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Will Microsoft’s plans to bring ads to Windows 11 work among users?

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Users may not enjoy new feature Microsoft is testing for Windows 11. — BBC via Microsoft
Users may not enjoy new feature Microsoft is testing for Windows 11. — BBC via Microsoft

Just when people thought they had enough of advertisements, Microsoft recently announced it will be introducing advertisements to the Windows 11 Start menu in an unexpected move.

However, it remains unclear if it would be a hit among beta channel users of Windows 11 who will soon be shown opt-out “recommended apps” from the Microsoft store in the Start menu.

“Building on top of recent improvements like grouping recently installed apps and showing your frequently used apps,” a recent Windows Insider blog post reads.

“We are now trying out recommendations to help you discover great apps from the Microsoft Store under Recommended on the Start menu.”

This means that advertisements will be introduced to a previously unsullied area of the Operating system Software (OS).

Although Microsoft, one of the Big Tech companies in the Silicon Valley, may have made the decision with the intention to increase visibility of certain apps, it is likely to have a negative impact on user experience.

Ted Litchfield, the assistant editor at PC Gamer, expressed his disappointment with the new Recommended tab in the Windows 11 Start menu, which displays installed programs and files.

He criticised the algorithmic recommendations and compared the feature to previous search bar ads.

He wrote: “I disabled even the pre advert version of this feature a while ago because it felt like The Mortifying Ordeal of Being Known.

“‘Here you go, you little piggy, your favorites: Elden Ring, some RPG from 20 years ago, and that notepad doc where you paste the URLs of gadgets and toys you want to buy for yourself, you adult baby.'”

He wrote that while users are able to opt out of the new Recommended apps from the store, “is it too much to ask to not have an OS I paid for keep shoving this crap in front of my face?”

However, Litchfield says that users of the beta channel may help in this case as they will be the first to see advertisements in the Start menu and their disapproval could be sufficient to halt it completely.

The blog post almost apologetically reminds users: “As a reminder, we regularly try out new experiences and concepts that may never get released to Windows Insiders to get feedback.”

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