Playable Ads: Try Windows 10 Apps Without Installing, Via Microsoft Preview

Microsoft has introduced a new way to try Windows 10 apps without installing them — but it’s still with the developers.

Have you always wanted to try an app first before plunging in and taking the commitment to download it? If so, Microsoft may have the solution.

Engadget reported that this week that Microsoft announced Playable Ads, which will let users try a Windows 10 app before they decide to download. In theory, Microsoft’s Playable Ads will stream the full app to you via the ad, which lets you try the app as if you have it installed in your PC or laptop. The stream will last for three minutes to give you time to get a feel of whether the app is something you want or need.

If you think about it, Microsoft’s Playable Ads is much like Google’s Instant Apps for Android phones. Stream an app, try it for minutes, and decide whether or not you want to download it on to your phone. Save yourself the misery of installing and deleting apps which won’t work for you.

We first heard about Google’s Instant Apps in 2016, and it seems that this year, Tech Crunch reports, a small number of developers in the wild were already given beta versions to try.

Sadly, as of now, trying Microsoft’s Playable Ads is even more limited in scope than Google’s Instant Apps. Apparently, as stated in the blog post announcing Microsoft’s Playable Ads, the feature is just available on a limited preview basis to Windows 10 app developers. So if you’re a Windows 10 user, or even a Windows Insider, you won’t get to try this feature just yet.

Microsoft, however, is hopeful that Playable Ads will roll out to users in the shortest time possible, since Microsoft explains how easy it is for developers to create a playable ad for their Windows apps.

If you’re a Windows 10 app developer, all you need to do is create a new ad campaign with the “Try Now” call to action, and Microsoft does all the dirty work for you.

How easy playable ads work for Windows app developers [Image by Microsoft]

The thing is, Playable Ads can work both ways: it can sell your Windows 10 app or completely discourage your prospective client. This is because the user gets to try the app even before making the crucial decision to install it, which makes those three minutes of app trial extremely valuable. Microsoft explains the advantages of Playable ads:

  • Users can experience the app live before installing it.
  • Users will not leave the current app context after ad click since these are inline expandable ads.
  • Users can abandon the app stream at any point of time based on the quality of the game. He/she is not blocked until the end of the game play.
  • Developers can create an engaging experience during the first few minutes of a game to better explain its capabilities compared to screenshots.
  • Users who install the game after three minutes of engagement are more inclined to use the game/app than those who just installed the app based on the product description page.

If you’re a Windows app developer and would like to give Microsoft’s Playable Ads a shot, it’s easy. Check out Microsoft’s instructions at the Playable Ads announcement page.

If you’re not a Windows app developer and would like to sample Microsoft’s Playable Ads, at this point, there’s no way to preview the feature just yet. We have reached out to Microsoft on whether they’re planning to release an early build to Windows Insiders or if they’ve got a target public release and we’ll update this article as soon as we hear from them.

Microsoft’s Playable Ads will only work on Windows apps that could be purchased and accessed from the Windows store app.

A screenshot of the current Microsoft Store app for Windows 10 [Image by Inquisitr]
A screenshot of the current Microsoft Store app for Windows 10 [Image by Inquisitr]

[Featured image by RoSonic/]