Here's what Microsoft says about Windows 10's version of Solitaire and its ad-supported model

Microsoft has taken some heat in both the tech and mainstream media over the version of the Microsoft Solitaire Collection game that's bundled with Windows 10. We reached out to Microsoft to get a feel on its view after seeing the reactions.

Microsoft has already released a version of the classic card game for Windows 8 and 8.1 that generates in-game ads that can be turned off for a monthly fee of $1.99 or a yearly subscription for $9.99. A version of the game is also available for Windows Phone as well. That same business model has been used for the Windows 10 version of the game, but many users and reviewers think the use is different because it comes with the operating system, rather than as a optional downloadable game from the Windows Store.

Windows Central got in touch with Microsoft and asked if, in light of these complaints, the company might consider modifying its business model for Microsoft Solitaire Collection in Windows 10. Here is their response, via a company spokesperson:

"Microsoft Solitaire has been free to play for the past 25 years on Windows, and continues to be free to play on Windows 10. Users can access and play everything within the game for free, including new premium features like Daily Challenges and Star Club. The Microsoft Solitaire Collection game experience and Premium Upgrade features such as Double Coins for Daily Challenges, and removal of advertisements, is identical to the Windows 8 version that has been available for purchase for years."

That response would seem to close the book on the company making any changes to Microsoft Solitaire Collection in Windows 10, at least as far as its use of in-game ads.

190 Comments
  • This is so foolish. The money isn't worth this bad press
  • I agree. Solitaire on Windows is one of those pop culture icons that tend to get people riled up.
  • Agreed. It's a real shame they've gone the all is good for ads route. Yes, it was like this in win 8.1: That doesn't make it any less ridiculous our any more justified. This is a cynical money grab by a company that doesn't need it. But then look at w10 - if you out into it it's a massive privacy breach designed to do one thing: Hoover up your life so it can be sold for advertising. That's nuts. Yes, one can opt out. Provided one goes through hoops. All for convenience. Just because google and IOS do out doesn't make it right. But then that's a lot of ad dollars. Anyway, sad. Check out rock paper shotgun for a good read on privacy. And shame on msft. Solitaire goes with all the other Bing junk apps: The uninstall hole.
  • That is what you get when Windows is "free"; the money still has to come from somewhere so now instead of paying $300 up front and having clean Windows you can trust, you get it for "free" and are obliterated with ads and other data mining practices like encoraging you to use you MS account for log in, using advertisement ID's, cortana sucking up all you data for "product improvement purposes", etc... sure you can disable or opt out from most of this but a normal user will just leave it on default, and crap like ads in aps that were free with previous Windows versions you have to pay extra for to get a clean experience.  
  • Yup.  Cortana is now Google.  So, off she goes!
  • Precisely why I pay wherever I can. I'm not getting a free update to w10, I'm getting Enterprise, going live tomorrow (though I won't be upgrading for a while yet, want to wait and see), but yes: They're should be an option to pay and so not be commoditised. But they're isn't an option.
  • Good point. What is the update for enterprise windows 10?
  • Most of Microsoft's revenue comes from their involvement in enterprises, not from regular consumers. Read up before you post.
  • Maybe, just maybe Microsoft is looking to expand on where their money comes from.
  • Which is why they're doing "free Windows with Microtransactions" now.  To get more money from the consumer market via services and things like that...
  • What? What other "Microtransactions" or even services besides Solitaire are there for things that havem't always been that way?
  • If you don't like it, don't use it.
  • Thing is: this Sollitaire app is also available for Win8 (and just an upgrade). But the previous version also had ads and also had a premium adfree variant. So there isn't any change from what they already had. And the ads aren't obtrusive. You aren't getting a fullscreen forced unclosable video. Its just on the homepage and in some menu's (like finishing a game). Its not annoying and you can go perfectly without them. I don't mind them doing this and i feel that people are only angry because of the screenshot they saw, not because what it actually meant and how things actually looked.
  • Exactly, it's a piddly little advert that you virtually never notice. MS give a lot for free with Windows 10 (including the OS itself), but they have to pay their developers somehow and I think having premium features or ad supported stuff is a small price to pay. The fact is Google has changed the landscape by commoditising us and making everything ad supported. Much as MS don't want to play that game they have to compete with Google as people just prefer getting things "for free" these days.
