Windows 11 could get more ads and popups, according to new features spotted in the preview builds. While the new ads we see are currently being tested for the operating system, it’s likely that the ads will eventually appear in production versions.
In the latest preview builds, Microsoft is testing some minor changes and major changes, including ads and popups on the taskbar itself. As you can see in the screenshot below, Microsoft is experimenting with Microsoft account and OneDrive warnings in the Start menu, a new idea that could very likely annoy the Windows community.
The ads are visible in the session flyout (the menu that gives you access to options such as Lock or Logout) in the Start menu. You’ll see OneDrive and Microsoft account recommendations, including warnings like “Back up your files,” “Sign up for a Microsoft account,” and “Complete your profile” when you click the profile icon.
Microsoft officials justified these new OneDrive ads in the Start menu as “useful” badges for novice computer users, but these are clearly ads. What’s even more annoying is that the ad is listed next to important buttons like a logout option and change account setting and they can’t be turned off.
In a statement, Microsoft confirmed that it is testing a number of changes to the Start menu, including one that will allow users to see “badgings on their user profile that notify them to take certain actions.”
Of course, beginners may find these ads useful in a variety of contexts. Microsoft thinks this could be helpful for novice users, as we’ve seen in the past. For example, the Windows Tips app was updated with similar pop-ups last year as part of the company’s effort to help beginners.
On the other hand, tech-savvy users won’t find these obvious OneDrive promos helpful and would want all the extra tips floating in the operating system. The problem is that Windows 11 does not provide an option to disable all advertisements in the operating system.
Microsoft is still testing this with a select group of users, so it can (and probably will) change based on the feedback and criticism from the community.