magani
    Facepalm

    WTF?

    'Only' $16bn profit and they need to do this?

    Foot? Meet loaded gun.... again.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      Sure for you and me $16bn is a lot. Per year, for a company the size of Microsoft? Not so much.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        It's still a lot. But "shareholder value" and so executive bonuses depend on doing better than before (whatever that was). And better than the others. Not better for the punters, far from it. Selling less for more is the way of business.

        1. Kris Sweeney

          Re: WTF?

          They might have done better if they had only released windows 10 for mobile and gaming devices rather than trying to force the adoption of an incomplete hash of an OS (mangled for touch only devices) on traditional desktop's.

          Of course the Store, Bing and Edge would be optional if they had simply added them into Windows 7, it needed a full new version to really bake them in.

          Shiny and New is not always better, especially where Microsoft is concerned, you think they would have learnt from ME, Vista and the IE antitrust cases, sadly there has been a bit of management churn and lessons have been forgotten.

          The only reason i'm using Windows 10 now is that I don't have the time to get all my tools working under a linux variant and a windows update borked audio output driver registration. After a backup-restore and windows update, the audio was knackered again so I had the choice of up-to-date and silent or working audio.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      Poverty is relative.

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      More a case of open mouth wider and insert other foot as well.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      Sadly, you are wrong. Users have been fucked over by Google, Facebook, and Microsoft - in exchange for FREE. Bilions of users, many, many times. So, how's that foot v loaded gun for them, eh? :(

      1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Megaphone

        Re: WTF?

        Isn't it time for the used to start a union and demand better pay?

    5. ForthIsNotDead
      Stop

      Re: WTF?

      Why is it okay for Google and Yahoo, but not Microsoft?

      1. fandom

        Re: WTF?

        MS spent years critizing Google for 'reading you mail' in order to display ads, they called it getting 'scroogled'

        So now they are doing it themselves.

        But,of course, nobody thought they actually believed in what they were saying

      2. Zakhar

        Re: WTF?

        @ForthIsNotDead

        The difference between Google/Yahoo and MicroShaft is that you do not pay anything for a Google O.S. (Android) whereas you do for Redmond's crap. So it's double sentence: pay when you buy the machine + pay with ads. At least, online papers remove ads when you pay!

      3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        "

        Why is it okay for Google and Yahoo, but not Microsoft?

        "

        Because you don't pay to use Google and Yahoo. Micro$oft charge for their main products.

        1. aks Bronze badge

          Re: WTF?

          Microsoft have handled this in a cack-handed way but it looks like they're exploring the concept of Office 365 for free (with ads). This business model certainly seems to work for Google, Facebook, etc.

          The target markets they mentioned are presumably places where few users are actually paying for the current product.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            "This business model certainly seems to work for Google, Facebook, etc."

            The business model may "work" in terms of generating revenue, but it has societal downsides that seriously outweigh the benefits. Google, Facebook, etc., shouldn't be doing this (in the way they are) either. We don't want others joining this awful trend.

      4. nevarre

        Re: WTF?

        It's not OK because they are including ads in a product that was paid for. Mail is a bundled application that ships with the OS.

  2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    Why would anyone tolerate this?

    There are plenty of good freeware email clients out there. I have to use Outlook at work, but have never used any MS product for email personally. We're all bombarded with enough pointless, soul-killing advertising daily. And does anyone actually buy any of the services or products offered? Or is the revenue just from 'delivered' ads?

    I suspect the only people that would use the 'free' MS email client are those that just don't know any better.

    1. billdehaan

      Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

      Why would anyone tolerate this?

      Inertia.

      Back in the old days, I was astounded at the number of blatantly obvious scams that people fell for in email. Never mind the atrocious grammar and spelling of the scam emails, a casual look at the sender field would show you "From: Bill Gates <asdh98y423j4k32hh89@9a7dasdlkj34234.cn>".

      And then I saw a mundane friend's PC, where she used Outlook Express. Everyone I knew was running was running the Eudora, or the Bat, or Thunderbird, or Agent, or the like. Even the most unsophisticated user I knew was running the Mozilla mail client. I didn't know anyone who ran Outlook Express.

      And yet this mundane did. As did all of her friends. Why? "It came with the computer". When she got a dial-up ISP, the instructions for email were for OE, and so she used OE. And in OE, those spam emails appeared as being from "Bill Gates"; the email address didn't appear.

