Users of Microsoft's 'free' Windows 10 find unexpected ads on lock screen

Posted:
in macOS
Microsoft recently began running advertisements directly on the lock screens of Windows 10 devices, catching users by surprise with marketing on their PCs and tablets.


Via David McGavern.


A full-screen ad featuring video game heroine Lara Croft began appearing on Windows 10 lock screens this week, inviting users to "Discover the legend within." Gamers are encouraged to purchase the new title "Rise of the Tomb Raider" from Microsoft's Windows Store.

Some users also took to Twitter back in January to complain about advertisements for the "Minions" movie appearing on their Windows 10 lock screen. The ad featured the titular characters rowing a boat across New York City's East River, complete with multiple links to the Windows Store to buy the hit film.

Though many users don't realize it, Microsoft's "free" Windows 10 operating system is configured by default to display such ads on the lock screen whenever the Redmond, Wash., software company decides to do so.


Via Raul Burriel.


Those running Windows 10 can disable the ads by opening Settings, choosing "Personalization," and then "Lock screen." Once there, uncheck the box for "Get fun facts, tips, tricks and more on your lock screen."

While Microsoft might characterize its lock screen promotions as "fun," users online expressed a very different reaction.

"@Microsoft - my OS is not your ad delivery system," Twitter user Kendall Miller wrote in January.

Windows 10 launched last year as a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. The lure of a no-cost update helped propel Windows 10 to installs on more than 200 million devices by the start of 2016.

Apple's OS X upgrades have been free since 2013 with the release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks. The Mac maker has been awarded patents for ad-supported operating system concepts, but publicly has never shown any inclination to make such a drastic change to its product strategy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    I was all prepared to deliver an outraged, fist-shaking consumer diatribe...then I read: "Can be turned off in settings,"...and completely lost interest.
    Solilevisingularitypscooter63mike1repressthisjustadcomicsargonautRayz2016
  • Reply 2 of 59
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,113member
    Probably each W10 copy is a node in a supercluster network, using your machine for free; a clusterfuck in short.
    jony0
  • Reply 3 of 59
    I have to ask if these ads were 'targetted' at the users?
    If they are then they must be slurping just about everything you do on your PC/Laptop.

    Another step too far IMHO.

    Well, Microsoft, I will never ever use another of your Operating Systems. I know that I am not alone in that view.
    Anicalihypoluxadacharmagman1979repressthisargonautjony0kevin kee
  • Reply 4 of 59
    On my self built win 10 pro desktop this is not even an option.
    singularitycali
  • Reply 5 of 59
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,341member
    pmz said:
    I was all prepared to deliver an outraged, fist-shaking consumer diatribe...then I read: "Can be turned off in settings,"...and completely lost interest.
    The reality is that this is yet another item to place in a checklist when configuring a Windows 10 system that was downloaded free as an upgrade to their botched Win8x systems.  

    Honestly... Microsoft thought this would be "fun"??  How much money is Microsoft getting to whore out ads to its users?  I know Microsoft has zero ethics, but I'm even surprised they stooped to this level.  This is a low-level that Google would do.
    knowitallpscooter63calimagman1979
  • Reply 6 of 59
    I haven't seen this on my Windows 10 gaming rig.

    I must be doing something wrong.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    pmz said:
    I was all prepared to deliver an outraged, fist-shaking consumer diatribe...then I read: "Can be turned off in settings,"...and completely lost interest.
    Thats nice and all but why not go the other way around and have it off by default with the option "Can be turned on in settings," ...corporate greed knows no bounds!
    calimagman1979
  • Reply 8 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    To be fair, Microsoft did say this was going to be done even before the first betas of 10 came out. So the only people who didn't know are those who have paid no attention at all in the year plus, since it was announced.

    And for these who say that Apple has had a free OS for years, without Ads, again, to be fair, Apple charges for the OS in the price of the computer, which is, after all, an Apple product. Microsoft has nothing comparable other than their tablets. They need to make money of the software, and giving Windows away for free has cost them billions in sales and income.
    repressthisargonaut
  • Reply 9 of 59
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    pmz said:
    I was all prepared to deliver an outraged, fist-shaking consumer diatribe...then I read: "Can be turned off in settings,"...and completely lost interest.
    The fact is it's there. It shouldn't be. Where's the media frenzy over this? Imagine if Apple did it...
    People let the garbage OS get away with everything or is it that Windows standards are so low people don't even care?

