back to article Microsoft tests 'upsells' of its products in Windows 11 sign-out menu

Windows appears to be testing ads in the user session flyout menu (where you sign out, lock, or change settings) of Windows 11 preview builds, with clearly annoyed Windows Insider Albacore sharing screenshots on Twitter. The feature test shows ads in the flyout menu, which prompts users to back up their files to OneDrive, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In-use ads? Here's a suggestion Microsoft:

    Piss Off and take your operating system with you.

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Perhaps Next Year

      will indeed be the year of Linux on the desktop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perhaps Next Year

        How many WIndows users know the name of the operating system?

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Perhaps Next Year

          I know the name, I love Windows it's great - I just needed to get an ADC running to collect some biomechanics data this morning and so I powered up a Windows computer that I haven't used for 8 months now, plugged the ADC into the USB port and it was up and running great in one minute. That's normal, no big surprise ... Oh, you want to know the name of the operating system? It's Vista.

          I thought Vista had issues originally but now Windows 11 is making Vista look wonderful!

          1. Updraft102

            Re: Perhaps Next Year

            I thought Vista had issues originally but now Windows 11 is making Vista look wonderful!

            Vista did have issues, indeed, but what most people never noticed was that these issues were fixed relatively early on in the product life cycle. By then, everyone had given up on Vista and gone back to XP, so few were left to see the "fixed" Vista. So MS made a few color changes, a few tweaks here and there, and released the product again, this time called Windows 7. It was, of course, a massive success.

            Ah, those were the days, when MS actually fixed problems identified by their users. For all of the MS hate that has gone on, MS has genuinely tried to deliver OSes that provide what the users want. The marketing team sometimes compelled them to release products prematurely, as in Vista, but if one waited, they would always improve.

            That was before we had the "new" Microsoft, the one we are told is no longer evil, ushered in by Satya Nadella.

            The collective Windows user base seems to have chosen a form of Stockholm syndrome as a means to soothe their cognitive dissonance over the way they are being treated by Microsoft. I keep hearing now about how Windows 10 is a good OS and how much it has improved, but none of these improvements are in the areas that led people to declare "never 10."

            Even after all of these alleged improvements, Windows still does not grant its users anything approaching full control over updates. It still has no OFF switch for telemetry. It still has ads. It still acts as if the PC belongs to Microsoft instead of the user. It is still insufficiently tested for consumers for its premium price (it costs more now than when it was professionally QA tested). It still treats the user's PC like it is a phone, with a continued weird half and half UI even though MS abandoned its phone ambitions years ago.

            These are the reasons people like me rejected Windows 10 all those years ago, and they have not materially improved. MS has given consumers more levers to push and pull with regards to turning off telemetry, but their purpose is merely to mislead users, as these levers, when moved universally into the OFF position, don't accomplish anything more than turning OFF the smaller number of levers in the original product.

            The push to have everyone signed in on a MS account has not improved any, and in fact has gotten progressively worse as the years have passed. It continues to get harder and harder to install Windows without one, and one can clearly see that the goal is to eventually close that door, making the MS account mandatory.

            All MS had to do to get people to start singing the praises of this very much not improved pile of dung was to release an even bigger pile of dung, and to name it Windows 11. Now, the cycle seems to be to have MS release an ever worsening series of Windows versions, each one making its predecessor look better than it really is. By the time the old one is ready to fall out of support, the window dressing will have been "improved" enough to give people an excuse to keep being abused by MS by "upgrading" to the product they hated enough years ago to make the previous version look good by comparison.

            Rather than trying to entice users to buy new PCs and to upgrade by means of offering continuously better versions of Windows, versions they would actually want to have, they instead choose to offer continuously worse versions of Windows to drive the update cycle... which is a lot easier than continuous improvement. It's amazing what being a monopoly can do for you.

            1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

              Re: Perhaps Next Year

              > The collective Windows user base seems to have chosen a form of Stockholm syndrome as a means to soothe their cognitive dissonance over the way they are being treated by Microsoft.

