So there I was, typing away after using a couple of coffees to make myself feel vaguely human. Up popped a notification from Skype. This was odd. I don’t use Skype because I absolutely loathe it. The app isn’t even running. Nonetheless, there it is: a notification telling me that I have been signed into my account.
While I don’t use Skype, I do have a Skype username from back in days gone by — but this wasn’t the account Windows 10 told me I had been signed into. Rather it appeared that Microsoft had created a secondary Skype account for me (gee, thanks…) based on my name and decided to randomly sign me in to foist the terrible messaging app on me. What gives?
Despite my utter hatred of Skype, curiosity got the better of me and I clicked the notification to find out what the hell was going on. “Say hello to the new Skype” screamed the screen that appeared. No. I’d already said goodbye… or so I thought. “We’re getting the next version of Skype for Windows ready and we’d like you to give it a try today”.
This would be fine if I had expressed even the slightest interest in Skype. But I haven’t. In case it’s not yet abundantly clear, I hate Skype with a boundless passion. You would actually have to pay me to use it. So why on earth is Microsoft pushing its horrible messaging client on me so aggressively? Why is it creating an account for me that I haven’t asked for? Why is it signing me into that account without my permission? Oh, that’s right… it’s because Windows 10 is all about advertising these days!
Not content with using the Start menu to advertise apps, it seems that Microsoft is now using the desktop to push adverts to users in the form of notifications!
Intrigued, I clicked through to the profile that Microsoft had signed me into. I was informed that my profile was 50 percent completed. Oh, I thought… perhaps this is actually an account I created and forgot about. But no. The profile was nowhere near half complete — only the name and email address (clearly scooped up from my Windows 10 account) were present.
This is just not on. I’m sure I’m not alone in not appreciating having crap pushed at me like this. We’ve already seen it happen with Windows 10 itself, and now it would appear that Microsoft is using the same underhand tactic to push more of its services on people. It’s shitty, and it needs to stop.
The Skype Preview welcome screen invites me to “Use the smiley feedback button to let us know what you think, what you love or even what you’d like to see next”.
Well, Microsoft, what I think is that you are invading my desktop in a most unwelcome way. I love it when things like this don’t happen. What I’d like to see next is for you to respect my privacy and leave me alone.