Microsoft Experiments with Ads in Windows 11 Start Menu

Microsoft is currently testing a new feature that places ads within the Windows 11 Start menu. These ads are showing up in the “Recommended” section, which traditionally suggests files but now also promotes apps from the Microsoft Store.

This test is limited to a small group of Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel in the U.S. and does not affect devices managed by organizations. The initiative builds on Microsoft’s recent efforts to enhance app visibility and user interaction within the operating system.

Options to Disable Ads

Users who wish to avoid ads can easily deactivate these suggestions. This can be done by going to Settings > Personalization > Start and switching off the option for Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more. This action will eliminate the ads from the Start menu.

In a recent blog post, Microsoft stated that these experiments are meant to explore new ways to enhance the user experience and may not necessarily lead to permanent changes.

This move by Microsoft is not entirely new; they have experimented with various forms of ads within their operating systems over the past decade, including promotions in Windows 10. The introduction of ads in the Start menu follows previous tests involving File Explorer and even the lock screen of Windows 10.

The feedback from this round of testing will be crucial for Microsoft as it decides whether to implement these changes in the final version of Windows 11.

Solomon Thompson

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