If you’ve updated to build 10565 of Windows 10, you’re updated operating system, specifically, the Start menu is now being used to display ads.
Well more like suggestions according to Microsoft. Which are more like ads for apps. Microsoft is not actually describing them as ads. The term ‘Suggested apps’ has a much more approachable and not trying to sell you anything but, instead, trying to suggest you buy something feel to it. This is a ‘feature’ is currently only being shown to Windows Insiders, but it will most likely spread to the other Window 10 users.
In a desperate bid to use every pixel of the Start menu, between the Windows 10 list of most-used apps and the Documents/Network/etc links, Microsoft has managed to create a new Suggested section. Clicking a suggestion, takes the Windows 10 user to the Store to download the suggested app.
Microsoft’s attempt to wrap ads as helpful ‘suggestions’ is clever but deceitful, but at the end of the day, they’re still ads for products hustle on the unwitting user. It is possible to switch off the feature — just right click the suggestion and you can opt to hide a particular app, or disable all future suggestions.
By default you are opted in, however, you can opt out of suggestions by heading to Settings > Personalization > Start and toggle the Occasionally show suggestions in Start setting.
Microsoft’s decision to include this “feature” is typical and it is no surprise they used the old start display app suggestions in the Start menu. It would be interesting to learn whether user data is collected to better tailor suggestions (privacy concerns?), or whether paid-for apps will be displayed along with free downloads.
So the bottom line is the Start menu is being used as an advertising billboard. But the price of free has a cost it seems and did you really think Windows 10 was free?