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Here we go again: Microsoft's popping up ads from the Windows 10 toolbar

Mark Hachman | Nov. 7, 2016
Can't we just put an end to this already?

I’m on record as someone who called on Microsoft to promote its new Office features—in part, to justify users' paying a monthly fee for Office 365. If Microsoft hadn’t so egregiously crossed the line with its upgrade reminders, I’m not sure how many users would care. 

But there’s a middle ground between promoting new features and respecting users. Microsoft’s tried a number of tactics to bring users back to the Edge fold. In addition to the carrot of Microsoft/Bing Rewards, it’s tied Cortana to Bing and the Edge browser. It’s slowly added the extensions other browsers have featured for years. It’s also tried gimmicky features like the ability to ink a Web page, which probably haven’t done much to win fans. 

Turning on ads after a user has turned them off, repeatedly: Come on. There’s always been some part of Microsoft that can’t resist crossing the line: Think “Scroogled,” or “astroturfing.” Privately, other Microsoft employees have said they’re embarrassed by it.

It may seem a bit petty to get up in arms about a small Edge promotion. But we’ve gone down this road before, and there’s a lot of us that want to ensure we never do again. 

 

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