              I agree here, since there are so many things I cannot do with other OSes I am locked in. I spare you the LOOOONG list.

              But keep in mind: ALL three major OS-es are shit, it is just a different kind of shit you have to put up with! Believe me, I know them, and they all have a lot of things to hate them for.

              The thing with Windows 11 is still: As long as the program or game is somewhat clean written you can run over 25 years old Win32 programs and games. Those binaries still work. Being able to install and run Delta Force (1998) from the CD and it works including LAN play or Starcraft 1 from the CD including LAN play is a feat. Linux and Mac cannot do this, quite often even ten year old binaries don't work on both Os-es. And in case of Linux: Quite a lot wouldn't compile without a fix on the source.

              1. Updraft102

                Re: Perhaps Next Year

                You're not one of the Stockholm Syndrome people, though.

                I was a "never 10" guy when Windows 10 came out, and I still am 7 years later. I began moving to Linux in 2015, after it became evident that what was wrong with Windows 10 was there by design, and it was not going to be fixed.

                Until that point, I had thought MS was still the company that had fixed Vista and that was on their way to fixing 8.x when 10 was announced ("Threshold" started out as what would have been Windows 8.2, which would have brought back the much-requested transparency effects and the Windows 7 start menu, and possibly a bifurcation between mobile and desktop versions of Windows). That company would have listened to customer complaints and fixed 10 in order to entice people to upgrade from Windows 7. Carrot, not stick.

                That company, the supposedly "evil" MS of the Gates and Ballmer eras, is no more. When Windows 7 arrived, DirectX 9 was exclusive to that version, but "evil" MS soon backported it to Vista, which was not difficult as Vista was nearly the same as 7 beneath the surface. When new processor hardware arrived, they continued to extend Windows 7 and 8.1 to accommodate it.

                That stopped when Nadella came on as CEO and MS supposedly stopped being evil. When Windows 10 arrived, they did not backport DirectX 12 to Windows 8.1 (which bore the same architectural similarity to 10 that Vista did to 7). They not only refused to extend 7 and 8.1 for new CPU revisions, but they went as far as using Windows Update to send out a Trojan that would drop its payload on any Win7 or 8.1 installation that was installed on hardware newer than Windows 10 itself. That payload would, of course, deliberately break Windows Updates, leaving those PCs open to still more (third-party) malware.

                That, apparently, is what a company does when it is no longer evil.

                While I have not wavered from my "never 10" line in the sand, I notice many of my former "never 10" compatriots are using 10, and most of them talk of how it has improved enough to justify doing something they vowed to never do.

                It hasn't.

                I remember all the complaints they had quite clearly, as they were the same ones I had. I still have them. Most of the "Never 10" people, however, do not, and rather than admit they are over a barrel and are giving in to Microsoft's monopoly even when they vowed not to, they say that MS has improved 10 and that it's a good OS now.

                Those are the ones with Stockholm Syndrome.

                The old old Windows binaries would run fine on Wine, more than likely, and would do so for programs so old that Windows won't run them anymore. That's why WINE has a Windows version.

                As for native Linux binaries... it depends on how much the ABIs of the libraries they depend on have changed. It is true that Linux devs think it is no big deal to break ABI compatibility with older programs, but that has its advantages as well as its disadvantages (some Windows-oriented commentards have opined that MS should do that more often and stop worrying so much about backward compatibility). And with an Appimage or Flatpak, or even the dreaded Snap, those things don't matter anymore either.

                There are still some issues I have with Linux, but it is moving in the right direction. Windows is moving in the wrong direction, as it has been since Windows 8 (and especially since Nadella arrived).

                1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

                  Re: Perhaps Next Year

                  > as Vista was nearly the same as 7 beneath the surface

                  Aw, not really. For example: There were some kernel level enhancements which made Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 scale much better on muticore CPUs and multi CPU and NUMA architectures.. Network performance was improved well since quite some TCP/IP got reworked and SMB2 got some optimizations.