      There are more mundanes that software people. Most will simply use what comes with their machine, or phone, or tablet. Most use webmail now, either GMail, or Outlook, or their ISP. But those that don't will mostly use the first thing they find. And since Windows 10 includes a mail client with it, that's what they will use.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        Back in the old days, I was astounded at the number of blatantly obvious scams that people fell for in email.

        But that is the method they use. They are after the unsophisticated people.

        If you know to look at your mail headers when you get an email from Bill.Gates@microsoft.com, to see that none of the "Received:" headers include any routing through any microsoft.com domains, and can see the "Return-Path" header is to a completely different email address than From, well, they don't want you. In fact, they make it easy to see because they are actively trying to avoid you.

        This, of course, doesn't apply to spear-phishing attacks, that is a different class entirely.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

          These days, it won't come from microsoft.com, it will come from some newly registered domain that looks a bit like it could be a microsoft domain.

          Examples from the last three days:

          lloydsbankonline.co.uk - 14th Nov

          sageonlineservices.co.uk - 15th Nov

          lloydsbankdocs.com - 16th Nov

          Does anyone know how to get Exchange to reject emails from domains that were registered less than 48 hours ago?

          1. bpfh Silver badge

            Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

            If you have your own mail server, post process the maildir, find to get all files in the last x minutes, grep and awk, pull the from domain, Whois (yep it still works), get registration date and sed the header to add [SPAM], then let your grep “[SPAM]” * | cages mv /foo/bar/user/maildir/cur/spam or somthing of that ilk...

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

              That sounds very unixy, and I'm not sure it would work on Exchange.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        "When she got a dial-up ISP, the instructions for email were for OE, [...]"

        When I first went onto the internet from home in the 1990s I used a small local ISP. The guy came along to set it up - and installed the Pegasus email application. Several ISPs later it still does everything I want - including the facility for a "raw" view of the headers and contents. It also doesn't render HTML picture content by default.

        I send a donation every so often in appreciation.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

          it still does everything I want

          I still do 80% (falling, but still) of my email on my RiscPC using Messenger :-)

          M.

          1. Agamemnon

            Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

            (al)Pine if I'm on my servers because it's convenient.

            K9 on my Droids.

            Kontact on my Laptop.

            No Ads.

      3. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        Which should be OK. Or even right. It isn't. because the bean counter lead corps. all take the piss. But this default, built-in "app" ought to be good enough for the causal user. That's what it is there for, supposedly. And Wordpad is probably good enough too, come to that.

      4. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        Wow, Memory Lane. I've used Eudora, Thunderbird, and I still use Agent for home. (I only use Outlook at work because I have to.) I don't think I've used The Bat but I'm pretty sure I've looked at it.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        you assumption that " Everyone I knew was running was running the... " is just as good as mine, i.e. " Everyone I knew was running was running the...", wait for this, Outlook Express (obviously some ran Outlook, at work). And while intertia played a part in my choice, it wasn't the main reason, I simply found that OE was the easiest BY FAR to be used from - I admit it, only a few - mail clients I tried as alternatives. And yes, OE had some deadly flaws, and yes, the live mail revamp also has some annoyences, yet in the day-to-day operation, I find it MUCH EASIER to handle than the (...) thunderbird, which is a drag, whenver I venture byond the basic "read e-mails". While I would not touch W10 mail client, which is, I heard, brutally stripped version of OE / live mail, and comes with free spying, I can understand that for many people, as it looks familiar and provides known features (presumably), this is THE client of choice, regardless of how poor _you_ think it is. Just like, bilions of people consume daily portion of facebook, regardless of how poor a life choice _I_ think it is.

    2. SMITCH79

      Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

      I know a small business owner (contractor) who paid £50 quid or so for targeted advertising on Facebook. Reckons it got him £5k worth of work.

      Depressing. It's definitely here to stay.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

      Proverbial frogs in a pot of slowly boiling water, don't notice it getting hot and don't jump out to save themselves, until it is TOO LATE and they're cooked.

      1. Zakhar

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        Why would anyone tolerate running any of the not-free (as in you have to pay real money) crapware from Redmond?

      2. IceC0ld Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

        until it is TOO LATE and they're cooked.

