Last Friday, the 10th, the Microsoft made an announcement that will certainly generate discussion among users: a new update that will insert promotional advertisements for your Game Pass service directly in the operating system settings.

However, it is important to highlight that, so far, this new feature is only being implemented in the test version of Windows 11 — to be more precise, in build number 26120.470. Big Tech itself made a point of clarifying that the focus of these ads are users who have a more gamer profile and who tend to use their PC a lot to play. Therefore, in theory, if you don’t have this profile, you shouldn’t see these ads. In theory…

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“Recommendation” will only be displayed in Home and Pro versions

Microsoft will have a new way to promote Game Pass on Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure/Microsoft)

The Redmond giant did not fail to mention important details about this advertising “recommendation”. She expressly mentioned that the presence of this ad will only be restricted to the Home and Pro versions of Windows 11.

Another point of attention is that you will need to be logged in with a valid Microsoft account for the user to view the ad. This, in turn, will appear prominently on the initial settings screen, something that can be clearly seen in the image published as a highlight along with the ad.

This information was initially released through the Development (Dev) channel of the Windows Insider Program, a space intended for registered users who are interested in testing in advance the functions being developed by the Microsoft team. It is worth mentioning that the Dev channel is considered second in the hierarchical order of releases, being just ahead of the Beta channel. In Beta, users can try tools that are already in a more advanced stage of development and are almost ready to be officially launched.

Little by little, Microsoft is filling Windows with ads

Example of ad in the Start Menu
Example of ad in the Start Menu

And the news doesn’t stop there. Microsoft has previously indicated that the latest versions of the Dev channel are part of Windows 11 24H2, which is the next major update and is expected to reach users during the second half of the current year.

It is undeniable to see that this change in the system settings home page interface represents yet another Microsoft strategy to incorporate advertisements within the Windows 11 ecosystem. We cannot forget that, at the end of April, advertisements had been introduced in the Start menu in some test versions of the operating system.

The situation drew even more attention when Microsoft chose to remove references to this change in one of its most recent updates. However, this was not the first time that the company demonstrated intentions to integrate advertisements into the system — just remember that, in 2022, some advertisements “accidentally” appeared in the file explorer, causing surprise among users.

Given this scenario, there is speculation that Microsoft could be planning to make Windows 365, its cloud-based operating system solution, more financially accessible through the inclusion of advertisements. This tactic could also be applied to Windows 11, offering consumers a reduced-cost license or even a free version that would be supported by advertising.

For more information: WCCFTech and the official Microsoft website


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