Microsoft Says It Is Halting Email Ad Test

Microsoft apparently is backing off a plan to serve banner ads in Windows 10.

Following write-ups in  the Verge and other sites on Friday, Microsoft Communications Director Frank X. Shaw tweeted: "This was an experimental feature that was never intended to be tested broadly and it is being turned off.” 

Previously, the firm had described the program in a blog post that has since been removed, according to Gizmodo.  

The program is being tested in Brazil, Canada, Australia and India, the company says.

The archived FAQ says: “You may be seeing ads in Mail for Windows 10. This article helps answer frequently asked questions about that experience.

It adds: “Consistent with consumer email apps and services like Outlook.com, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail, advertising allows us to provide, support, and improve some of our products.”

The post goes on to explain that “Windows generates a unique advertising ID for each user on a device. When the advertising ID is enabled, both Microsoft apps and third-party apps can access and use the advertising ID in much the same way that websites can access and use a unique identifier stored in a cookie.” 

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Microsoft says it may also utilize demographic information to “make ads more relevant to you.”

However, the company states that people can opt out of targeted ads.

“You have full control of Windows and Mail having access to this information and can turn off interest-based advertising at any time,” it says. “If you turn off interest-based advertising, you will still see ads but they will no longer be as relevant to your interests.” 

The post also states that ads “will be visible for non-work 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 advises: “You can temporarily dismiss an ad using the trash can when hovering over the ad,” and adds that “you can permanently remove ads by buying an Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscription.”

 

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