Microsoft Experimented with Ads But Had to Make a U-turn

Microsoft has started testing with ads on free Windows 10 Mail in July this year. These were interest-based ads, but they were only showing up for selected users. People who wanted to have an ad-free experience were required to go for paid Office 365 subscription.

Now the company has decided to scale up its beta testers and enabled these ads on more of insider machines. Dan Thorp-Lancaster, the Windows central writer said,

Starting with Mail version 11605.11029.20059.0, the app will show banner ads in the ‘Other’ section when the Focused Inbox is enabled.” Using Gmail without Focused Inbox feature will display these ads at the top of the inbox.

As the ads are on Mail app, which has been a default email client on the platform since Microsoft introduced Windows 10, they will appear on most of the email accounts.

According to a notification regarding the change on its Mail app support page, Microsoft said, “Ads will be visible for nonwork accounts, such as Outlook.com, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. Ads will not be visible for non work accounts with an Office 365 subscription tied to their email address, or when viewing your work email accounts like Exchange Online or Exchange Server.”

The company has supported its experiment by saying that we always try to experiment with new features and experiences. They have started this experiment in four geographies, which include India, Australia, Brazil and Canada. They had also said that the ads will be interest-based, which means that the user’s browsing history cookies will be used for generating and displaying the ads that are relevant to them.

However, the users didn’t accept it well. There was on outrage on Twitter regarding this after which the company decided to take a U-turn and turned off these ads. Frank Shaw, the company’s head of communications tweeted saying that this was an experimental feature and was not intended to be tested on a broad basis.

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