        ===

        bit of a typo there matey :o)

    4. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

      I use Outlook on Windows, Mac, and iOS for business email, 'cause we have Exchange Server around here and every ever so often Something Happens(tm) which causes other clients to hiccup. I use Thunderbird on Windows and Apple Mail on Mac and iOS for personal email. There is no Thunderbird on iOS, and Thunderbird on Mac is even more neglected than Thunderbird on Windows. I'll be replacing Thunderbird soon enough, preferably with a cross-platform Mac/Windows client. I have been testing Edison on iOS; there are a few issues, some of which are allegedly being addressed. We'll see.

      I do not use Microsoft Mail, or whatever they call it. I do not use Google Gmail client. I do not use Yahoo mail. Apple doesn't care what users do with Apple Mail. Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo do care. Deeply. Microsoft doesn't appear to be slurping Exchange Server. Yet. I think. In theory Apple Mail can access Exchange Server accounts; Thunderbird can't, unless IMAP is turned on, as Thunderbird doesn't speak Microsoft Weird Mail Thingie(tm). In practice, Microsoft tweaks Exchange Server regularly and just by accident the tweaks might, just might, break Apple Mail. Not every time. Just often enough to be Very Annoying(tm). If Microsoft would stop doing that, I'd use Apple Mail instead of Outlook on Macs and iOS. The two facts may be connected, which is why I only think that Microsoft isn't slurping Exchange Server.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

      while I don't use W10, so can't comment directly, I can say, that I suspect you're a jerk. My suspicion is as sound as your suspicion (equally pig-headed).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "There are plenty of good freeware email clients out there."

      I'm afraid the number is instead close to zero. Even Thunderbird didn't go far, and it has an ill-thought GUI that is far from intuitive (i.e., why you have to drag a file to a small are of the screen to attach it???). Its account management is still a complex mess for most users.

      Pegasus was nice years ago, but its author put itself in a dead end trying to reinvent and rewrite several wheels (and almost starving because of it). Pegasus version 5 was promised years ago. Now he's happy he wrote his own help system.... while he's still trying to use its own HTML rendering engine - good luck (you may not like HTML emails, but you still may need to read them...).

      The Moldovan The Bat looks to be still alive, while I never used Mailbird. The former is not free, the latter has a free edition with some limitations. It doesn't look "plenty" - is there something I forgot which is still actively developed?

      1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Trollface

        Re: "There are plenty of good freeware email clients out there."

        There are Elm and Mutt. How many more do you need.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: "There are plenty of good freeware email clients out there."

        "Even Thunderbird didn't go far, and it has an ill-thought GUI that is far from intuitive (i.e., why you have to drag a file to a small are of the screen to attach it???). "

        While it has plenty of faults (although the attachment issue you cite isn't one of them -- I've never attached anything to my emails that way), Thunderbird remains one of the best email clients around. That's not praise for Thunderbird, it's condemnation of the state of email clients these days.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: "There are plenty of good freeware email clients out there."

          I think TB's way of storing the mails in the profile is pretty annoying. (As with Outlook's .pst files, but that's no excuse). I want my actual profile, i.e. settings and the like, tucked out of the way. But my data ( the actual folders full of message) I want in a user folder, Ideally on a different partition. Easy to isolate/backup/reclaim.

          Maybe it's just me. But I like settings/programmes and data segregated.. You can replace software. Data is different.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "storing the mails in the profile is pretty annoying"

            For most users it's the correct default, but it should be modifiable (Outlook .pst can be moved). Many users won't have different partitions, while profiles have automatically correct permissions (you can't access another profile directories unless you're an admin) - people creating folders around rarely set the correct ones. Again, reasonable defaults are OK, as long as power user can modify them. The issues arise when dumbed down applications remove any chance of personalization - and most applications are following this path.

    7. oiseau Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

      Hello:

      Injecting adverts into a desktop email client may be a little too much for Microsoft's traditional users and loyalists to swallow, though.

      Think so?

      Really?

      There are literally millions of these traditional users and loyalists you refer to and they have been shafted over and over (and over) again and yet, they're still MS fans even though things get muddier every year.

      Just wait and see ...

      Cheers,

      O.

  3. Nathar Leichoz

    Windows Mail gets worse and worse

    I wouldn't mind the ads if Microsoft delivered a feature parity product.

    Outlook Express -> Windows Live Mail -> Windows Mail -> Mail

    With every iteration of their free product, features get dropped.

