The latest update, 10565, for Windows 10 by Microsoft features an observable difference: ads in the Microsoft’s beloved start menu.
Though the ads are subtly placed, camouflaged as suggested apps, the change has come as a bit of a shock. The Start menu is predominant feature of the Microsoft experience. Luckily the company revived the Start menu to its original center-stage in Windows 10 but the new update has ruined it.
Majority of the users like an ad-free experience on their devices, without having to deal with the hassle of unwanted ads or bloatware and Microsoft may have gone just a little too far this time. The company first took away the much loved start menu from Windows 8 and when it was brought back, it is accompanied with unwanted ads disguised as suggested apps.
Windows spotlight displays app suggestions even on the locked screen. The Start menu showcases ads as suggested apps which can redirect the users to the app store, quite identical to third party ads working. The only good part is that the spotlight is totally discretional which means you can always turn it off.
As long as the users have control to block or turn off ads, the concept does not sound that bad. To block these app suggestions, users need to simply right click on suggested apps and select ‘turn off all suggestions’ or you can go to personalization>Start> and turn off the ‘Occasionally show suggestions in Start.’
The odd thing is these suggestions are visible on some PCs while the other devices might not display any recommendations at all. So it still is a mystery as to how Microsoft chooses which devices to display ads on.
According to Mark Wilson from BetaNews,
“Windows 10 employs ‘learning and discovery experiences”- also known as’ information you choose to provide’.
If optimistically taken, the Microsoft displaying ads isn’t a deal- breaker as it can be turned off. But it is readily evident from the customer response that it would be better for the company to stop experimenting with the Start menu.
Another good thing is that the menu can be conveniently customized, which means you can change colors size, tile positions and transparency effect.
Interestingly, disabling the ads feature is not available with every Windows 10 build but it is present only in 10547, which could be an indication that this is a mere test by the company and nothing is finalized for now. It is yet to be discovered that whether RTM version supports the feature or not. One can hope that the company will pay heed to its customer feedback and restore Start Menu to its full glory, devoid of any deceptive suggestions.