Next big update for Windows 10 will bring more ads to the Start Menu

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

Microsoft will apparently increase the number of promoted apps in the Start Menu in the upcoming Anniversary Update for Windows 10. The planned update will display 10 Live Tiles with promoted apps instead of the current five.

Microsoft presented a series of PowerPoint slides from its WinHEC conference in which it revealed details about the upcoming Anniversary Update. In it, a particular slide made mention of Microsoft’s decision to increase the number of promoted apps, or as they call them, “Programmable Tiles.”

programmable tiles windows 10

Redmond’s purpose behind the increased number of Programmable Tiles is to “introduce users and expose them to the Windows Store.” More Programmable Tiles mean that Microsoft will have to remove some static Windows 10 apps from the Start Menu in order to create space for promoted apps.

Programmable Tiles are just advertising

Many users are not satisfied by the presence of Programmable Tiles in the Start Menu as they see them as a pure advertisement for those apps. Users were unhappy when Microsoft originally introduced promoted apps, so it’s not hard to predict people’s reaction when their number gets doubled.

However, Microsoft stated that it’s possible for users to remove Programmable Tiles with Group Policy Editor, but it’s actually not a perfect solution for everyone. We remind you that this feature is only available in Pro, Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Windows 10, so Windows 10 Home users won’t be able to remove promoted apps in this way.

Even if you use Windows 10 Home, and you don’t want Programmable Tiles to appear in the Start Menu, there’s a way to run Group Policy Editor even in the Home edition. To find out how to install Group Policy Editor in Windows 10 Home, check out this article.

Although the company hasn’t confirmed it — and probably never will — Microsoft implemented a lot of ads in Windows 10. Programmable Tiles is just one way to promote apps from the Store to users. Another is the “Recommended apps” feature, which also appears in the Start Menu. But unlike Programmable Tiles, Recommended apps can be disabled easily.

Tell us in the comments: what do you think about increasing the number of Programmable Tiles in the Start Menu? Do you see it as just another Microsoft’s way to expose users to ads and promote the Store?


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