    Windows Live Mail removed the ability to customize the toolbar buttons and forced different email accounts to have separate folders.

    Windows Mail removed the ability to have different email accounts altogether.

    Mail was just crap.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

      With every iteration of their free product, features get dropped.

      Think of using Windows as being like owning an elderly car in roadsalt country. Every Spring when temperatures rise and salt water attacks the vehicle's joints, a few parts fall off.

      Actually, I don't really quite understand why features vanish. It's not like old features increase raw materials cost or some such. Seems to me like the more normal problem is feature bloat. The subset of features one needs and uses slowly gets buried in cruft becoming harder every year to find and use.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

        "I don't really quite understand why features vanish. It's not like old features increase raw materials cost or some such."

        I think a lot of this comes from the "simplicity" fad that's all the rage right now, by developers who confuse "simplicity" with "eliminating features".

        That said, every feature a product has does have an ongoing cost. More features mean more lines of code, and every line of code comes with an ongoing cost in terms of maintenance and increased complexity of the code base (which makes future changes more expensive to implement).

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

          But also, there seems to be an element of adjusting the package to fit how they think people ought to be using the system. So they quite literally "deprecate" a function. Because it's not what we're meant to be doing. And the other side of the coin is to impose unwanted "features" to the extent of making them difficult or impossible to remove from the machine and even their alphabetical place in the start menu, Paint 3d/Maps/Connect/etc.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

            "there seems to be an element of adjusting the package to fit how they think people ought to be using the system."

            Excellent point. This also seems to be turning into an industry-wide problem.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

      The next iteration will remove the capability to send and receive email altogether.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

        "The next iteration will remove the capability to send and receive email altogether."

        And MS will promote that as a feature to keep you safe from spam.

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

          "And MS will promote that as a feature to keep you safe from spam."

          Well, spam other than their adverts, anyway.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

        The next iteration will remove the capability to send and receive email altogether.

        unless you pay MS £9.99/month for the 'honour' of using the basic functionality of an email client.

        MS are really trying really hard to piss an awful lot of people off ATM.

        Please carry on and your Windows as a Paid for Service 'cunning plan' will fail.

        {proudly windows free for three years}

      3. Smoking Man

        Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

        And instantaneously MS will get sued by Apple claiming a patent violation.

      4. Florida1920

        Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

        The next iteration will remove the capability to send and receive email altogether.
        That will definitely be a feature, not a bug.

      5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

        The next iteration will remove the capability to send and receive email altogether.

        Ah, the Gnome methodology...

    3. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

      I also love that if you install office with outlook, and go to select outlook as your default email client, it protests that you'd be better off using windows mail.

    4. King Jack
      Facepalm

      Re: Windows Mail gets worse and worse

      'I wouldn't mind the ads if Microsoft delivered a feature parity product'

      And that is the problem. People know they are getting the shaft but they make excuses for the attacker.

      M$ put ads in stuff because idiots tolerate it. They spy on the masses because people will defend them.

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Linux

    Got Linux?

    someone had to mention it

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Got Linux?

      Got MacOS?

      1. RachelG

        Re: Got Linux?

        Yep, Thunderbird works fine for me on both. Oh, and Windows too. ;-)

      2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Windows

        Re: Got Linux?

        OpenVMS or Multics, that's the question.

    2. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Got Linux?

      The problem is, if you want to use an @hotmail.com email address (I've had mine since 1997 - it's myname@hotmail.com, not myname760231764230@hotmail.com) then you're still using the MS servers to send/receive mail. And they are "broken" if you try to use PGP or it's variants.

      Luckily LastPass makes it easy to search through all logins using that, so one wet weekend I can get around to replacing them with my own domain. I could even write it up as a case study in moving away from Outlook and charge consultancy ....

      1. The Specialist

        Re: Got Linux?

        @JimmyPage

        > The problem is, if you want to use an @hotmail.com email address (I've had mine since 1997 - it's myname@hotmail.com...

        I used to have similar setup back then and I decided to own my own domain (surname.co.uk and several variation of TLD since) for just a few bobs and initially diverted my email traffic to "free" services until I learnt how to run my own / use hosting services. This way, my email address never changes irrespective of who / where I choose to host my email data.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Got Linux?

        "And they are "broken" if you try to use PGP or it's variants."

