Microsoft tests ads on Windows 11 Settings page

May 8, 2023

Are you tired of Microsoft ads? Well, Microsoft says here’s more: Microsoft 365 ads in your Windows Settings.

Windows enthusiast and leaker Albacore recently shared (via Neowin) that Microsoft has been testing a new way to introduce its ads to Windows customers. According to a recent post shared, this was discovered in the software company’s recent Dev Build 23451 release, which contained different Settings Home page treatments for Microsoft ads.

“This page has been hidden in builds for a few weeks and it’s slowly getting more cards added to it,” Albacore noted.

In the posts, it can be seen that two treatments are being tested for the Home tab of Settings, introducing its Microsoft 365 service. The first version shows the ad at the top of the Home tab, with OneDrive storage information below it and another ad encouraging users to create a Microsoft account. The second version is much simple, with the storage detail of the OneDrive account at the top of the Home tab, followed by a Microsoft 365 sign-in button.

On the other hand, given the company’s effort to transition from Office to Microsoft 365, another change was spotted in the Account tab of Settings. In the image shared, aside from a button asking users to sign into their Microsoft account, a small section can be seen notifying the users about the EOS of some company products (e.g., Office 2013).

The discovery might cause another wave of infuriated Windows customers. Yet, this is not new to the company. To recall, Microsoft has also been testing some ads in the different sections of Windows 11, including in the system’s sign-out flyout. Its ads also extend to its other products, such as Bing (which the company wants to monetize after its multi-billion dollar AI investment) and Xbox Home UI. Even more, Microsoft was also spotted showing huge banner ads promoting Edge on the Chrome download site. And as if that’s not enough, reports from users months ago showed Microsoft putting full-screen ads in Windows machines, asking users to do a Windows 11 upgrade or try its Microsoft 365 trial (with buttons to turn the offers down almost completely hidden).

Microsoft customers have always been vocal about expressing annoyance over these actions from the software giant. However, the company seems to be completely tone-deaf about it, and this new discovery is probably proof of it. With this, we might be just months away from having a system where each click will give you a view of ads, whether they disgust you or not.

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