Windows 10 Turns Up the Advertising to 11

It's happening—PCs are morphing into TVs, unblockable commercials included:

More examples here, here, and here. You can also be horrified at the Advertising Software Developers Kit here, sample the public outcry and outrage here, and find tips on desperately trying to plug the dam here. An advertising ecosystem is clearly coming soon to a Windows computer near you—if not already blooming on yours—in spite of widespread loathing, frustration, and disappointment.

So let's get this straight: after its Windows 8 and tablet fiascos that may have permanently damaged the PC industry, Microsoft's response is a greedy exploitation of their monopoly; an agenda that's condescending and antagonistic towards their user base; and a mandatory-updates device that's completely under the control of a company which now views its existing customers as resources to be monetized.

How about no. Public opinion probably won't hold much sway with a large, self-interested corporation that has enough money and patents to pursue bad business practices for decades. But isn't it time to consider the alternatives (e.g.)?

Update: The Windows 10 story just took an even darker turn, with Windows 10 S—a new version that locks out all programs not available in the Windows Store, and essentially mandates use of the Edge browser and Bing by making them unchangeable defaults. The net effect forces users to the Store, Edge, and Bing, tools that nobody seems to want, but which promise to be massive points of control (and revenue) for Microsoft.

Read more about this developing story here. There's a shot of the FAQ here; the current version at Microsoft's site conveniently sidesteps the bit about being unable to change the Edge and Bing defaults. Whether to satisfy greed or evade prosecution, you can still run non-Store programs by switching to Windows 10 Pro for "an affordable price"—an extra $49 (for now), which includes a passive-aggressive reminder that you can't switch back...

This may be just a latest misguided and failed Microsoft initiative, of course; it's reminiscent of Windows RT from the Windows 8 era, and in combination with Surface hardware seems a strange answer to Chromebooks with a much steeper price tag. But it's also monopoly on steroids, and might just herald the death of the Windows platform.

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