        Whaa? That implies that they are actually scanning your emails and processing them in a buggy way. Why would they care what your email consists of?

  5. herman Silver badge

    Why do we need creepy adverts that keep targeting something you searched for years ago? Why would I want two or three of something I already have?

    1. N2 Silver badge

      "Why do we need creepy adverts that keep targeting something you searched for years ago? "

      You don't. MS will happily sling any old shit, so long as they get paid.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        "MS will happily sling any old shit, so long as they get paid."

        Ah yes, but therein lies the rub. MS will only get paid (in the long term) if the ads are somewhat successful. So trying to flog you sh*t you neither need nor want is counterproductive - hence the massive investment in AI Business Analytics.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Absolutely. One pr0n pic is all you need.

  6. Adair

    You paid

    ... good money for this computer. Now, keep paying the Danegeld, and give thanks to Microsoft for each day that you are permitted to use the computer.

    1. BobChip
      Happy

      Re: You paid

      I pay good money to build my own (desktops). Second HD for data, so no cloud for me. Load up Linux. Adblock, Ghostery, Ublock deal with ads and tracking etc. Fast, stable, rock solid and great for WORK.

      Happy bunny

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: You paid

        Snap!

        That system of yours looks a lot like mine, I'm happy to say.

        Good isn't it?

      2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: You paid

        "I pay good money to build my own (desktops)."

        I used to, then I got fed up with running an unfunded helpdesk for my entire extended family. For the last couple of years I've been on Mac - only additional software is ABP on Safari, and since then have had exactly zero complaints.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: You paid

          "I used to, then I got fed up with running an unfunded helpdesk for my entire extended family."

          Wouldn't it have been easier to learn how to say "no"?

      3. The Specialist
        Linux

        Re: You paid

        @BobChip "I pay good money to build my own (desktops)."

        What? You're not running your Postfix server? How cute!

        p.s. Please return your geek badge asap.

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: You paid

      You may need to explain to non-Brits that a Danegeld is a large dog which has been neutered.

  7. d3rrial
    Linux

    Another great win

    for Linux and Free Software

  8. Wellyboot Silver badge

    PR & legal Weasels

    >>>We do not use the content in your mailbox or in the Mail app.<<<

    Emails are NOT in your mailbox/app until MS put them in there, after they arrive at a MS mail server via other internal MS infrastructure.

    I'd much prefer everyone used this line.

    We do not use any information within emails beyond that which is necessary for delivery using the IMAP & POP3 protocols

    They will use everything they can get profile you, and use the profile to target you.

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: PR & legal Weasels

      Microsoft does not use your personal information, [...] to target you for ads.

      which makes me wonder where the tracking comes from eh?

  9. Carl D

    Wonder how they intend to inject ads into my Windows 10 email client (I use Thunderbird) when I've removed it and most of the other (cr)apps that come with Windows 10?

    I also made sure I have no "advertising ID" and my privacy settings are locked down as much as possible with W10's own settings and the use of third party tools.

    And Cortana has been 'neutered' so it behaves just like normal Windows Search.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      One way or another they'll get their money...

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Holmes

        Re One way or another they'll get their money..

        Though M'Lud, not from many in these hallowed forums who will get their money by helping the rest of us work around or avoid M$.

        Someone will win somewhere. PP

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re:I've removed it and most of the other (cr)apps that come with Windows 10

      Don't worry, MS has your name and IP address and even your inside leg measurment so when the next Windows 10 Update lands there will be countermeasures included that will stop all that foolishness (in their eyes) where you can delete all that (cr)apps as you so eloquently put it.

      Remember that it is their PC now that you are running W10. They can control everything you can and can't do. You might have paid for the hardware but using it is now totally under the control of Redmond.

      Unless...

      You give them the finger and install Linux/BSD or move to a Mac.

      More and more people are doing just that so why not join them?

      I did years ago and have not regretted it one little bit.

    3. oiseau Silver badge
      FAIL

      Hello:

      ...when I've removed it and most of the other (cr)apps that come with Windows 10?

      Hmmm ...

      Are you sure?

      Really sure?

      So you check this is so after every update, right?

      You don't?

      Then you should.

      Cheers,

      O.

    4. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      "Wonder how they intend to inject ads into my Windows 10 email client (I use Thunderbird) when I've removed it and most of the other (cr)apps that come with Windows 10?"