  • No! MS solitaire now has 15 to 30 second commercials TV ad commercials =/
  • The big problem is though that the ads ARE very obtrusive at least for me! I had to sit through a 30 second forced unclosable fullscreen video. And on the main menu there are banner ads reminiscent of shady copy-cat games that install adware if you accidentally click on the ad
  • No. You don't HAVE to sit through adverts as you have a choice.
  • Uninstalled this immediately after upgrade. Plan to replace my Windows Notebook with a MBA in a couple/few months.  I don't like the direction they're going with the rampant data collection (settings littered everywhere it takes an hour just to go through everything to make sure you're not giving too much) and ad-supported pre-loads nevermind the defaults to Ads on the Start Menu and Lock Screen.
  • Pay for the app and you don't have to sit through anything.  Everything isn't free.
  • Sure they need money, every company needs money how else can they pay their developers? The ads are unobstrusive I forgot they were even there, nobody forces you to pay and you can play the game fine without it. These days the world is more open, people have to accept giving up a little privacy in the name of progress. If you really are that paranoid, sure switch these things off and uninstall stuff, but you're giving up a lot for the sake of some bizarre feeling of privacy.
  • They are full screen video ads like the ones you got when trying to listen to XBox music's some months back.  THey are extremely intrusive.  No one wants to blast a video add across starbucks just because they decided to play Solitaire while waiting for a friend to arrive, and the Ad Removal would be okay if it was a $0.99 to 2.99 charge or something, but an ongoing subscription that costs as much as a 20GB+ cloud storage plan?  No, that's just a shady way to do things, especially when you're completely removing the full free and working version from people's machines and replacing it with this piece of shit.
  • While from user's perspective it might not be right, it might be very good for developer's ecosystem. Microsoft shows that it doesn't want to use its position to leverage over independent developers. And then in the end it might be a good thing for a user.
  • Here is the Rock Paper Shotgun article that talks about Windows 10 spying on its users: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/07/30/windows-10-privacy-settings/
  • Microsoft doesn't own an ad business anymore, they aren't collecting or selling any of your data for ad purposes. 
  • Microsoft still owns an ad business.  They sold part of their ad business, not all of it.  You don't think Bing advertises?  Do you think they are just using Google Adwords, now?
  • They would just find something else to complain about.
  • Not at all -party and be done for it. No one should feel entitled to free anything. Pay and no ads our other bs. Then one can't complain.
  • Soooo, getting a brand new free OS isn't enough, people need to get upset cause Microsoft is charging for a version of Solitaire without ads? Some people are never satisfied. I don't understand how people expect Microsoft to make any money if they keep giving everything away for free. They're trying to be a service company, so you have to expect they are going to have things like this.
  • I think Microsoft is in the right, but for pr they should just relent for now.
  • Sorry but you are wrong. Windows is not free, it's just a promotion for a year. If you buy it next year, you will still have ads in Solitaire.
  • ? Windows is free. Solitaire without ads is not. Pretty easy to understand.
  • Windows isn't free.  The upgrade is free on limited promotion, for a year.  If you buy a new PC, the OEM will have still paid Microsoft for Windows 10.  If you build a PC and need a Windows OS for it, you have to pay. And in those cases, you'll still have Ads in the OS. People coming from XP/Vista aren't getting Windows for free, either. We're already paying for the OS with the massive "above Google" level of data mining they've built into it.  Paying to remove Ads in a game like this is dumb. I'm sure someone will have the Windows 8.1 Win32 Games available for download and install in short order, though, so I removed this instantly and will wait until that happens.
  • @bjax. Thank you. Exactly what I thought. First this is really no different than any other app on the market, and second Microsoft has to make money on the services because obviously they lost alot of revenue by giving 10 away for free to millions of people. The part I find most interesting here is that people just now complain. Solitaire has been like this for 2+ years now. Really shows the attention being paid to Win 10 this time around, and that people are upgrading from earlier versions (the only people that could complain I figured are ones that used 7 or earlier before)
  • This ^
  • "I don't understand how people expect Microsoft to make any money " The thing is, they do not expect that. They think Microsoft owes them something because "The OS is shit and everyone knows it. Linux is better! Lets hate MSFT for the sake of it" Besides, I would be annoyed (but not upset) if Fable Legends had adds... but being upset because Solitaire has them? Seriously?
  • I thing you're spot on. Windows shouldn't be free. Pay for it. If you want it free it needs to be supported somehow so ads. Perhaps a two tier ownership. And definitely so subscription model.
  • That's called the Pro version of Windows 10.
