It seems Microsoft will continue its practice of advertising services within core elements of the Windows 11 operating system. @XenoPanther on Twitter reports the company is now working on adding recommended content to the File Explorer. Microsoft already places recommendations within the Start menu.

We first saw glimpses of this back in March 2022 when information about Microsoft testing File Explorer ads. As the ads will be for Microsoft services, I presume they will be easy to dismiss.

In the latest versions of the shell32.dll.mui and propsys.dll.mui suggest a new Folder Options window. In the privacy section for the General tab there is a new options called “Show recommended content”.

Nothing else is known about the addition, or exactly how Microsoft will implement it. It is worth noting it could be to highlight files and folders, but it could also be another way for the company to advertise its service. Perhaps it will be used to highlight random, recent, or important files.

Start Ads

In the Start menu on Windows 11, Microsoft began advertising since November. Of course, in theory, the company has every right to advertise its own products on its own platform. This is not a Google or Facebook situation. Microsoft is not gathering data to give ads for profits.

At the same time, ads frustrate users and many would prefer not to see them. Microsoft was forced to remove ads it placed on Windows apps in 2019. Back in 2017, the Window 10 File Explorer picked up some ads for OneDrive.

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