                  Windows 8, 8.1,10 (+ their respective server versions) included more optimizations below the UI. Windows 8 improved network performance with gigabit (and faster) cards a lot compared to Win7, making it possible to hit the physical limit with a much lower CPU usage and without special optimized network cards.

                2. Spazturtle Silver badge

                  Re: Perhaps Next Year

                  DX9 has been supported since XP, it was DX11 that was backported to Vista which shipped with DX10. But DX11 and DX10 are practically the same, bar a few APIs changing name and a few new ones. The same implementation can be used for DX10 and DX11 API calls. DX12 is a completely different beast. Windows 10 also contained a huge change to how graphics drivers work on Windows, which was the first major update to WDDM since Vista.

              2. Cmdr Bugbear

                Re: Perhaps Next Year

                Ahem...currently playing various 20 year old games on a bog-standard Debian laptop - Total Annihilation, Mech Warrior 2 and 3, X Wing, Tie Fighter, Red Alert...ahh my misspent youth.

                1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

                  Re: Perhaps Next Year

                  Either WinE or DOSBOX, right? Quite a number of games work that way - especially if you use the prepared games from GOG. But I was referring to "without an emulation layer". If you include the emulator capability PC master race wins even more, since you can play Mario 64, Tomb Raider 1 or Atari 2600 games in 8K.

                  1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

                    Re: Perhaps Next Year

                    My old CGA Tetris plays just fine on DOSBox, but I cannot, for the life of me, get it to play the music Kwithout which, it's just not Tetris)

                    Has anyone got that bit working?

                    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

                      Re: Perhaps Next Year

                      Which sound system does that CGA tetris use? Once you know: .

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: These are the reasons people like me rejected Windows 10

              Well said.

              For my home computing, I ditched windows in 2009 for OSX. I was fed up with the crud that kept slowing down the system to a crawl followed by a wipe, reboot and hope that you could get the system back to normal inside a week.

              At work, Windows ruled until one day, a Mac appeared. Windows was there but now relegated to a VM. Within a year, all the dev team had moved to Apple.

              When W10 appeared, several of us installed it in a VM and went to the pub and had a good laugh. Then I retired and left the morass that Windows has become behind for good.

              After a good number of friends and family were upgraded to W10 without their approval they too have abandoned ship and gone over to the dark side... aka Apple.

              MS is forever shooting itself in the foot. Since W10, they don't care about the users, only finding ways to screw more $$$$ from them and at the same time, piss everyone off.

              Keep going MS. It will be great to see you dig your own grave in a few years when everything goes subscription only.

            3. Michael Strorm Silver badge

              Re: Perhaps Next Year

              Indeed, Windows 7 was effectively Windows Vista Second Edition- hugely improved to what it should have been in the first place- but the name was already irredeemably tainted by that point, so they were never going to call it that.

              (Then again, Windows 95 was in a similar position; not in that the original was bad for its time, but that the later updates were actually closer to Windows 98 than they were to the original release of 95. I bought a PC with- I think- Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 or 2.5 a couple of months before 98 came out, and can confirm this from personal experience).

          2. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Perhaps Next Year

            It's funny isn't it, how up until Windows 10/11, anyone expressing enthusiasm for Vista would have been shunned as a clearly deranged lunatic. How times change.

            Kind of like how until recently, anyone babbling about how "They" are watching us 24/7, satellites, spying on us, monitoring everything we do or say or buy... would be dismissed as a tinfoil-hatter. Now however the response is more likely to be "yes yes, all that's true, but apart from that, what's bothering you?"

            1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

              Re: Perhaps Next Year

              > anyone expressing enthusiasm for Vista would have been shunned as a clearly deranged lunatic. How times change.

              I was on that train earlier! About two month after SP1 for Vista was out it got better and faster than Windows XP on the same Hardware - as long as you had enough RAM and a few CPU cores Vista could handle it better. My first full x64 OS. And they improved it until they released Windows 7. After Windows 7 was released each update for Vista made it considerably slower and slower. It clearly showed that M$ didn't care any more for performance once Win7 was out.

