Playable ads coming to Windows 10

Microsoft revealed the new playable ads advertisement option on the Windows Dev Center blog today that developers can take advantage of.

A preview of the Playable Ads feature launched today in the Windows Dev Center. If you have never heard of the term before, you are probably wondering how the ad format differs from other ad types already available for developers on Windows 10.

Regular advertisement for apps right now usually consists of a text or image link that leads to Windows Store. Users may then look at screenshots, read the description, comments, and install the application.

The issue with this approach according to Microsoft is that the content on the Store page may not always provide a thorough picture on the application. The user experience may be different from the user's expectation.

Playable ads change that. They provide the user with a three minute long experience of the advertised application directly in the application the new app was promoted in.

Playable Ads are a completely new way for end users to interact with ads and apps. With this capability, end users never leave the current app. The ad click will result in inline expandable app streaming: for three minutes, the user can interact with the app as if it’s already installed on his/her device. This gives the user time to decide if he or she wants to install the app. At the end of the streaming session, users can click on a link to install the app if the app experience met expectations.

The following picture highlights the core differences between regular ads and playable ads promoted in Windows 10 applications.

Read also:  Windows 10: look up data usage for the past 30 days

playable ads



Microsoft lists several reasons on the blog why playable ads are better. Reasons include that users can experience the app before installing it, that they don't leave the context of the application with the ad, that users may stop the app stream of the playable app at any time, that developers have a better chance to highlight their app or game, and that users who stick with the app and install it after the three minute stream -- or before -- will more likely stick with the app.

Developers of Windows 10 apps can start creating playable apps right away using the Windows Dev Center.

These advertisements appear to be limited to Windows 10 apps for now. Please note that this may include native Windows 10 apps that Microsoft produced, provided that they show ads as well.

So, Windows 10 users who don't make much use of apps on the system, won't likely be exposed to these new ad format. The company pushed out a new type of ad recently though in File Explorer.

Now You: What do you think of playable ads?

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Playable ads coming to Windows 10
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Microsoft revealed the new playable ads advertisement option on the Windows Dev Center blog today that developers can take advantage of.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Playable ads coming to Windows 10

  1. David Boucher March 9, 2017 at 9:38 pm #

    All I know is I want an AdBlock--for the Windows Store...

    • ShintoPlasm March 9, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

      There's always Adguard (the full app, no the browser extension)...

    • Yuliya March 9, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

      I'd normally suggest using a hosts file (MVPS). But from my experiece Edge browser can bypass it, which is absolutely ridiculous. Which also means that Windows 10, at least the "universal" par of it, doesn't care about what you map in the hosts file.

      • Tom Hawack March 9, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

        Interesting. Is it only the Edge browser that bypasses the user's hosts file content or Windows 10 as a whole?

        Would I use Windows 10 that I'd avoid Edge, and that is even more certain than never installing Windows 10.
        If Edge (and all of Windows 10 if applicable) can bypass the user's hosts file, there are other system-wide blockers, be it for IPs, domains, urls : proxifier (all 3), dnscrypt (IPs & domains only), Peerblock (IPs). Don't tell me those are bypassed as well or I'll repudiate my faith in mankind!

        But as it goes, as I discover from others' experiences, from blogs, from what I read here and elsewhere, I am day after day more and more convinced that i'll never install Windows 10.... unless should it turn out that Windows 10 is as tweakable to be put in conformity with the user's wishes as previous browsers are.

      • Yuliya March 10, 2017 at 1:04 am #

        Tom Hawack,
        I only tested this as I've seen some reports when 10 got out. I tried blocking bing_com and Edge could still access it even after flushing DNS cache and restarting the PC. Neither IE nor FireFox could reach it which makes me think only the "universal" side of the OS has this "issue". It also seems to only apply to some addresses, as MVPS's hosts does seem to block the content that it is inteded to block within Edge. I couldn't test other universal applications as at that time Edge was the only UWP browser (I doubt things have changed in this regard), and couldn't figure out how (and honestly be bothered) to test other universal applications behaviuour, like News for instance.

        A hardcoded whitelist is the only explanation that I can come up with for Edge's behaviour.

  2. Yuliya March 9, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    You pay for an OS which eventually blasts you with ads, and its manufacturer's main concern is how to show you more ads luring you into buying all sorts of cr.p that you don't need? In which parallel universe is this acceptable?! No! This is absolute junk, disgusting and a total insult towards the end user.