      They will probably begin injecting ads right into the email messages themselves if they can get away with it.

  10. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Pissed

    Microsoft are full of shit, their software is turd, their outlook is a POS, and their shenanigans has caused endless misery for anyone unfortunate enough to have chosen a career that uses computers. They’ve become so hell bent on mimiking Googles business model that they made a poor weather woman have to make light out of an embarrassing moment

    Honestly, I just cant reconcile while Microsoft are market leaders. They need to get their heads out of thier arses and start producing software that works and stop making fuck ups, every KB artiicle is a historical record of their ineptitude. Software development processes are broken.

    Fix your damn bugs and stop making the world beta test your fucking shit!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pissed

      Home users are approximately 0.01% of revenue for microsoft, they really don't care. They are market leaders because they are who the corporates trust.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Trust is easily lost and slowly gained.

        If they keep doing this, they'll lose corporate trust.

        Then poof goes the $16bn, and they're only left with home and small business users.

        Then suddenly, poof!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Richard 12 - Re: Trust is easily lost and slowly gained.

          You're delusional, this never happened and will never happen. Nobody got fired for buying MS.

          All corporate does care about is doing business. They had so many opportunities to protest or to vote with their money that I've lost count. Heck, even those countries on US list of so called arch-enemies have no problem being MS 100% even though this makes them highly vulnerable to spying and DoS.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: @Richard 12 - Trust is easily lost and slowly gained.

            "Nobody got fired for buying MS."

            People used to say the same for IBM. It stopped being true for them, it can stop being true for Microsoft as well.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: @Richard 12 - Trust is easily lost and slowly gained.

              IBM may have stopped being so successful, but I don't remember anyone protesting against IBM and specifically *not* buying their stuff. They just found a better option, and went with it. Therefore, I doubt that Microsoft is going to see a ton of their corporate customers suddenly jumping ship. A few, yes. Maybe eventually all of them if the products don't work after several years. But I see no evidence of a large group of corporates getting tired of windows and removing it entirely. I see many corporates cheerfully using modern windows systems, and others still using windows 7 but without plans to move off windows when 7 becomes unsupported. I do not expect Microsoft to crash and burn.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Pissed

        "They are market leaders because they are who the corporates trust."

        No one ever got fired for buying IBM Microsoft.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Pissed

          No one ever got fired for buying IBM Microsoft.

          ...which is why every company in the world relies on an IBM computer running an an IBM operating system.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pissed

          I always thought that was no one ever got fired for buying Intel??

  11. Quentin North

    Ad block plus blocks this article

    Here is a wired thing, ad block plus blocks on iOS this entire article, not just the ads, but the entire url. The rest of the reg is fine. Conspiracy?

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Ad block plus blocks this article

      Probably because the word "advert" is in the URL...?

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Ad block plus blocks this article

      "Here is a wired thing, ad block plus blocks on iOS this entire article, not just the ads, but the entire url. The rest of the reg is fine. Conspiracy?"

      But does it work ok on wi-fi?

      (sorry, someone had to do it!...)

  12. hekla
    Facepalm

    GDPR

    MS will need all the money it can find to pay their GDPR fines

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/11/16/microsoft_gdpr/

  13. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    WTF?

    one size fits all?

    the advertising would be tailored to their interests

    My interest is in not seeing adverts. Tailor to that!

    1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: one size fits all?

      "the advertising would be tailored to their interests

      My interest is in not seeing adverts. Tailor to that!"

      Perhaps they will begin advertising ad blockers :P

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Gmail and Yahoo mail have adverts in their online webmail to help pay for the service which they offer for free. But if you received Windows 10 with your computer you have paid for the OS since the OEM will have had to give MS a license fee to install it on the computer before it ships. And that included the mail client and so you should not be expected to have to put up with ads as well.

    I would have some sympathy if a small developer had released an ads supported free email client to help pay for development costs and you could pay extra to have them removed. But not from a company that made $16bn profit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "But if you received Windows 10"

      So those who got a free upgrade to Windows 10 should get the ads to cover the costs?

      Anyway, you're utterly wrong if you believe that Google slings ads to pay for development costs - it earns from ads far, far more than development costs - just look at Google's profits, do you believe they are those of a "small developer"?

      Google understood that free apps - preferably web ones so it can use open source code without open sourcing its own one, and with only basic functionalities - are the best way to lure users into its data slurping ecosystem, and that's what Microsoft is trying to imitate. You become the product which advertisers pay for...

