Opinion

Regarding ads within Windows 8

There is currently an outrage regarding ads found within first party Windows 8 apps, such as Weather and Stocks. People are ticked off by the fact that Microsoft is placing ads within Windows 8 after charging for the OS.

Now I’ve seen these ads and they are not hideous like Google ads. But it’s not the fact that they look bad but it’s their mere presence is what’s annoying.

Usually when a developer wants to monetize a software, he either charges money for it or makes it free and earns through advertising. Microsoft here is doing both, charging for the OS and placing ads within the OS.

Now some are arguing that these ads aren’t within the OS itself but within apps. But these are not third party apps that you downloaded. These are not even first party Microsoft apps that you have to download separately. No, these are first party apps that come pre-installed within the OS, and are part of the OS experience, an experience which now also includes ads.

I am yet to see any other developer put ads within a paid software. Apple has no ads within OS X. Google provides Android for free and still there are no ads in any of the apps even though Google is primarily an ad company (the YouTube app is not a core OS app and has to be downloaded separately or is installed by the OEMs). Even Ubuntu, which is a free operating system, has no ads (admittedly it’s been a while since I used Ubuntu or any other Linux distro, so things may have changed now).

Sure, some of us bought Windows 8 for a really low price. But there will be many who will be buying it at the full price. Imagine their chagrin when they see ads after paying that much. Again, it’s not about the ads being bad or ugly but it’s principally wrong.

Microsoft can’t double dip here. Either remove the ads or make the OS free and place as many ads as you want. There is no need to take the Mickey out of paying customers. This is exactly the sort of behavior that drives people to piracy.

Opinion

The future is Metro

I have been using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my PC for the past few days and I must say I do like it. Having said that I still find the transition from the desktop to Metro UI jarring. Yes, for me it’s the other way around, because being a desktop user I find myself more in the desktop side than the Metro side. 

Till now I couldn’t figure out why Microsoft would have both the Metro and the desktop UI in one OS. But now I think that they are just conditioning the user for the future versions of Windows that will only use the Metro UI. Had they gone from desktop directly to Metro everyone would have started bitching, including me. Besides, Metro hardly has any applications for it so the switching process wouldn’t have gone smoothly at all. 

But in future when Metro does have all the basic apps and games, and that people slowly start getting used to using it with a keyboard and mouse, Microsoft would slowly cut the cord of the desktop UI. People would still complain, but only momentarily, before they realize that now they don’t really need the desktop UI at all. 

This could happen with the next version of Windows or the one after that. But I have a feeling that the current Windows UI as we know it isn’t going to stick around much longer.