    Funny how one of the ads reads "Like what you see?"
    edited February 2016 badmonk
  • Reply 10 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    pmz said:
    I was all prepared to deliver an outraged, fist-shaking consumer diatribe...then I read: "Can be turned off in settings,"...and completely lost interest.
    Thats nice and all but why not go the other way around and have it off by default with the option "Can be turned on in settings," ...corporate greed knows no bounds!

    It's not really greed. If Apple gave the OS away, and didn't have computers to sell that cost far more, and in the price of which, the OS was being charged, in other words, a hidden sale, as we used to call it, then they would have to have Ads as well.

    Apple uses its software to induce hardware sales, while Microsoft uses its software to induce more software sales. These Ads are a way to deflect some of these costs. At least you can turn it off.
    argonaut
  • Reply 11 of 59
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,898moderator
    melgross said:
    Thats nice and all but why not go the other way around and have it off by default with the option "Can be turned on in settings," ...corporate greed knows no bounds!

    It's not really greed. If Apple gave the OS away, and didn't have computers to sell that cost far more, and in the price of which, the OS was being charged, in other words, a hidden sale, as we used to call it, then they would have to have Ads as well.

    Apple uses its software to induce hardware sales, while Microsoft uses its software to induce more software sales. These Ads are a way to deflect some of these costs. At least you can turn it off.
    So in other words, MSFT has a poor business model and therefore has to burden its uses with a lesser experience to make up for that.

    And to your other comment regarding Apple pricing into their hardware the cost of the free OS, you left out that Apple computers generally have a longer useful life, have higher build quality than cheaper Windows PCs, and have higher resale value, reducing the overall lifetime cost of the machines.  Those are also things Apple prices in, so you can't attribute Apple's higher hardware costs merely to their subsidizing of the OS.  And there are Windows machines that cost as much as Macs, purchase with windows 8,  that might have gotten one of these free Windows 10 updates.  How do you explain how MSFT is shoving ads onto those machines?  The users clearly paid already for the hardware, didn't they?  Perhaps MSFT needs to increase the price of its software licenses to those building the Windows PCs.  Or just admit that they have a crappy business model and therefore their customers are going to pay after the sale by suffering with a lesser experience versus Apple Mac customers.  


    pscooter63Animagman1979badmonk
  • Reply 12 of 59
    Funny my Win10 doesn't have that and it was the free upgrade from win 8.1
    I feel agrieved that I don't have ads on the lock screen
    staticx57
  • Reply 13 of 59
    Funny my Win10 doesn't have that and it was the free upgrade from win 8.1
    I feel agrieved that I don't have ads on the lock screen
    You need to adjust your "fun" setting. 
    phil8192WiseGuysuddenly newtonpscooter63Ani
  • Reply 14 of 59
    As Robert Heinlein wrote, "There's no such thing as a free lunch."
    magman1979
  • Reply 15 of 59
    My friend's Windows 7 computer gets incessant pop-ups from the taskbar to encourage "upgrading" to Windows 10.  She doesn't want to "upgrade" yet, but I fear she'll eventually click the "OK" button by accident instead of the "X" button to close the pop-up.  That's another form of forced, unwanted advertising.  I consider myself fortunate, because with my Linux system, nobody is pushing anything at me.
    Animagman1979
  • Reply 16 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    melgross said:

    It's not really greed. If Apple gave the OS away, and didn't have computers to sell that cost far more, and in the price of which, the OS was being charged, in other words, a hidden sale, as we used to call it, then they would have to have Ads as well.

    Apple uses its software to induce hardware sales, while Microsoft uses its software to induce more software sales. These Ads are a way to deflect some of these costs. At least you can turn it off.
    So in other words, MSFT has a poor business model and therefore has to burden its uses with a lesser experience to make up for that.