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: "But if you received Windows 10"

        "So those who got a free upgrade to Windows 10 should get the ads to cover the costs?"

        Given that so many people were unwillingly forced into that "upgrade", I think the least Microsoft can do is to pay them.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: "But if you received Windows 10"

          Precisely, the Win 7 that came on my desktop, before the forced upgrade, and the Win 10 that came on my laptop were costed into the purchase price. So I paid for the stuff. I didn't ask for them to turn Win 7 into 8/8.x/10

  15. Highinthemountains

    Will they vet the ads any better than msn.com does?

    I’m always getting calls from customers saying they were on the msn page (also happening with aol and yahoo) and all of a sudden one of those fake support you’re infected web pages comes up and they can’t close it down. Does this mean that they’ll now have another attack vector blatantly sponsored my micro$oft?

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: Will they vet the ads any better than msn.com does?

      That one cracks me up - had one recently that fired up the speakers with alarms & voice-over. Reminds me of an 'Archer' voice mail lol.

      Points to the person who writes the malware that not only hits your machine, but also does your IoT appliances, causing alarms & strobing lights in your house... <cue IT Ghostbusters theme>

  16. Alan Sharkey

    EM Client is the answer

    It's as good as Outlook and is free for 1 or 2 accounts. Vote with your feet.

    Alan

  17. Teiwaz Silver badge

    and the advertising would be tailored to their interests

    If Google miss the target more than they hit (and they do on my gmail a/c despite only being used for shopping) what chance of a still mostly s/w company which at the momo can hardly deliver a working s/w update for their own software.

  18. Skribblez

    I have had these adverts in the Outlook webmail client for a year or so, but pi-hole blocks them and all I see is a complaint from MS to either enable ads or upgrade to Office 365.

    This is on my email address that is tied to my MS account that does have an Office 365 subscription...

    Is there anything they don’t fuck up?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      > MS account that does have an Office 365 subscription...

      So? Did you think that means you're exempt from seeing ads?...

    2. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Happy

      Is there anything they don’t fuck up?

      No, any other questions?

  19. IGnatius T Foobar !

    retire these apps

    The only reason the Mail and Calendar apps exist is because they are needed on smartphones. Now that Windows Phone has died, they should simply retire these two very underpowered programs.

  20. whitepines Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Does anyone remember Juno? That old bastion of "free" Email over dial-up across the pond for folks that didn't want to pay for a real Internet connection?

    It had banner ads via the custom desktop application you had to use to dial in / read your Email. In fact looking at the screenshots in the article I'm afraid to admit the Juno application was probably more usable and less obtrusive.

  21. Tim99 Silver badge
    Gimp

    Just for the hell of it

    I set up an iMac with the included Postfix system; mail -s subject someone@xxx.com [Enter] type or copy message body [Ctrl]+[D] was a surprisingly cathartic experience.

    Having said that, the bog standard Mac email client is adequate, allowing viewing "All headers" and "Raw Source" - Turning off "Load remote content" in messages helps a lot too. Whoops! Having just checked, I have 2,200 current local messages and another 15,300 archived in local mailboxes; as I am retired, I probably should sort and prune them a bit.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft... considering injecting targeted adverts into the Windows 10 Mail app

    wow, I thought it was their intention all along, i.e. inject ads into Windows 10, period. Inject ads AND sell user data, to recoup and maximise the FREE factor :)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have full control of Windows and Mail

    And so do we

    Sincerely yours, MS

  24. Dabooka Silver badge

    Surprise = Not

    I'm struggling of any free to use 'services' that don't at some point foist ads on people, and Microsoft joining the fray is of zero surprise. I did think they might do a better job of it though. No, wait....

    That's no surprise either.

  25. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    Domestic Windows - entertainment centre, marketing platform, and surveillance agent?

    Windows comes in versions tailored for category of user. That bundled in with PCs is intended for household users. It is the least configurable version. Apart from game players, these more likely anyway to opt for a more 'advanced' version, domestic users tend not persistently to deploy highly complicated and resource demanding software. Their desktops are communications centres, entertainment vectors, and devices for shopping. These users are what might disparagingly be called passive 'consumers' of 'content' and services sold or foisted upon them by others.

