Dear Microsoft, putting ads in the Windows 11 File Explorer is a very dumb idea


Microsoft is testing new features with Windows Insider Build. While these are signs of good things to come, at other times, they need to dance in the band. For example: This week, Microsoft ran a test for Windows 11 Insiders, where ads for other Microsoft products were placed directly in the File Explorer, as illustrated by Florian Beboos on Twitter.

Microsoft later told The Verge that the "feature" should not be deployed externally and has been discontinued. Fortunately, the company does not guarantee that this feature will be visible in the future.
So let's get rid of this silly idea before anyone thinks about it: File Explorer - or advertising in most Windows applications is a very stupid idea. Microsoft has great ways to keep its users up to date.

I think Microsoft can try a lot of features, even for Windows Insiders. The company recently announced that it will begin testing Insider Builds without announcing any additional beta features - similarly, I initially assumed that this ad feature was just launched.

But somehow it means that Microsoft is planning to put more ads on Windows. Of course no one wants it.

This should not be surprising, though. When Microsoft introduced Windows 10 as a "service" and basically gave it away to most users, it is natural to assume that the company is looking for more ways to monetize the platform.

Prior to the current accuracy of ads in File Explorer, Microsoft added ads in Windows 8 applications. Then place ads in the Start menu on Windows 10. Microsoft has already placed ads in File Explorer, so this is no stranger. At this time my colleague Abimanio summed it up:

They may be small popups, but the logo, how it starts. Microsoft has a number of other products that you can start to slide into, including Office 365 subscriptions and Skype credits - and who knows if the company will eventually expand to offer other commercial ads?

The truth is that companies are slowly turning to advertising on their "free" products to see how much they like their customers. In his opinion, it's best to ask for permission, and if people accept ads for first party apps, it's only a matter of time before the company expands its reach.

This is an unfortunate reversal of most of the software we use in 2022 - when everything is in service, it's rare that you have software. Google and Apple are not innocent. If companies can find a way to make more money for you, they probably do.

Remember, I have no problem trying to keep companies informed about their new products and features. Microsoft Editor is great and people should know it!

But there are better ways to inform consumers. For example, the company already has an indicator widget that is loaded in the Tools panel by default. Sweet! It contains some useful tips for general customers and the company may be promoting most of its products there.
This is useful advice, and is kept in a place that does not bother anyone. It's also easy to deactivate permanently.

At least, it's a good way to opt out of users and doesn't interfere with apps and other features that people use regularly.

Although these ads may affect your workflow and may not be disabled, it may be a real problem. Instead of potentially helpful advice, these ads take steps to remind you that Windows is not your property. There must be computers, you know them personally. Nothing but ads in random places.

I don't know if File Explorer ads will ever come true, and I don't expect users to run Linux if they do. But I know this is not the last time Microsoft is considering hiding more ads on Windows. Suppose the company pays close attention.

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