Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th May 2016 22:52 UTC

Update: it happened again today. Here's the ad, and here's the "proof" it's coming from Word (when you long-press the notification and tap 'i').

It's been a bit of a running theme lately: advertising in (mobile) operating systems. Today, I was surprised by what I consider a new low, involving incompetence on both Microsoft's and Google's end. This new low has been eating away at me all day.

Let's give a bit of background first. On my smartphone, a Nexus 6P, I have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed. I have these installed for my work - I run my translation company, and when new work comes in through e-mail when I'm out and about, I like being able to quickly look at a document before accepting it. Microsoft Office for Android fulfills this role for me. This means I don't actually use them very often - maybe a few times a week.

Imagine my surprise, then, when this happened. Yes, I'm linking to the full screenshot in its full, glorious, Nexus 6P 1440x2560 brilliance.

I have a few questions. First, why is Microsoft sending me an advertisement in my notification tray? Second, why is Word sending me an advertisement for Excel? Third, why is this allowed by Google, even though the Play Store rules prohibit it? Fourth A, why is Microsoft sending me advertisements for products I already have installed? Fourth B, why is Microsoft sending me advertisements for products I already use? Fourth C, why is Microsoft sending me advertisements for products I already pay for because I have an Office 365 subscription? Fifth, who in their right mind at Microsoft thought this was not a 100%, utterly, completely, deeply, ridiculously, unequivocally, endlessly, exquisitely invasive, stupid, aggravating, off-putting, infuriating, and pointless thing to do?

I know both Android and iOS suffer from scummy applications abusing the notification tray for advertising, and I know both Google and Apple have rules that prohibit this that they do not enforce, but I didn't think I'd run into it because... Well, I use only proper, honest applications, right? I don't use the scummy ones? I pay for my applications?


I think it's time to start enforcing these rules.

Oh, and Microsoft? I haven't forgotten about BeOS. It's not like you have a lot of goodwill to mess around with here.

Permalink for comment 629372
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[4]: Uninstall it
by jessesmith on Wed 25th May 2016 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Uninstall it"
Member since:

Thom, you keep claiming no other suites are up to the challenge and you'd be on the street without MS-Office, but I work with MS documents every day (make much of my living off it) and don't run any MS software.

I mean, seriously, MS-Office apps didn't even run on Android phones until very recently and now you can't get along at all without them? How did you survive prior to MS porting their apps to Android?

I think you're over-hyping the important of MS-Office a bit. Well, a lot, really. My income also depends on being able to work with multiple document formats, including Microsoft Office (doc, docx, xlsx, etc). I haven't had to actually run Microsoft Office to do that in over a decade. Yet, I (a mere peasant) still manages to pay the rent.

Reply Parent Score: 5