Facepalm: If there's one thing Windows 11 could use, it's ads appearing in the operating system—said no one other than Microsoft. The Redmond firm appears to be testing a feature in preview builds that shows ads for its services in the flyout menu, where users can sign out or lock the system.
Twitter user Albacore posted screenshots showing ads and promos for Microsoft products appearing in the flyout screen above the Change Account Settings option in the latest Windows 11 Preview Build. One of the ads prompts users to back their files up to OneDrive, while another suggests users sign up for a Microsoft Account.
Turns out OneDrive isn't the only thing that can be advertised here, prompts for creating a Microsoft Account can appear as well " pic.twitter.com/ZXjdv44Byn— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) November 7, 2022
Windows Insider Program Team Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc replied to the Tweet, emphasizing that Microsoft is only experimenting with some variations of this feature with Windows Insiders. He also noted that users had already been notified about it in a post last month.
However, that notification consists of a bullet point under the Changes and Improvements section that reads: "We are trying out a small change to the Start menu where some Insiders will see badging on their user profile notifying them that certain actions need to be taken." Even by Microsoft's standards of verbal chicanery, it's hard to imagine anyone thinking that sentence translates to the implementation of ads. The fact that the feature uses the same orange indicator as Windows system alerts is also annoying users.
In fairness to LeBlanc, he did admit that Microsoft could have communicated the change better, possibly by including a screenshot. But that's unlikely to placate people at this point, especially if this test makes its way into production builds.
Ads in Windows aren't something new, of course. Windows 10's Start Menu has them, though they can be removed, and Microsoft once ran full-size ads for Edge. You might also remember Microsoft testing ads for its services in a preview build of Windows 11 earlier this year. That caused a lot of outrage, but LeBlanc said it was an experimental banner not intended to be published externally.
Thanks, Windows Latest