              One thing I loved about Vista and hate about Win7/8/10: Explorer Full-Row-Select did not exist. You could drag and drop a file "between" two directories and the file would be placed exactly ther. With windows 7 there was no way to drag and drop that way: As long as it was a directory or an executable below the mouse you had to go useless extra mouse movements to achieve what you want.

              Since I could not find a screenshot on the net I had to create one on my own in Server 2008 (non R2) VM right now - see that line?

              Windows 11 brought that back, you can drop a file between. Though there is no "line" indicator.

              Yes, you can hack "disable full row select" back, but with Win8 and higher it behaves more and more weird when using that hack.

          3. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Perhaps Next Year

            Vista, with the right drivers was a really nice system. I even liked the Beta release.

            But then I was a bleeding-edge PC hardware type and knew what I was doing with drivers. As opposed to the incomplete and buggy shovelware issued by PC World and the like that garnered Vista it's reputation.

            I haven't run a retail installation of windows since the end of 7. Enterprise 10 (foisted on me by work - no option!) and a copy of Server 2019 reside in the home lab. The latter is actually quite a nice system too; not withstanding some minor annoyances for driver installation e.g. retail AMD graphics drivers won't install from the installer, but you can still point at the UWP driver from control panel after extracting the files.

            For real work, give me BSD any day of the week. And, due to "games dependency", some sort of Linux distro usually sticks around. Currently Manjaro.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          perhaps you misunderstand

          They meant they were leaving their linux based device physically on their PC tower. Like literally ON it. :)

          Because that's the closest this year will be to Linux on the desktop. Getting there will take at concerted push, and about 5 years worth of quarterly updates so people can see the progress. Since that process hasn't started I will see you 5 years. Right now the only thing that has changed in the 15 years of empty year of the desktop BS is systemd eating the entire OS on most of the upstreams.

          Might as well stitch sides and start talking up "Year of the FreeBSD desktop" at this point, there is less broken that needs fixing. Though one of the great things about the BSD community is that in general they DNGAF about what the rest of the world does with their desk. So if you think the water is nice over there you are probably right, but please don't mess with it. It doing fine the way it is. Leave the baggage behind with your old OS and its toxic user community, be that Windows, Android, or fill-in-the-blank Linux.

          1. Updraft102

            Re: perhaps you misunderstand

            The year of the Linux desktop was 2015. That was when I switched.

            Anything else is irrelevant.

          2. Robert Grant

            Re: perhaps you misunderstand

            There is gaming progress being made by Steam. That's quietly big.

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Perhaps Next Year

          Pretty much all. But they won't know of any alternative beyond the Apple machines.

        4. Trollslayer

          Re: Perhaps Next Year

          Mine is named Eric.

    2. Schultz

      Is it still an Ad ...

      ... if you call it a suggestion? Clearly somebody should update the dictionary. My friend Orwell will be happy to help.

      1. seven of five

        Re: Is it still an Ad ...

        In this case, let me advertise them to go fuck themselves.

  2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    More and more of these things are pissing off corporate IT Admins as the users don't know what on earth is happening, and think it must be something to do with their job, and click and follow and allow stuff, and we have to keep chasing our tails getting rid of it all.

    Just last month, *something* changed in Outlook because Microsoft were pushing it through updates, and some users were blithely clicking on things "oh, it's The Computer, it must be what I have to do".

    (checks notes) Ah, that's it. Microsoft "Improved" Outlook by moving the toolbar from the bottom of the lefthand pane to its own immovable pane. We had users booking tickets saying they couldn't remember how /they'd/ "messed up", and could we fix it for them. To which we were forced to answer: No. MS have buggered it up, there's nothing we can do about it. After hours and hours of trying, and eventually tracking down exactly WTF had actually happened.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Yup; we've run into this with updates to windows 10 enterprise, which is both aggravating and annoying when you go "wait a minute, I didn't ask for this, why are we getting this?" only to find out that it was pushed out in one of the monthly updates which also contains a "PATCH YESTERDAY" security bug, and the only way to fix it without all 700 odd machines in person is to update the group policy admin templates, and then update group policy to toggle ONE SETTING.

