DAMMIT MICROSOFT! You were doing so well at not being d*cks.
As it turns out, no good deed goes unmeddled, and Microsoft is at it again, this time finding a way to sneak adverts for its products into your Android apps.
If you have just about any of Microsoft's Android offerings, including the recently updated Your Phone app that allows you to send texts and read notifications from within Windows, you're going to start finding some weird stuff when you next share anything, from any app.
Microsoft has taken it upon itself to start including options to share from any Microsoft app that could do the job, even if that app isn't installed. In other words, if you're sharing a document, it might give OneDrive as an option to upload it. If you don't have OneDrive installed, it'll still appear, with (install) next to it, which takes you to the Play Store listing to grab that 'missing' app.
The second trick involves opening files. It's a similar MO - if you open, say, a spreadsheet, you won't just get an option to open it in Google Sheets (or whatever), but you'll get an option to open it with Excel - and yes, that (install) append tells you it'll take you to download the app.
Microsoft will argue that nobody is making you use its apps. However, as the only company using this tactic, it opens a whole can of ethical issues about whether it is really fair to clog up your context menus with what are billed as helpful suggestions.
We've always referred to Microsoft's apps for Android as part of a "chestburster" policy - that is to say, hiding quietly, ready to try and take over, like the alien in John Hurt's chest in the movie ‘Alien'.
Well, this is what we meant. This has put a big ol' hole in Kane's torso and Ripley's gone to get the mop.
This is the biggest example we've seen yet of Microsoft abusing its place on Android to try and take over as the primary source of apps. It's a bit like when a cuckoo (a bird known for its failed mobile operating systems) starts trying to kick other birds out of a nest.
You might think, ‘so what - I can ignore them'. But what if every developer adopts this practice? Your phone menu is going to get pretty unusable, pretty quickly.
Microsoft - back in your box. This isn't how the game is played, says INQ for the 6,478th time. μ
And that'll cost you a tenner a month
Watch this space
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