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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RE[3]: Trayspamfilter needed?
by tidux on Wed 25th May 2016 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Trayspamfilter needed?"
Member since:

> Non-Microsoft .doc/.docx handlers are universally terrible, to the point where they disregard entire paragraphs and pages.

This is intentional on Microsoft's part, and is why the file formats remain entangled with Office's internals. I have successfully used the family to work with .doc/.docx for a decade and never had that particular problem, but I suppose I got lucky. Most of people's alleged problems with Libreoffice vanish when they use a proper file format like .ODT.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Trayspamfilter needed?
by daedalus on Thu 26th May 2016 07:48 in reply to "RE[3]: Trayspamfilter needed?"
daedalus Member since:

It really depends on the document. In my experience, typical documents are easily interchangeable back and forth between MS Office and LibreOffice and generally look the same. Where LO starts to have problems is when it comes to complex documents full of things like nested tables, tight page margins or no margins at all, and so on. It's these edge cases that show up incompatibilities.

Using another format is great in theory, but a non-runner when you're dealing with documents coming from many different sources - most people don't have a clue about file formats. It's hard enough to get people to understand the difference between .doc and .docx internally in an office, let alone trying to explain to potential customers why their document ends up different on your computer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:

But nobody else uses ODT so you are stuck with documents that don't work properly in LibreOffice.

Reply Parent Score: 2