Enough with the Popups, Microsoft

Given Microsoft’s successful marketing of Windows 10, unfortunately, this is probably just another sign of things to come. In the near future, most software will constantly nag users to purchase upgrades or additional features.

Microsoft customers on Windows may have experienced yet another popup notification while running their device. Microsoft’s latest informational message is directed towards Office365 subscribers and is pushed to various versions of Windows including Windows 7 and 10. This may come as a surprise considering that those users are already paying customers. The popup launches right above the Windows system tray area. It is labeled Office365, and informs customers that “your upgrade to Office 2016 is ready”. It reveals furthermore that the upgrade is free (Free with your Office 365 subscription).

Customers can click on “see what’s new” for information, later to postpone the upgrade, or upgrade to start the upgrade process right away.

office365popup

via ZDnet

If that sounds awfully familiar to the “get Windows 10” notifications that Windows 7 and 8.1 users had to endure, you are probably not wrong.

The main issue with it is the usual one: there is no “no thanks” button. While you can select later to dismiss it for the time being, it is almost guaranteed that it will spawn again at a later point in time.

While not necessarily classified as an ad, it certainly is nagware.

Mary Jo Foley over on ZDnet reports that the prompt is misleading as well. She is a Office 365 Business Essentials subscriber and as such does not get locally installable Office 2016 apps. Still, she did get the popup advertising those.

A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDnet that the notification is designed to provide existing Office 365 subscribers with an easy way to upgrade to the latest version. Microsoft furthermore would evaluate customer feedback and adjust the right frequency of the notification.

The company has released a Fix It solution that turns off the Office 365 is ready notification on the operating system.

microsoft block office365 popup

To use it, simply download it and follow the steps outlined in the application to do so. Doing so should block any future popups from being launched on the system (until Microsoft changes the method I guess).

Office365 subscribers who don’t want to upgrade to the newest versions of the Office apps, or cannot without paying extra, may want to run the Fix It solution to block the popup from appearing again.

The rise of the popup

Popup ads don’t have the best of reputation on the web, and rightfully so. Microsoft pushing popups to Windows 10 first and foremost, but now also to other versions of Windows, may convince part of the company’s user base to do whatever the popup suggests, but it will certainly irritate another part.

It seems that Microsoft is accelerating the pushing of popup notifications — ads — especially on Windows 10.

Most are limited currently to get users either to upgrade to a new Microsoft product version, or switch to a Microsoft product — think Edge instead of Chrome — instead.

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