Ads are coming to File Explorer in Windows 11 (updated)
No, Microsoft, just no.
UPDATE 3/16/2022 08:17 ET: It seems that the introduction of ads in Windows 11 was “an experimental banner that was not intended to be published externally,” according to a statement received by The Verge. But, Microsoft does have a track record of this behavior so we’re taking their statement with a healthy dose of skepticism. The original article follows below.
Yeah, File Explorer. That app you can’t really use your computer without. It’s now showing ads at the top of the window. Check out this screenshot (shown below) of the ads, which was shared on Twitter by a Windows Insider MVP.
In this instance, Microsoft is promoting Microsoft Editor, which is their free-to-use Grammarly alternative.
The ad says “write with confidence across documents, email, and the web with advanced writing suggestions from Microsoft Editor,” and it’s unmissable.
Some of the replies to the tweet are saying they received other ads, like one for checking out PowerPoint templates on the Office website.
Microsoft also used WordPad to try and push users to the free, online version of Microsoft Word.
The other thing here is that all of the ads shown in Windows 11 seem to be for Microsoft software. That could land them in hot water with the FTC, as it’s possibly an anti-trust violation.
But hey, at least we might get tabs in File Explorer soon.
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