MICROSOFT (and especially Microsoft under Satya Nadella) seems to have an unspoken rule of seeing how far they can push something before customers start screaming "what are you doing? We said just the tip".
It has been the source of many a hilarious burn over a company that has done more U-turns than Ayrton Senna, and now there's one more to add to the collection.
The most recent beta of the bundled Windows Mail client (nee Outlook Express, for older readers) has, according to multiple reports, been adding adverts inline to user inboxes - because we weren't getting enough junkmail of our own, apparently.
Microsoft has said that the ‘experiment' which was being conducted is now over and has turned the ads off, but given its propensity to twist the reality of the situation, we have to question exactly what they were testing it for unless there was at least some intention of turning it into a regular "thing".
Remember, this is the same Microsoft that started nagging people using Mail to upgrade to Office not that long ago, before removing that 'experiment', as well as at one point diverting all links in the app to open with Edge, regardless of default.
Weirder still is that the FAQ on the test has been removed as well. Microsoft was very keen, it would seem, to keep this on the down-low.
Exhibit 'B' then - this was no random rollout - the experiment was visible in specific countries - Australia, Brazil, Canada and India, and to specific groups - that is to say those using Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro (but not the Enterprise or Server versions) and only to people who have no Microsoft account linked to their Windows login, or an EDU (educational) domain.
Is it us or is that very targetted for something that was more than just experimental and leaked by accident?
This was an experimental feature that was never intended to be tested broadly and it is being turned off.— Frank X. Shaw (@fxshaw) November 16, 2018
It all seems very thought through to us and we call bullsquirt - at least in part. Let's just hope the reaction means it doesn't try anything else. μ
The other Google news of the week
Everyone clear the Aria!
And it's Samsung's thinnest and lightest tablet yet