Microsoft Changing its Adware Blocking Defaults

Microsoft is making some changes to its security products where adware is blocked by default. The changes will come into effect on July 1. Under the new rules, Microsoft has set out a new criteria for what constitutes as adware and if a program meets that criteria, it will be blocked.

“We only consider classifying a program as adware if it runs on the user’s machine and produces notifications promoting goods or services in programs other than itself,” said Microsoft’s Michael Johnson. “If the program shows advertisements within its own borders it will not be assessed any further.”

Microsoft has set out a number of rules that programs must follow so that it offers the user choice and control. If these rules are not followed, they will labeled as adware and removed.

Programs that promote a product or service outside of their own program can interfere with your computing experience. You should have clear choice and control when installing programs that open advertisements.

The advertisements that are opened by these programs must:
Include an obvious way to close the ad.
Include the name of the program that created the ad.

The program that creates these advertisements must:
Provide a standard uninstall method for the program using the same name as shown in the ads it produces.

Previously when Microsoft detected adware, it would alert the user, asking if they would like the program blocked. Under these new rules, Microsoft will automatically block the adware and then alert the user to say that it has been blocked.

It is unclear how the program will function when it comes to advertising from Microsoft, though presumably they will be exempt from the criteria.

Read the full details of the new adware rules on Microsoft’s site.