    My advice, at this point, IF you need Windows 10, just install Enterprise LTSB and fu.k microsoft. Greedy bastards. Chances are that if it's a laptop you already paid for the "priviledge" of using Windows 10 anyway.

    All the bugs and the broken mess that this OS is, and all they're workning on is how to show more ads to the user..

    • Richard Hurts March 10, 2017 at 9:19 am #

      That would be the universe where idiots keep giving them money, rather than learning to change or going without.

  3. Henk van Setten March 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    The interesting thing here, in my opinion, is not the advertising aspect of the "Playable Ad". For if Microsoft had chosen different words and instead had named it something like "Interactive App Demo", it might have sounded a bit less creepy.

    No, the interesting thing here is the security aspect. What's to prevent malicious developers from putting a clean and safety-checked app for download and installation in the Store, but at the same time hiding some nasty data harvesting routine within this nice fuzzy "inline expandable app stream" that people will interact with while trying out a not yet installed app?

    And because in the try-out stream this app is already working before it is actually installed, users may not even get a theoretical chance to read and reject the corresponding terms and conditions...

    Perhaps the developers of real-time virus scanners will find a whole new line of work here.

    • Anonymous March 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

      "Interactive App Demo" does not sound less creepy. Everything about Windows 10 IS creepy and gets more so every day.

  4. Chris March 9, 2017 at 11:23 pm #

    Windows 10? Um, no.

  5. Norm March 10, 2017 at 12:20 am #

    I wonder if Win 10 has a subliminal ads feature yet.

    • Manuel March 10, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      I'm sure M$ has a research team standing by to develop the means of inserting subliminal messages through VR devices. :P

      • Tom Hawack March 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

        That wouldn't surprise me but remember, it's always for our good, it's only to better serve us, even ads are for our good, not to mention tracking which is only to improve the OS. It's not that Windows 10 is a calamity nor that Edge is half-baked, it's only that the company is aiming at having users tailor the eternal beta stage OS in order to develop a long-term partnership with us all in a discontinued everlasting dynamic universal odyssey and thrilling adventure.

      • www.com March 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

        >That wouldn't surprise me but remember, it's always for our good, it's only to better serve us, even ads are for our good, not to mention tracking which is only to improve the OS. It's not that Windows 10 is a calamity nor that Edge is half-baked, it's only that the company is aiming at having users tailor the eternal beta stage OS in order to develop a long-term partnership with us all in a discontinued everlasting dynamic universal odyssey and thrilling adventure.

        That has to be the most patronizing pile of crap I've read here in a long time.

        You sure you didn't forget the "/s" at the end of it?

  6. justakiwi March 10, 2017 at 12:35 am #

    meanwhile, when i get to be on my death bed. no-one will ever hear me say 'damn, i knew i shouldn't have installed win10'...says/thinks no win7 user ever

  7. Hendricks March 10, 2017 at 12:53 am #

    Can't help but feel the pain of bandwidth usage and how this format will expand to other types of ads. You get people used to a 3-minute, playable demo ad and later... you get them used to a regular 3-minute video ad that you can't pause or close. It's their M.O.

    It's what they're doing with their spyware OS. They expected millions to complain but continue to wait it out (with false buzzwords like security and best Windows Evah!) until their base simply gets tired of complaining.

    Business sociology 101.

  8. ddk March 10, 2017 at 12:58 am #

    Wondering if that's coming to Win 8.1, they also have an app store.
    I am ready to ditch MS, been trying other OS platforms.
    Mac doesn't work for me, not enough customization to my liking.
    Currently using KDE Neon (Linux) but my God this is buggy, one crash after another.
    And very slow. resource heavy. Forget Solarus & BSD, you have to be a rocket scientist to use.

    I'm learning desktop choices are limited. At least Windows won't crash constantly and is the most stable in my experience.
    It's a mobile world, don't expect too much further innovation on desktops anymore.

    • Mr Jim Business March 10, 2017 at 1:36 am #

      I have never ran a linux distro that constantly crashed, that is weird. I run Manjaro reviewed on here

      https://www.ghacks.net/2017/02/28/review-of-manjaro-xfce-edition/

      it is rock solid and super fast for me and I love it, they also have an kde version if you like that.

