Microsoft is now testing ads as part of the Windows 11 Settings menu, as Microsoft’s push for you to take full advantage of its services continues.
Microsoft is reportedly encouraging users to adopt Microsoft accounts as part of the “Accounts” portion of the Microsoft Settings menu. However, the ads not here yet; Microsoft is testing them as part of the early Insider Canary builds, testers say, which means that Microsoft isn’t guaranteed to release them in final code for Windows 11 users at large.
Twitter user “Albacore,” who tests and then publicizes interesting features of new Windows builds, reported the change.
It’s important to note that, first, the “ad” appeared when the user was logged in with a local account, and that it apparently only appeared in the Settings > Accounts section of the Windows 11 Settings menu. While Microsoft allows users to create general local accounts for use in Windows, more and more Windows services require you to sign in—to automatically sync Windows files, use the Windows Store, and so on. But a local account also frees you from services that you may not want to use, such as OneDrive, and can make it harder for Microsoft to track your usage.
But Microsoft’s intrusive ads or notifications come as Microsoft inserts more ads into the Start menu, for example. Unfortunately, ads have been a fact of life within Windows for years, and as Microsoft prepares to wind down Windows 10 and its lack of new feature updates, we can probably expect more “reminders,” “ads,” and / or “notifications” to continue.
Of course, there are those who argue that Microsoft ads are a good thing: that new features should be promoted, and users should be made aware of what options they have to take advantage of them. On the other hand, if you are aware of them, they’re just another obtrusive roadblock that you have to dismiss to continue with your day.