Microsoft has been thoroughly criticized for sneaking advertisements into Windows 10’s UI and modern apps, but it doesn’t look like the company will be stopping any time soon. Engineer Rafael Rivera has discovered that WordPad, Microsoft’s old (but trusty) word processor, could soon display banner ads.
Rivera’s image alludes to at least six different variants, which sit between the toolbar and ruler. All of these prompt the user into dumping WordPad and switching over to Microsoft’s modern, web-based office apps (e.g., “Try Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free online,” “Try Office for free online”).
BREAKSCLUSIVE: Microsoft WordPad is getting a new feature! An ad for Office web apps!— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) January 20, 2020
Screenshot shows 6 experimental variants.
vso/tfs id 23834136
variants 1-6 pic.twitter.com/TdYOuKkLZc
Windows users seem divided on this. One side argues that few people use WordPad anyway, and those that do should be encouraged to move onto better alternatives (e.g., Notepad++). They also suggest that there’s no harm in advertising Office Online, since it’s free to use.
Detractors are, of course, calling this another invasive maneuver by Microsoft. Windows 10 is technically a paid product, so the criticism of ads within the OS may be well deserved.
Regardless, it’s worth pointing out that these banner ads only exist currently as part of a Windows Insider Preview. WordPad could very well remain untainted.
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