If you find the ads on Xbox’s dashboard annoying, you’re not alone, as even the person who brought the ads on the gaming console feels for you. It was Microsoft employee Allen Murray’s idea to bring ads on Xbox’s dashboard, and now he extends his apologies to everyone.
The motive behind bringing the ads was quite intuitive, though. Using the ads, Murray wanted to promote game titles that users might not have been able to discover on their own.
Back in 2004, in the Xbox 360 era, Murray went to Larry (Major Nelson), and presented the idea. “I went to Larry and showed him the problem: there was no way to promote content inside the Xbox 360 itself.” Larry liked the idea, however, the boss was not pleased with the concept of displaying banner ads on the dashboard, fearing that gamers will hate it.
“It was very hard for me to convince people that this sort of advertising was good,” Murray said. “In hindsight, I think it was my choice of language, using terms like ‘advertising’ and ‘banner ads’ that conveyed a tone of corporate soullessness. This was games! We were supposed to be cool and f**k the man and all that s**t.”
The boss, whose name hasn’t been identified, was spot on. The banner ads went on to become the Banner of the Day system that the Xbox team since used to schedule ads — the same that most of your find annoying as heck. “Nowadays the Xbox One UI is nearly all ‘ads’, i.e., links promoting content and apps in the Xbox ecosystem,” he said. “So it’s nice to see that the idea caught on and if you hate the Mt. Dew ads, I am truly sorry.”
Thanks Surbhi for the tip!