    And to your other comment regarding Apple pricing into their hardware the cost of the free OS, you left out that Apple computers generally have a longer useful life, have higher build quality than cheaper Windows PCs, and have higher resale value, reducing the overall lifetime cost of the machines.  Those are also things Apple prices in, so you can't attribute Apple's higher hardware costs merely to their subsidizing of the OS.  And there are Windows machines that cost as much as Macs, purchase with windows 8,  that might have gotten one of these free Windows 10 updates.  How do you explain how MSFT is shoving ads onto those machines?  The users clearly paid already for the hardware, didn't they?  Perhaps MSFT needs to increase the price of its software licenses to those building the Windows PCs.  Or just admit that they have a crappy business model and therefore their customers are going to pay after the sale by suffering with a lesser experience versus Apple Mac customers.  


    Oh, Microsoft did bungle it with Win 8. There's no doubt of that. I really don't want to go into that long story. But no matter how you look at it, Apple has hardware sales to make up the loss of the "free" OS, and Microsoft doesn't. It has nothing to do with whether the OS is better or worse. Most of us here use Apple products so we believe that these products are better.

    Apple computers used to have a longer service life, but by and large, that's no longer true. Apple has much better service, and that accounts for some of the price increase. But don't think that all costs of a company aren't incorporated into their products, because they are. So the free OS is paid for in other ways.

    You're really overdoing it. Many millions of people are upgrading current machines that come either with Win 8 or Win 7. Either gets the free upgrade. If you bought a $350 PC, and it has Win 7 or Win 8 on it, you get the free upgrade. And it doesn't matter what the computer costs, because that's not a Microsoft sale. They get nothing from that PC sale. So I don't understand why you would even bring it up.
    curt12
  • Reply 17 of 59
    phil8192 said:
    My friend's Windows 7 computer gets incessant pop-ups from the taskbar to encourage "upgrading" to Windows 10.  She doesn't want to "upgrade" yet, but I fear she'll eventually click the "OK" button by accident instead of the "X" button to close the pop-up.  That's another form of forced, unwanted advertising.  I consider myself fortunate, because with my Linux system, nobody is pushing anything at me.
    I think there is a registry patch you can do to remove this.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    melgross said:
    To be fair, Microsoft did say this was going to be done even before the first betas of 10 came out. So the only people who didn't know are those who have paid no attention at all in the year plus, since it was announced.

    And for these who say that Apple has had a free OS for years, without Ads, again, to be fair, Apple charges for the OS in the price of the computer, which is, after all, an Apple product. Microsoft has nothing comparable other than their tablets. They need to make money of the software, and giving Windows away for free has cost them billions in sales and income.
    What? I totally disagree that this was publicized widely or clearly in any way to the general public.
    it wasn't in any way and I'm certainly not going to allow it even if it means hacking the god damn OS myself everytime this mallware/updates are downloaded (and yes I have this ability...).
    Already every upgrades is a mystery of fuck-ups, the worse being a flaky WIFI for 2 months (no patches until January after the november upgrade), four upgrades totally messed up my desktop and laptop for days/months; I don't have to time to be their guinea pig.

    Last time, permission all messed up and couldn't even access or change permissions on files I owned even when running ad admin! Some people lost access their whole drive like that A few reboots and ANOTHER patch fixed that fuck-up. If Apple messed up 10% of that people would dump their Iphone into the sink, but hey nobody expects anything from that POS OS that I'm forced to use for work (I also use Linux, BSD and even Macs (both hackintosh and real ones).

    If they said, free upgrade to Windows 10 and hey you're getting ads, well I sure think 90% of people that upgraded would have not done it. THAT IS FOR SURE.
    edited February 2016 Animagman1979
  • Reply 19 of 59
    "Get fun facts, tips, tricks and more on your lock screen." – Ads are important enough to mention in that list, and not shuffle it under the word "more." Also it seems ads are all you really do get.
    Ani
  • Reply 20 of 59
    foggyhill said:
    phil8192 said:
    My friend's Windows 7 computer gets incessant pop-ups from the taskbar to encourage "upgrading" to Windows 10.  She doesn't want to "upgrade" yet, but I fear she'll eventually click the "OK" button by accident instead of the "X" button to close the pop-up.  That's another form of forced, unwanted advertising.  I consider myself fortunate, because with my Linux system, nobody is pushing anything at me.
    I think there is a registry patch you can do to remove this.

    https://github.com/rn10950/I-Dont-Want-Windows-10/releases/tag/2.0
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