On devices running the newest Windows 11 Insider release, Microsoft has begun testing advertisements for some of its other products via the File Explorer app.
A Windows user and Insider MVP spotted the new Windows 11 “feature.” He uploaded a screenshot of an ad notice appearing above the list of folders and files in File Explorer, the native file manager in Windows.
If people are open to the idea, Microsoft can use similar advertisements to sell other Microsoft products, such as tools to enable users to “write with confidence across documents, email, and the web with advanced writing tips from Microsoft Editor,” as seen in the image.
People did not like it at all
The reaction to this outrageous idea was adverse. Some said that File Explorer is one of the worst places to show ads, with others warning that this move would force people to ditch Explorer for other options.
On checking the Windows 11 Insider Build after the outcry, it was no longer there.
The explanation is probably that Microsoft is running an A/B testing experiment to see how well the feature may perform, which prompted Redmond to disable it after the users showed their teeth.
Redmond has tried and will probably continue to
This is not the first time Microsoft has tested users’ tolerance to ads, having featured a OneDrive ad in the Explorer in 2016.
However, Microsoft didn’t stop at File Explorer; two years ago, it tried advertisements for its free Office online applications in the menu bar for the Windows 10 WordPad software, a trial that drew widespread customer backlash.
When customers looked for a rival browser on the Windows 10 Start Menu, the business began presenting adverts for Microsoft Edge. It is relatively safe to say they are not about to stop trying to put ads wherever they can.