The single-player card game has been a staple of almost every Windows operating systems since Windows 3.0, way back in 1990. With Windows 10 though, there’s a catch — it crams in ads, including video clips, and the only way to remove them is to pony up some cold, hard, cash.
The Windows 10 edition of Solitaire is at least greatly expanded on its predecessors, packing in five variations on the game, multiple card designs, and even adds a competitive edge with daily challenges and tournaments. But to actually enjoy any of that without a 30 second video ad taking over the screen between matches, you’ll have to upgrade to Solitaire Premium.
It’s not a one-off purchase, either. To keep the ads at bay, you’ll have to pay $1.49/month or $10/year. To be entirely fair, this is the same as on the Windows 8 version, which wasn’t installed by default but could be downloaded from the Windows Store. With the fresh rollout of Windows 10 and Solitaire once again being pre-installed, plenty of new users are feeling the sting of the intrusive adverts though, and being asked to subscribe as a solution isn’t going down well.
Some Reddit users are none too pleased about the paid ad-removal. Although many point out that it’s nothing new for Windows 8 users, others say the problem is including advertising in native apps.
“Ads in native software is inexcusable,” writes user ofNoImportance. “If I go out and download a trial [game] and that’s got ads, fine. But not in something that’s 1st-party and paid software. I’ve already bought it, there’s no justification for ads.”
Technically speaking, while the new version of Solitaire is “native” in that it’s once again included with the OS, it’s not “native” in the same sense that the Edge browser or Control Panel is. The game is now developed by a third party studio, and the ads likely support its creation and maintenance, in much the same way freemium games on mobile operate.
Whether people noticing the game is now ad supported (presumably not too many people went to the effort of manually downloading it on Windows 8) leads Microsoft to offer an unadulterated version of Solitaire remains to be seen, although it’s probably worth considering that Windows 10 is itself free at present for the vast majority of users.