The New Way Microsoft May Annoy Its Customers

Microsoft may find that it has annoyed a lot of customers. The company is planning on increasing the numbers of ads it shows users.

By Joseph Farago | Updated

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Everyone is annoyed by excessive advertisements. Whether targeted or not, people like to use their websites, apps, or watch TV without interruption. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t gotten that memo. Instead, the company has been implementing more advertisements for Outlook mobile for iOS and Android over the past several months.

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft’s Outlook mobile app is a personal information manager. You can check emails, scheduling, spreadsheets, and other forms of messaging through the application. When checking emails through the app, a new type of advertisement pops up. Instead of solely being included in the “Other” tab, ads are being shown on users’ non-spam inboxes. The move intends to galvanize free users to upgrade their Outlook app for the non-ad experience.

Microsoft has been testing out this wave of advertisements over the last couple of months. The company is making it harder for free users to avoid ads, with targeted notifications entering users’ inboxes. Now, the only way to circumvent these troublesome ads is to pay for Microsoft’s premium service: the Microsoft 365 subscription. The subscription starts at $100 per month and can be shareable for groups of two to six people. Though the pricing isn’t extremely expensive, it’s another additional cost for those attempting to use Microsoft for free.

Another frustrating element of Microsoft’s persistent ads is that they disguise themselves as real emails. As stated above, the new rollout has focused chiefly on the Outlook email section. The notifications previously relegated to the “other” tab are now directed to users’ primary email. The advertisements enter the inbox like a standard email, equipped with a heading and a subject. You can eliminate them by swiping on the heading, but new advertisements will pop up in its place. The content inside the email will likely have a link to an in-app browser as well as targeted advertising.

Though Microsoft wants to encourage free users to pay for the Microsoft 365 subscription, the marketing ploy may backfire. Already, countless one-star reviews are being left in Apple’s App Store to condemn and scrutinize the excessive advertisement issue. People have also taken to Twitter and Reddit to discuss the unfortunate turn of Outlook’s mobile app, frustrated by the pervasive ads. Microsoft has yet to initiate a response to the annoyed customer base and hasn’t declared the reasoning for this new ad implementation.

Microsoft is gearing up to release its updated iOS this fall. This Windows 11 has been pending for quite some time, but the tech company has yet to reveal the finalized name for the upgrade. Microsoft made an official statement about the upcoming “Windows 11 2022 Update,” which many believe is a placeholder for the actual update’s title. The public has often scrutinized the company’s lengthy update names, wanting Microsoft to transition to a more concise naming system like Apple’s products.

Though much is changing at Microsoft, the recent ad implementation has been incredibly divisive for its loyal customer base. Since the company wants its patrons to upgrade their Outlook apps, it may increase the number of advertisements to pressure its customers to buy the ad-free subscription package.