Here’s something that I haven’t seen discussed yet but that’s been bothering me for a while now. Some of you may have noticed that since the Nodo update (or even the pre-NoDo patch) ads embedded in most websites are no longer displayed in the IE Mobile browser (I mentioned this in the Mango Preview). I first thought that there was probably a bug somewhere or that my device was stuck displaying the “Mobile Version” of the sites (in WP7 RTM selecting mobile version displays desktop webpages without the ads) but this finally wasn’t the case. This may not seem like a big problem but people have to remember that the vast majority of the websites on the net exists thanks to the ads displayed on their pages and this is why I’m wondering why Microsoft decided to suddenly force ad-blocking on Windows Phone 7 without telling anybody about it.
So why is Microsoft doing this? To speed things up a bit? IE Mobile on Windows Phone 7 currently isn’t the fastest web browser around and Microsoft may have decided block ads so that the pages are loaded faster. Unfortunately from my own experience this didn’t seem to help much and it unfortunately prevents reviewers from doing real side-by-side browser comparisons (like I did here where you can see ads perfectly displayed in IE Mobile) because WP7 is effectively displaying less content now.
But maybe there’s something else going on? I’ve noticed that Google’s AdSense ads are the ones primary affected (oddly enough some other ads can sometimes be displayed depending on the ad provider). Could this have something to do with Microsoft’s anti-trust complain against Google? I frankly don’t know and so far even IE9 Mobile in the Mango Beta has the same issue.
I would be great if Microsoft officially commented on this. Why not give the user the option to block ads or simply leave it like it was in the RTM (users could block ads simply by selecting Mobile Version in the browser settings). Thankfully for publisher this probably doesn’t really affect them much because WP7′s market share is relatively small at the moment but when things ramp up this may turn into a problem.