  • it's a game and there are dozens of other solitaire games available.  Hard to believe people are making a big deal over this. This is an optional downloadable game. they just installed it for you, like with candy crush. you are free to uninstall. i'm keeping it because it's the best solitaire game I've seen. im not payimg the subscription and will deal with commercials between games, just how i deal with commercial between videos on youtube and when watching streamed tv shows.
  • Windows 3.1 came with Solitaire bundled. It was ad free, but it was still a part of the OS. Same with Minesweeper. Don't know why people are getting so riled up about something that has such a precidence. You can probably still find the original executables floating on the internet somewhere if you want an ad free digital card game experience.
  • I have problem with subscription. I'd rather Pay $5-10 once to get rid of ads, but imagine paying for three years And then deciding not to pay anymore and the ads return! Now you have paid more than it may be worth and still have ads.
  • Uninstall after your subscription runs out - problem solved. Or better yet, don't use it at all and just uninstall it at the first instance..
  • Spot on.
  • That's what I did, uninstalled it immediately.  My mom will be pissed since she plays them a lot, but I'll uninstall it before I send her laptop back to her and replace it with a cheap or free Win32 card game.
  • Well that's the point of a subscription, what you think you should get free cable or electricity after you stop paying your bills?
  • Ha
  • Did you actually read his statement. He said "..​.. is identical to the Windows 8 version that has been available for purchase for years." Why was the Windows 8 version not criticised? Instead, it was criticised now when in fact you are getting a free OS. It simply appears to me that these are all manufactured press, including the news that Windows 10 opens your wireless network to your friends on default; Microsoft will charge your for upgrade after 3 years etc.
  • Because no one used Windows 8.
  • "No one used Windows 8" You for real now?
  • Because people are stupid and complain for the sake of complaining. End of the day though, if the biggest problem MS have with Windows 10 are some fools moaning about ads in a card game, then I think they've done bloody well.
  • I have a solution Microsoft should implement for all the whiners, they should have a button in the app that allows them to install "Solitaire Classic" and have it ad free, then they can play the old application with no ads for life. But you know they would still complain they can't play the 100 times better "free" version ad free. I paid 9.99 for the 1 year ad free version because the application is really that good and deserves support. For those that have never impemented an app before, let me clue you in, it takes lots of time and thus money to develop and maintain an app of this caliber and complexity. It also takes cloud rsources for each player that plays, and cloud resources aren't free. Thats why it's ad supported, not because Microsoft is greedy.      
  • No, the solution is unbundle the app so that it is EXACTLY how it was with Windows 8: Ad-supported and installable through the Store.
  • You got Windows 10 for free, a $119 value at least. I'd GLADLY let Microsoft put in ads for that trade -off.
  • *$15 - that's what I paid for the W8 upgrade
  • and you have not used W8 and just wait for W10 free upgrade before using the license, right?
  • wut? I have W8 on my desktop PC (using aforementioned upgrade) and on my SP3 (pre-installed)
  • Will it be OK to complain about it once the limited time free offer is gone ?
  • Why is it when Google has some service, the fanboys are defending Google left and right about how their products are free so them taking your data and doing whatever they wish to with it or shoving ads down your throat every chance they get, is justified because they need to make money some how and it is their business model? But show an ad in a free program, and on Microsoft hating web sites the internet melts down because it is a Microsoft app.   The hypocrisy is astounding.
  • And anyone who defends MS is just shilling. The best part are the people critizing "X" part of Windows 10 while using Google services.
  • Well I still enjoyed it on Windows 8 and I didn't pay anything then. I dont think there should be this much hubbub about nothing. I think only a year of ad removals at best is dumb. That should be a permanent purchase if someone felt so inclined.
  • Agreed
  • That is what I have the issue with, they should put in a one time price to remove the ads forever, not this stupid subscription ad removal, what idiot would pay a subscription to remove ads, in the long run it will cost you more then any other AAA game on Steam, and that is for a stupid card game without ads.
  • I agree with this entirely.
    A big deal about a silly timewasting game. Who cares. But monthly and yearly fees for said game is entirely too greedy.
  • Yup.
  • Microsoft uses cloud resources to support the application, those aren't free so a one time purchase doesn't really make sense. It's like those lifetime memberships at a gym that don't make business sense,  if enough buy them then the gym runs out of money by year two and go out of business because expenses continue, but revenue drys up. It happened to me and my Wife. Businesses require recurring revenue to support the app/service.
  • Cant say ive seen the ads in the wp8 version guess maybe they have some type of setup based on speed of internet connection or my isp is blocking these ads somehow?