    • MdN March 10, 2017 at 1:39 am #

      That's KDE for you. I'd recommend Kubuntu instead, at least it's based on a stable version of KDE. And if resources are the problem there's Xubuntu or Ubuntu MATE, or with slightly more RAM Ubuntu Gnome or just plain normal Ubuntu. Or Manjaro or Linux Mint. KDE is just as advanced as it can be buggy for some people, they are constantly developing something or the other. I know a small company that uses Kubuntu for everything, though, and uses it well.

    • lehnerus2000 March 10, 2017 at 2:11 am #

      I'd suggest you try Linux Mint MATE.

      After Ubuntu first foisted Unity on everyone (2012?) I swapped to Linux Mint.
      LM has been at least as reliable as W7 Ultimate.

      Obviously YMMV.

    • Richard Steven Hack March 14, 2017 at 5:22 am #

      openSUSE is probably the best KDE-based Linux. Almost never any issues with KDE - except for Firefox's crappy memory management occasionally (frequently) crashing Firefox and once or twice the whole system (probably due to some interaction with the video drivers.) Once in a long while the windows manager will crash (probably due to Firefox as well.)

      Forget all the "little" Linux distros that aren't adequately supported. Stick to the bigger distros which are usually more stable. I'm on openSUSE 42.1 (due to be upgraded to 42.2) which runs fine on my eight-year-old AMD Phenom 9650 quad-core with 4GB (due to be replaced by probably an AMD Ryzen-based system this year.)

  9. insanelyapple March 10, 2017 at 1:19 am #

    > Playable Ads are a completely new way for end users to interact with ads and apps.

    Can you imagine someone happily clicking in OS advertisements, getting distracted from the workflow? Because I can't.

    What kind of person you had to be so corporate thinking could made you bring such shitty idea and thinking so easily...

    • All Things Firefox March 10, 2017 at 4:49 am #

      > "Can you imagine someone happily clicking in OS advertisements, getting distracted from the workflow? Because I can’t."
      First of all, it's not an OS advertisement. It's an in-app advertisement. This is completely different from the ads shown in the Start Menu or in File Explorer. That's why I dislike the article title. The comment at the end about File Explorer ads doesn't help either.
      Secondly, if someone's actually working, no, he won't click on the ad. But if he's playing games, browsing news, etc., it's definitely conceivable.
      Really, this changes nothing in the Windows 7 vs. Windows 10 debate. You can continue to use desktop apps, just as in Win 7, and nothing will change.

  10. LD March 10, 2017 at 2:36 am #

    Does MS do focus groups? You know, a selection of people from both Venus and Mars.

    If they do focus groups, I think they must be getting them from Uranus.

    Why Uranus? - frigid, gassy, rotates in the opposite direction to the majority of the other planets in our solar system and is known for the cloud(s) it produces. And of course, there is how you pronounce it.

    his is one dumb-uranus idea that MS has come up with for an OS.

  11. TelV March 11, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    Windows 8.1 support will continue until 2023 so no need to panic just yet. But I avoided Windows 10 like the plague and once support expires for my current OS I'll definitely switch to Linux (unless an even more attractive OS appears by then).

    From a purely cosmetic point of view Manjaro looks to be most aesthetically pleasing distro I've seen so far and I hope they'll continue with that theme come 2023.

    As for the time being KB2976798 popped up in Windows Update this morning for the umpteenth time and promptly got hidden. M$ seems determined to capture a few more reluctant 8.1 users with their snooping apps and one has to tread warily these days when it comes to Windows Update.

  12. Jasam March 11, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    Linux Mint Xfce, all the way...

  13. Mola Ram, CEO Microsoft March 12, 2017 at 7:18 am #

    "Users were asking for more ads in their Microsoft Experience, so we're giving them more ads! This is what the users wanted! Everything we do is for our faithful customers." - Microsoft

    And you know they are planning worse. Subscription fees, etc.

  14. neil March 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    don't android apps use adverts?
    if so, is that not similar?
    doesn't google (who make android) rely on advert revenue to provide you with a 'free' os on your phone that then promotes adverts in apps?

    i use win10 & android; but what else is there as a viable alternative.

  15. Jon March 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

    Am grinding an axe, so far after chopping & reducing windows 10 to below 2 gb install .wim it always crashes. & fails to completely install.
    Dont worry microsoft, Bring it on. I will reduce your windows 10 wim to 2GB & ESD files to 1GB, that's an OATH!

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