"Like what you see?" Microsoft Windows 10 logon screen asking whether you like the photo it is displaying.

No, I Don’t Like What I See

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

Mouse-over text on Microsoft Windows 10 lock screen: "Discover Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 You've taken pictures of special moments and milestones. Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 automates all the organizing and editing. . . so you can spend more time creating and sharing. Explore Adobe Photoshop Elements 15"
Mouse-over text on Microsoft Windows 10 lock screen advertising Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 photo editing software.

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.

This does make me wonder if Apple includes advertising in iOS, OS X, or macOS. Anyone happen to know?

If you’re a PC too, have you seen an ad on your Windows logon screen (yet)?


8 thoughts on “No, I Don’t Like What I See”

    1. Interesting that you saw it yesterday Scott. I didn’t get it when I first logged-in this morning, but I got it a couple hours later. Then again, I was already logged-in and was just unlocking the screen in both cases.

      Did you see the same ad text for the same product?

  1. They have been doing that for some time, now. Suspect it’s some kind of psychology study. Yes, sometimes, it doesn’t go away immediately and, other times, even more annoyingly, it returns a pic to the rotation that I’ve seen before, even rejected. There’s one of a mountain lake with a distracting red backpack in the foreground that I can’t seem to get rid of. Sometimes, not sure what I must have clicked or moused-over, it opens to a browser tab with a load of Bing pics, etc.

    1. Maybe that’s it, Rob: We’re part of a huge A/B test. Maybe the pic with the backpack is a test to see how hard we’ll work to make it go away.
      I haven’t clicked on any of the pics or teaser phrases for weeks, but they keep cycling through periodically. Once in a while there’s an advertisement in the text.

  2. More importantly i want microsoft to clarify what they mean by “not too distant future” here we are 2 / 3 years later and they are doing nothing with the feedback they are getting.

    1. Good point. The ads are still there once in a while, and the last one I noticed was on November 28.
      Yes, Microsoft put an ad on my sign-in screeen on Thanksgiving day.

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