Do you use the default email client on your PC, the one that comes with Windows 10, to read your email? How would you feel if Microsoft decided to launch a few ads right at the top of your inbox?
These are not rhetorical questions, like the Windows news site Aggiornamenti Lumia Noted today, Microsoft is already testing that exact idea in various countries around the world. According to Microsoft’s FAQ, what we are seeing is a pilot program, an experiment, a test that will theoretically help the company decide if it really should implement the feature for real.
But it’s pretty unusual for a simple A / B test to have such a well thought out plan to get your money back – if you want to opt out, Microsoft says it will only cost you the typical $ 7 a month ($ 70 a year) for a subscription to Office 365 Personal.
However, let’s take Microsoft’s word that this is just a pilot program, one that could go away as quickly as it came, as my colleague Tom Warren does below. If so, now It is precisely your chance to give Microsoft some valuable feedback, maybe how do you not want the ads on a show that you (presumably) already bought and paid for?
There are reports that Microsoft is adding ads to the Windows 10 Mail app. Before everyone freaks out, this is A / B testing only and doesn’t mean it’s hitting 100%.
– Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 16, 2018
(Personally, I got Windows 10 for free when I upgraded from Windows 7, but generally, when you buy or build a new Windows PC, part of the cost goes toward a copy of Windows.)
On the bright side, Microsoft says it won’t read the contents of your email or calendar when targeting it with these ads, unlike Yahoo and AOL. (Google stopped scanning email content for targeted ads in 2017). But Microsoft be Try to target your ads.
And it’s not the only user-hostile land grab we’ve seen at Microsoft recently. Microsoft aborted a myopic attempt to scare people from Google’s Chrome web browser in September, and tried to drag Mail users into its Microsoft Edge browser every time they clicked on a link, in March.
According to a couple of reports from Twitter users, Microsoft may have already been testing these ads for months, these two are from July:
Oh, are there ads in Windows Mail now? I guess I am changing the email client. I liked Thunderbird but it’s ugly as sin. Any recommendation? #email # Windows10
– Michael Bowerman (@Mikey_PB) July 22, 2018
I really like Windows Mail, but in the last few days, ads started popping up at the top of my inboxes, which is why I really got mad.
– Nick Zuccarelli (@nick_zuccarelli) July 25, 2018
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.