When I moved my mouse to logon to Windows 10 I was startled. It wasn’t the new background photo on the lock screen that got my attention, though it was more colorful than usual.
Microsoft displays various nature photos on the Windows 10 lock screen, like the two tropical birds that were displayed this morning. However, that’s not what caught my attention this time.
This is so wrong
The disconcerting part was the text at the top left of the screen that said “Discover Adobe Photoshop Elements 15“. Near the center of the screen another blurb said “Save now on Adobe Photoshop Elements 15“. Assuming Adobe didn’t hack Windows 10, Microsoft was complicit in this commercial advertisement.
Ads within an operating system? That sets a really bad precedent. It reduces trust in the sign-on screen. It could also inspire an arms race for tools that block the ads, leading to others hacking the OS to place their own ads…
I’ll bet you say that to everyone
The mouse over text for Discover Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 started by saying “You’ve taken pictures of special moments and milestones.” My first thought was that Microsoft has been scanning pictures I’ve taken. Though that’s possible, I suspect it’s something less sinister: I’ll bet they say that to everyone who saves pictures to their PC.
Advertising in my Operating System
The question at the top right corner of the screen is “Like what you see?” In my brain I was thinking “No, I don’t like what I see, Microsoft.”
Unfortunately, that question is unrelated to the ads. It’s a standard question asking whether I like the background picture, not whether I like the advertising.
Just for the heck of it, I clicked “Not a fan.” Sure enough, the ad didn’t go away. It responded with “Thanks for sending us feedback. We’ll use it to improve this feature in the (not too distant) future.” Interestingly, the picture didn’t go away either. Normally when I click that, the photo goes away immediately. Did Microsoft break their own photo rotation system with the ad?
I’m a PC
Yes, I admitted to using a PC. Don’t hold it against me, OK? Rumor has it that most Mac users won’t judge someone for being a PC user, even though some iPhone / iOS users will judge you for being an Android user.
If you’re a PC too, have you seen an ad on your Windows logon screen (yet)?