Windows 10’s Setup Process Gets Ads for Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass ad during Windows 10's Setup process.

First Candy Crush and now this: Windows 10 will soon beg you to set up a $1 subscription (recurring at $10 per month) while setting up a PC. Don’t you want Xbox Game Pass? Are you sure you want to say “No thanks” and just use your new PC?

This latest news comes from Albacore, who has a track record of finding many new features in Windows 10 before they become public knowledge. As of June 2021, it’s likely that this new “feature” is being tested in Insider builds of Windows 10. As usual, the feature may be changed or never see the light of day.

While setting up a new PC, you may see a “Discover your next favorite game” page that prompts you to either click “Join for $1.00” or say “No thanks” to this amazing offer.

Of course, only the first month is $1. The service is actually $10 per month, which is a pretty standard tactic, but somehow feels cheap when it’s integrated into Windows 10’s setup process.

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass for PC service is actually not bad. For a monthly fee, you get access to a library of games and you can play them all you want. They run locally on your PC. Some people will get good value out of this subscription—but is Windows 10’s setup process really the place for another advertisement?

At least Candy Crush is gone. Small victories.