HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft Tests Integrating Ads into Windows 11 Start Menu

Microsoft Tests Integrating Ads into Windows 11 Start Menu

Microsoft tests adding ads to Windows 11 Start menu's "Recommended" section. It's optional and can be disabled.

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has initiated a testing phase for a new feature within Windows 11 Beta Channel that integrates advertisements directly into the 's “Recommended” section. This development is aimed at both Windows 11 Home and Pro editions, where users might see suggestions for apps and websites. Although still in the preview testing phase, this move marks a significant shift in how Microsoft plans to utilize its operating system's interface for promotional activities.

User Control and Feedback

In response to potential user concerns, Microsoft has assured that this feature will be optional. Users wary of advertising intrusions can disable the feature by navigating to the Settings menu, selecting Personalization, then Start, and finally toggling off the option labeled “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.” Microsoft's decision to allow users to opt-out at least respects the differing preferences amongst its user base. The company is closely monitoring feedback from the Windows Insider Program's Beta Channel in the U.S., indicating that the feature's future will be heavily influenced by user reception.Ad-App-Reccomendation-Start-Menu-Windows-11

Broader Context and Reactions

This initiative is part of a broader trend by Microsoft to integrate more of its services and promotional content directly into the Windows operating system. From the inclusion of MSN content on the lock screen to Copilot advertisements in the Widgets panel and the Settings app, Microsoft is exploring new avenues to engage users with its ecosystem. However, these efforts have not been without criticism.

Some users express concerns over the increasing commercialization of the user interface, fearing it may detract from the core user experience. The sentiment in online forums and comments sections suggests a mixed reception, with some users open to discovering new apps through these recommendations, while others view it as an unwelcome intrusion.

Microsoft has been angering users with its ads policy in its own services. In January, I reported on ads appearing in the Outlook app. These ads, which closely mimic the appearance of regular emails, are causing frustration as they are seemingly designed to encourage accidental clicks. Users of the free version of Outlook, which replaced the retired Mail app on Windows, are the ones affected by this update.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.