When Microsoft announced that virtually every single PC user on earth would be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $40, I cheered the company. But this low price is partially achieved by the bizarre addition of advertising in Windows 8, a move that I think cheapens the product.

I’ve been meaning to write about this issue for some time, and I guess I’ll just use my recent travel explosion as the excuse for the lateness on this. But this topic is easily and quickly explained: There are ads in Windows 8. Here’s an example, from the Weather app.

And another from News:

Now, apologists will explain that these ads aren’t in the OS user interface, which is true, and that you really have to hunt for them in the apps in which they do appear, which is also true. But this is a slippery slope, folks. If you accept a few banal ads in Windows 8 for $40, what would you accept in Windows 9 for $20? When does it stop? And why wouldn’t it get worse?

Ads are unacceptable in Windows 8 for the same reason they’re unacceptable in the Xbox 360 Dashboard, another place where Microsoft is pushing the boundaries: You pay for these products, so they don’t need to be further subsidized. (And why Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers still see ads in the 360 is an insult I’ll never understand.)

There should be no ads in Windows 8. Period.