If you run Windows 10, you may have noticed an increase in native advertisement creeping in ever since the operating system was first revealed.
The most recent iteration comes in form of a new taskbar notification ad. Microsoft used it up until now to get Windows users to try its Edge browser, stating that it uses less battery than Chrome, and is more secure than Firefox.
This time, the company is advertising one of its Chrome extensions to users of the Chrome browser. Spotted first by a user on Myce, the notification appears over Chrome's icon in the taskbar and judging from the screenshot without the browser even running.
It states "Quickly compare prices online. Get Microsoft's Personal Shopping Assistant for Chrome". A click presumably opens the extension site so that users can download it for the browser and make use of it. The extension is available for other browsers as well, Firefox for instance and most notably the company's own Edge browser.
It seems strange that Microsoft would advertise the Chrome extension to the user considering that Chrome was not open but Firefox was at the time.
The extension may help users when it comes to online shopping. You may use it to keep track of products, get price drop notifications, and even compare products across several online retailers to make sure you get the best price.
The Chrome extension is not the most popular for the browser. It has about 13800 users at the time of writing and 23 reviews. Some of the reviews were left by Windows 10 users who gave it one star because of the way it was advertised to them.
This campaign seems to blow up in Microsoft's face. All reviews prior to the campaign gave the extension a rating of 4 or 5 stars. All reviews since the start of the campaign gave it a one star rating. These ratings don't judge the quality of the extension, but give Microsoft a low rating because of how it was advertised to them when they used Windows 10.
Microsoft knows best obviously when it comes to the effectiveness of these ads on Windows 10. They seem to work, judging from the increase in advertisement since the release of Windows 10.
Users who don't want to see these ads can disable them, and it is highly suggested that you do that. It seems likely that we are going to get more advertisement in Windows 10 after all, and not less.
Microsoft walks a fine line here right now, considering that it angers part of the company's customer base by throwing advertisement at them. It is just a small step to open up the advertisement options to third-party companies. I imagine that many would throw money at Microsoft for such an opportunity.
Now You: Recommendations, or advertisement? What's your take?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.