Microsoft Is Testing New Ads in the Start Menu for Windows Users

Microsoft is testing new ads and ads that appear directly in the Start menu for Windows users signed in to local accounts. Users are now being reminded that they can sign in with a Microsoft account, use the free Microsoft 365, get 5 GB of cloud space, and so on.

Let me remind you that we also wrote that Emotet Is now Distributed via Microsoft OneNote Files. And also information security specialists reported that Fraudsters Are Running a Malicious Advertising Campaign through Google Search.

The company has been testing ads on the Start menu since at least November 2022. Previously, this was a way to promote OneDrive cloud storage, and also remind users that it would be nice to create and complete a Microsoft account.

Testing has continued and expanded with the release of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23435 to Insider program users on the Dev channel, the company now says. It should be noted here that features tested in this way may never be released at all or may be subject to major changes.

According to the developers, the new announcements should “highlight the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account.” The list of new posts being tested in this Windows Insider build includes the following suggestions:

  1. log in to your Microsoft account, make a backup, after which the device will become more secure;
  2. Use Microsoft 365 for free by signing in with your Microsoft account to improve productivity and use cloud storage;
  3. secure your account by logging in and personalizing your security and profile settings;
  4. access files from anywhere (5 GB of cloud storage for free when you sign in).

ads in the start menu

Apparently, Microsoft is also working on the opportunity to disable such ads. So, the researcher known under the pseudonym PhantomOfEarth noticed that in the “Personalization” -> “Start” section, the option “Sometimes show account-related notifications” will soon be available.

Let me remind you that this is not Microsoft’s first experiment in introducing advertising into its own products. For example, last summer, users found advertisements for Microsoft 365 Family subscriptions in the Office 2021 menu.

By the way, let me remind you that we wrote that Researchers find four vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office.

A few months earlier, in the spring of 2022, the company introduced advertising directly into Explorer, which caused user dissatisfaction. True, then Microsoft reported that there was an error, and it was an experimental banner, “which was not intended for an external audience.”

In 2016, Microsoft showed ads for OneDrive in the File Explorer app.

Also two years ago, the company tested ads for free Office web apps right in the menu bar of Wordpad for Windows 10, and Edge ads were displayed in the Windows 10 Start menu every time a user searched for a competing browser.
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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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