WP8 Start Screen Now with Adverts

There is still a lot we do not know about Windows Phone 8. What we do know is that it will share many things in common with the slightly newer Metro inspired UI’s of the Xbox 360 and Windows 8. Let us discuss the recent trend with Microsoft inserting advertising into its products using metro tiles. These adverts are already present in Windows 8 and the Xbox 360. Will those advert tiles be making an appearance in Windows Phone 8 too? 

WP Central Apollo Mockup with Ads

The Xbox 360 has changed its dashboard of late so that it now actually displays a reduced in size game tile that sits in the top left hand of the main screen. The rest of the UI consists of a huge central tile with rolling ads for content and features, whist in the bottom right there is an actual advert.

If we look at the Windows 8 Release Preview, we can see some similar ideas being tried out. Admittedly, not on the home screen (yet), but within the Music and Video Hubs there exists placeholders for adverts. It’s also worth noting that where an advert placeholder doesn’t exist in a hub, like Xbox live games, the first place you are taken to is a multi-tiled avert page for the Marketplace games content.

Windows 8 Music Hub Advert Placeholder

I happen to pay for Xbox Live Gold subscription; I find the ads on the main landing page pretty odorous. Adverts and promotions on Xbox 360 actually side-line my own paid content (you know the game I spent £40 on!) to a tiny tile on the screen. One would expect that the actual game would occupy the main tile in the centre of the screen.

The Xbox design is an extreme example of advertising being shoehorned into a Microsoft’s product. I do wonder will we see adverts supplementing more of their operating systems income. I see no reason why an advert tile couldn’t exist on the Start screen of both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, the potential income could be huge. After all, the adverts exist on a Microsoft product that folks are already paying a subscription for, why not take that further?

Would you object to adverts on your start screen? Where do you see this trend going? I’d love to know your thoughts..