  • I don't see the problem. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Sure it takes more resources to run and has adverts, but is a far better game with more options. Everyone wants something for free these days. If you don't like the business model, uninstall.
  • Not free, just one time purchase is what most of us are looking for.
  • Yes, if you don't like it, uninstall - problem solved. Or don't use Windows 10 at all.
  • Brilliant salesmanship there. This strategy has worked out wonderfully for Maxis, hasn't it? ;-)
  • Just uninstall it from everyone's computers with the next windows update. Let them download it which apparently will make the complainers happy. Morons.
  • Having ads just stokes up the fear of Windows users that "Windows as a service" means Windows as an ad platform or Windows as potential subscription service.  It damages confidence of upgraders.       
  • Becoming like google?
  • Those exact sentiments crossed my mind.
  • It's an app it's not like they are scrolling ads on the desktop. I do agree with whoswho about the yearly fee which to me is the actual issue. I do not want to see developers start to think this is a good idea.
  • One of the most used apps since Windows came out. It never had that before. What happens if they added ads to notepad? Sadly, some people will think that's where it's going. They should just put back the regular one and make this one a download
  • use a differwnt ntepad app or a different solitaire app. take a look in the store. it's not like there are no alternatives. the app that came before was a lot more basic than this. they took time to make this app really nice. they want to be paid for their effort. however, it should be a one time fee and not a subscription since the game doesn't involve hosting games between users. they can also remove ads for xbox live subscribers. 
  • Just wait, if this stupid trend of people expecting "free" upgrades and "free apps and software" continues soon you will see ads on desktop and have to watch a two minute ad each time you turn on your PC, lol; people don't seem to realise that nothing is free, you either pay for it up front or you are forced to pay for it in other more insidious ways.
  • Exactly. Desktop was the last Haven away from such things. Make your cash on store, office and enterprise.
  • How about they make their money how they used to and properly sell Windows, and none of this "free" crap with ads and other compromises.
  • this is a store app. it's not the desktop.
  • free things come with commercials. If they do start runnimg commercials, then switch to another OS. Until then , enjoy your free update. i highly doubt they will ever run commercials directly in the OS. however, they might charge or use ads for value added services and apps. they have charged before for things like media center and addon packs.
  • Ok... Once again. It's not free. It's just a promotion to pull you into upgrading. I already upgraded. If you don't make use of the free upgrade, you'll be buying the OS next year. Even then, you will get ads in these apps and games.
  • So are you getting it for free or not? Microsoft has to put a time limit to give people an urgency to upgrade now. I mean it's a whole damn year and Microsoft is also advertising like mad about the free upgrade. You are also talking as if the apps and games is a part of the OS. Are you expecting all games and apps in the store to be free with no advertisement, including all the mobil office apps? If you don't like the business model, don't download and don't use the apps.
  • Not worth a penny. Just play the real cards, and enjoy with your family.
  • But Solitaire is a one-player game and is slow as hell in person and requires a lot of space to play.
  • Lol. One of the few card games that's actually better on screen.
  • People just love to hate on Microsoft. It got old years ago, and it's even worse now. Microsoft is damned if they do, damned if they don't. 
  • Yeah. Got old is right. Enough said...
  • it's just a dumb game you can get everywhere, if people dislike this, they should uninstall it, or stop using a computer because many companies give free but on exchange give ads. Many apps use this, many websites use it too. but people can just never use this app and give ad money to Microsoft. I mean in store there are many solitaires, on emulators, on normal desktop games there are solitaires too. Hoyle makes nice card games. they could get that and don't worry about how an app has ads (like if this was the first time) so you are right, people just love hating on Microsoft for whatever dumb reason. like people complaining about how P2P updates are on by default, or how if you use Microsoft account you have to store some files on Microsoft servers... but all that can be avoided, included Solitaire.
  • I could be wrong, but don't the ads only run for premium like things like daily challenges and such? I see no problem with that, however, the quick, not for challenges games should be ad free. Just my opinion.
  • Agreed.
  • For me, the reason this is worrying is because of all the other language about Microsoft moving to being service-driven. I get that they need to make money somehow, and I'm somebody who is completely ok with paying for Windows and Office and any other quality software. This one is really only a problem because 1. It used to be free, and 2. Honestly how many hours did it take to update Solitaire for Windows 10 that they desperately need to cover their expenses? I hope this isn't an example of a new business model of nickel-and-diming every little thing. I would so much rather drop $200 every 3 years for a new OS than have a