Microsoft starts testing ads in the Microsoft Store


Level 85
Thread author
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Aug 17, 2014
In March 2022, Microsoft revealed several improvements for its app store on Windows 10 and 11. One of those improvements is the Microsoft Store Ads project. After several months of waiting, Microsoft is finally ready to start testing ads in its marketplace.

Microsoft Store Ads will follow the same idea Apple and Google use in their storefronts. When the user searches for something, the store displays contextual ads tailored for the specific customer. In addition to standard search results, Microsoft will show extra listings with the "Ad" badge, thus giving developers another method to promote their projects and customers to discover content they might like.



Level 26
Top Poster
May 3, 2015
I thought the Microsoft Store was one gigantic ad to begin with; it is shipped with Windows 10\11 to sell stuff.
It was a poorly managed attempt to repeat the success of Linux and other app stores, of course they expected to make money out of it. Its main failure was not allowing normal installable packages and the difficulty adding your app to the store. These last points have actually improved lately but it's still unreliable and sometimes fail to install apps.
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Level 33
Nov 8, 2014
This makes me believe to buy MS office and windows at discounted prices from kinguin and other sites since they serve ads even if you pay retail price for Home/Pro editions


Staff Member
Malware Hunter
Jul 27, 2015
If your main problem with the Microsoft Store is that you get too many relevant results when you search for apps, good news: Microsoft is officially launching Microsoft Store Ads, a way for developers to pay to get their apps in front of your eyes when you go to the store to look for something else.

Microsoft's landing page for the feature says the apps will appear during searches and in the Apps and Gaming tabs within the app. Developers will be able to track whether and where users see the ads and whether they're downloading and opening the apps once they see the ads. Microsoft also provided an update on the health of the Microsoft Store, pointing to 2022 as "a record year," with more than 900 million unique users worldwide and "a 122% year-over-year increase in developer submissions of new apps and games." Microsoft has steadily loosened its restrictions on Store apps in the last year or two, allowing in traditional Win32 apps and also leaning on Amazon's Android app store and the Windows Subsystem for Android to expand its selection.

The company launched a "pilot program" of the Microsoft Store Ads back in September of 2022, and the look of the ads doesn't appear to have changed much since then. Ads will be served to Microsoft Store users on Windows 10 and Windows 11 and are only available to developers who have already published their apps to the store.
These kinds of ads are usually described in benign terms—that they're merely a way for the developers on the Microsoft Store to boost their work and find more users. The reality is that similar ads on Apple's platforms, at least in my experience, tend to be either irrelevant (ads for Twitter or Truth Social on a search for Mastodon clients), annoying (ads for shovelware free-to-play games), actively malicious (the brief period where gambling ads took over the store), or some combination of all three.

The new addition may or may not turn up relevant search results for users, but it does add more advertisements to a platform that already has plenty of them.

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