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.

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Top 5 New Microsoft Tray Notifications
by fretinator on Wed 25th May 2016 18:22 UTC
Member since:

Top 5 New Microsoft Tray Notifications
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------
1. When the phone senses you may need to use the restroom - "Where do you want to go today"
2. Every time you visit a porn site - "Excel...lent!" from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3. Periodically mention the new, hip replacement for Cortana - Bob.
4. If you open a competitors office app, show the video of Ballmer dancing on stage and screaming, with text superimposed - "We know where you live!"
5. IF the user is using Windows Phone...Never mind.

Reply Score: 5

dionicio Member since:

'Notifying you about excel-ent massage houses around your actual location'.

'Just right now! and only for 20min make this 50% coupon effective at Cheers House.

'Would you like me to provide your BestBank card?'

Buttons usual locations changed to say 'Yes' when 'escaping' the notification in a hurry.


F_(k about user trust.

Reply Parent Score: 2