Criticism of Advertising in Windows 10 After Tomb Raider Plug

Introducing the newest version of an Operating System is usually cause for comment and a difference of opinion over the latest features, but one subject that tends to galvanise an almost universally negative reaction is being forced to watch unwanted adverts.

Unfortunately for Microsoft Windows 10 users this is exactly what happened when screen lock advertising for Tomb Raider was experienced by a limited but significant number of users worldwide.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has used default locked screen adverting. Some Windows 10 users were shown an advert for ‘Minions’ last month, and app suggestions were displayed in the Windows 10 start menu in October last year.

The current bout of adverts has been displayed at the first stage boot or when Windows 10 users log in and out of their computers. These adverts haven’t been a complete surprise however to any Windows 10 users who read some of the news announcements from Windows last summer when Microsoft told us that this kind of thing was likely to happen.

For anyone who also has a Kindle, the experience of this kind of screen lock advertising should be nothing new, and in Kindle’s case users have to pay extra for a service without the advertising.

Why Is It Happening?

Something/Someone has to pay for the ‘free’ upgrade to Windows 10 and just as something has to monetise much of the free content that we see daily on the Web, the job falls to advertising, until a better method comes along.

First, The Bad News

The bad news is that it appears that the advertising by Microsoft is likely to continue for the time being and many IT commentators have begun to regard the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with suspicion because this almost hidden commercial aspect appears to them to be at odds with the public projection of a spirit of co-operation and openness by Microsoft. If Microsoft really wants to get back some of the ground it may have lost in market dominance it seems fair to expect similar tactics as Microsoft tries to win back our “love”.

The Good News

You can turn the advertising off! That’s right, as with most default settings you can choose to change them to personal settings if you know how. This can be done by going to ‘Settings’ – ‘Personalisation’ – opening ‘Lock Screen’ – change ‘Background’ from ‘Windows spotlight’ to your personal selection, and then choose the ‘Off’ setting for ‘Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen’.