Slippery slope for Office?


Hi everybody!

I distinctly remember how Windows 8 started adding ads to Windows, first innocuously and then more egregiously in Windows 10 and 11. This is what Paul very brilliantly labeled the “slippery slope”.

Well, today I noticed the following button in the new UI for my paid subscription to Microsoft 365:

Clicking on it opened a series of screens with ads for Office products I may or may not have:

While this is not super concerning right now, as it’s out-of-the-way and innocuous, it’s easy to imagine how this can eventually become abused. This seems to me like the beginning of that slippery slope in Office where a product I pay for monthly is serving me ads and that scares me.

What do you all think?

Comments (30)

30 responses to “Slippery slope for Office?”

  1. lvthunder

    If they are notifying you about features you are already paying for I don't call that an ad. How else are they supposed to inform you of other benefits of your subscription?

    • navarac

      It's an ad in my book. Trying to get you to put office apps on your phone - that's an ad and I don't personally want this rubbish.

      • lvthunder

        So how are you supposed to know what is included in your subscription if they don't tell you?

        • hrlngrv

          If all one wants is MS Office, why shouldn't MSFT provide an option to DISABLE all ads?

          Clearly one person's information is another's annoyance. Configuration options could make both types happy.

          • wright_is

            Just don't click on the button offering you additional information. Easy. /shrug

            • navarac

              I agree with "Don't click the button" but seeing it for the first time you'd wonder what it is and it is just another part of the slippery slope. It's also another annoyance that makes me abandon Microsoft altogether. Windows 11 > Linux and Office > Libre/Open Office.

              Relating to another post - it is also a reason for the enthusiasm being missing.

          • Daishi

            Then don’t click the button. No more annoyance.

  2. darkgrayknight

    This is more like the Tips icon in Windows and really just an extension of Help in general. While there is a line between information about what you own and what else you could add to what you own, I don't see this as an advertisement. This is normal with even non-software products you buy. There can be "ads" for other extensions to what you purchased or just quick start guides that let you know the basic details of your purchase.

    This is beneficial information for users who do not read this website that will let them know what all is part of their subscription to Microsoft 365.

  3. lwetzel

    Haters Alway Hate. God help them to see some light!

  4. wunderbar

    A dialog box that tells you all of the features of the service you are already paying for is not an ad.

  5. bkkcanuck

    I consider this more to be 'tips' rather than an ad.

  6. christianwilson

    I don't have a problem with this.

    These products are constantly evolving and very few people are ever going to visit a Microsoft 365 blog or follow a Microsoft social media account to learn what is new. These things are just tools to most people. They don't keep up on what's new with Office. We used to get a new version of Office, frozen in time, every few years. You knew what you were getting until the next big upgrade. When the next version arrived, you could read all the new features on the back of the box. It doesn't work that way anymore and Microsoft needs to have a way to let people know what they are paying for.

  7. matthewitt

    I don't really see this as an ad, especially when you're clicking a button and the sole point of the button is to display this type of information. It'd be different if you were in the middle of typing up a document and this popped up.

  8. wright_is

    I wouldn't consider those adverts. They are informing you about features you are already paying for but haven't discovered yet.

    For me, that is a kind of feature release note. An advert would be for something you aren't necessarily already paying for, such as NAV, CRM, Azure, Coca Cola etc.

    • navarac

      Advert, release note, infomercial. Call it what you will. I (personally) do not like this crap. Anyone else who likes it can revel in it all they want.

  9. Sprtfan

    If you hover over the icon it is called "My Benefits" When I click on it all it does is bring up things that are included with or related to my Office 365 subscription. I guess the Microsoft Editor extension maybe not the strongest connection, but this is almost like complaining about a "Help" icon.

  10. max daru

    You have to click the button to see the "advert" promoting features? That seems pretty innocuous.

  11. Chris_Kez

    I’m an Office 365 subscriber and I’m fine with this.

    • hrlngrv

      But can you understand that others aren't fine with this?

      • Sprtfan

        To be honest, I really can't understand how a link that gives information about a product you are paying for is problematic. Not like this is promoting Surface Laptops unless the link is showing me something different than the OP.

        • ianbetteridge

          I genuinely don't see what the big deal is. Lots of people who use Office don't know that it even exists on mobile, or that they can use it for free. Not everyone spends their time obsessively reading sites like this!

  12. bats

    First of all, Paul Thurrott brilliant? LOL. I got a litany of Paul Thurrott's "brilliance." Second, if Microsoft wants to put ads, it has every right to do so. Remember when you pay for a Microsoft 365 subscription, you do so to access and use their software and services. If they bring value to you, who cares about a little diamond that brings you to a sales pitch.

  13. j5

    Apple iWorks Suite just keeps looking better to me as I keep seeing all the frustration people are expressing over it. I still have a few months left on my subscription. And I'm on the fence keeping it, only for the OneDrive 1TB per user backup. And even then they're just now releasing a native app...but only a preview version. And who knows when they'll release it officially.

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