    These days the neo-liberal mantra demands monetising every possible thing: it's a matter of principle conveniently feeding avarice. The vast bulk of the population has disposable income, sometimes not much, and collectively this amounts to a considerable sum for exploitation by others. Ill-education among the 'consuming' class coupled with, on average, quite modest per person resource to tap into, determine the nature of attempts, honest and otherwise, to part them from their money.

    MS Windows for 'consumers' is, by virtue of prevalence, ideally suited to furthering several neo-liberal aims: monetisation, surveillance (by corporate entities and government), censorship and shaping opinion/behaviour, and 'crime' prevention as in curbing supposed 'theft' of so-called 'intellectual property'. So, in addition to being a tacky platform for marketing, MS Windows is well placed to attract custom from other corporate entities and government for services repressing supposedly antisocial Internet use.

    Windows 10 is a qualitative change from what went before. The pre-configured default desktop makes clear the transition from general purpose operating system to entertainment centre, marketing platform, and so on. In essence, neo-liberal and other controlling agendas shall be well served by Windows 10 and later versions. All that remains is getting Apple and Google on-side. It's doubtful either would resist.

    This peaceful transition to controlling the masses and ensuring such disposable income they are permitted is used 'wisely' requires no legislation. Given joint market dominance of three operating systems all alternatives can be forgotten about; this aided by gradually censoring mention of them on devices used by plebeians. There's no need to go after 'dissident' voices, these shall be able to speak only one to another. No attempt to forbid private use of VPN is necessary. Apparatus for site blocking and similar efforts to corral 'intellectual property' can be dismantled because three operating systems, with their compulsory updates, will suffice; left over nefarious activity simply isn't worth the bother of stifling.

  26. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    ", and the advertising would be tailored to their interests...."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Sponsored AD: [X]

    "Fed up of ads in your Office Email?"

    Click http://www.freemyoffice.ms/ for

    our unique Office ad-blocking software!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

  27. ab-gam

    Permanent Change via Ephemeral Subscription?

    I caught this little logic turd... "You can permanently remove ads by buying an Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscription."

    OK - so you can 'Permanently' - as in forever and ever - get rid of adds if you buy something that stops existing every 12 months - a Subscription. Can something really be permanent if you have to buy it again and again and...

  28. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Meh

    The traditional approach

    I'm with Abbot Amalric when it comes to In-app advertising these days, "Kill them all! God will know his own" - if I go to a web site or open an app that wants me to view an advert before I get to see the content then I quit.

    But the problem is this is everywhere these days, American Express called me about a suspicious charge on my credit card yesterday, and when I called the number on the back of my card, they wanted me to listen to an advert for a health plan before talking to a representative - I hung up - it seems it's not that important to them.

  29. JohnFen Silver badge

    I'm so happy

    I am so happy that I don't have to use Office 365, regardless of whether or not it's "free".

  30. OffBeatMammal

    Wht two email clients anyway?

    One thing I don't understand is why they maintain two email clients?

    As an Outlook user it annoys me no end when I click on a mail link and sometimes it tries to open Mail (which I don't have set up) when it should have opened Outlook

    A much smarter (and easier for the users) approach would be to have a single mail client that based on license key turns on/off features and UX, so my base Win10 comes with Outlook (promoting the Office brand through name recognition) and when I apply my Office key all the other goodness lights up ... no redundant client and a better user experience.

    (while making Outlook the default on macOS is more reliable than on Windows - I never see Mail.App unless I explicitly launch it - on iOS, Apple annoy the hell out of me by not letting me set the default mail client to something other than theirs)

    As to advertising in the Mail client on Windows ... Microsoft obviously want to have their cake and eat it too ... charging for the OS and then plastering it with adverts to make the experience even worse

  31. Moosh

    Advertisers are con artists and businesses are idiots for overvaluing ads. Doesn't Facebook grossly overestimate the value of having ads on its platform? No one pays attention to them. Subliminal messaging is a gigantic crock. Obviously you need to get your name out there, but paying millions and millions for intense ad campaigns even after having established yourself is moronic.

    Coca Cola is big because everyone drinks it, not because they shit out advertisements.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      I've a nasty suspicion that computer/web site advertising space sells to the advertisers because it's like Poundworld goods. They seem really cheap per unit, compared to say a big CocaCola TV ad. But like Poundworld the cheapness might be an illusion (You get what you pay for).

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