      Microsoft: Please, for the love of all that's holy: SPLIT YOUR SECURITY UPDATES OUT FROM YOUR FEATURE DEPLOYMENTS.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft: Please, for the love of all that's holy

        Ha lemmings keep jumping, you'll reach the cliff eventually.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Shouting into the Abyss...

          as a friendly reminder, god and the angelic host are not the unpaid tech support for Redmond. If your cries into the Abyss are answered, be aware that they are probably not a part of the divine plan, and be very clear and upfront about contract terms and negotiations.

          Courtesy is highly advisable, and I have heard that for NTFS issues, a chicken is the standard starting point. RAID failures involving more than 12 drives may require a goat. Contracts for a first borne child are a red flag, and be exceedingly careful about which party will be expected to bear and deliver said offspring, and of the parent/species to avoid pain and finding the hidden "ass" in embarrassment involves yours.

          Also remember that the Necronomicon contains no effective banishings.

          1. withQuietEyes

            Re: Shouting into the Abyss...

            ... today in "things I wish I'd thought of for NaNoWriMo"

      2. MrDamage Silver badge

        I've come to the conclusion that MS devs are the IT equivalent of football players smearing shit on the hotel walls while celebrating a big win.

      3. ITS Retired

        "Microsoft: Please, for the love of all that's holy: SPLIT YOUR SECURITY UPDATES OUT FROM YOUR FEATURE DEPLOYMENTS."

        Can't do that because then no one would install the Feature Deployments.

        1. Updraft102

          "Can't do that because then no one would install the Feature Deployments."

          Right. And then how would they roll out their new ads and monetization?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Every vendor that bundles bug fixes with feature updates - QNAP, I'm looking at you - does so because their "features" are shit that nobody wants, and their feature updates are buggy.

      5. Terry 6 Silver badge

        But they won't

        MS seem determined to push this "our way or no way" approach. Endlessly changing how Windows looks and feels, while removing the ability to tweak how it works to suit the users' patterns of , err, use.

        The obvious example being that each successive version has made the start menu more and more muddled into just a general alphabetic list of unclassified stuff and less and less amenable to moving the stuff around in it or removing the cruft.

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

          Re: But they won't

          Damn, I despise the "helpful" Teaching Tips that pop up randomly, when you're trying to get something done, cannot be disabled, and block everything until you click "got it".

          And, before you say it's not there on volume licensed Enterprise Win10, it damn well is, because I'm fighting them on a locked down, centrally updated, corporate laptop.

          Which is why my home system runs Mint.

      6. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Microsoft says no

        "split your security updates out from your feature deployments"

        The security updates are the foot in the door, don'tcha know? It's the same with Apple. Only the Linuxes (and BSDs) do it right. Except Linux has systemd, where you also get crap you didn't ask for and can't refuse.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft says no

          "Except Linux has systemd"

          No. Linux doesn't have the systemd-cancer. Rather, some distributions of Linux have chosen to become afflicted by the the systemd-cancer. If you don't want the infection, simply use a distribution which hasn't chosen to become infected. I recommend (and use!) Slackware. YMMV.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Is SNAP the next Systemd?

            For those of us who are not in the Canonical fold, and want to setup a WordPress server, I found to my chagrin that in order to get SSL working, I had to install a whole SNAP subsystem. Not long ago, that wasn't needed.

            SNAP is creeping its way into the non-Ubuntu world because devs are just too lazy to provide other packages.

            As for SystemD, I've gotten used to it just like I did with Selinux. Once the system is setup I only interact with it when updating the firewall rules and that is all done via a shell script. I tolerate it and think back to the hours I have spent trying to get not only the startup but the shutdown of critical subsystems aligned with the old init system. Thankfully, I don't have to go through that again.

            Let the downvoting begin.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Is SNAP the next Systemd?

              I found to my chagrin that in order to get SSL working, I had to install a whole SNAP subsystem

              Odd that - stood up two wordpress instances recently (on Devuan) and didn't have to touch snap at all. Did you use one of the pre-packaged versions of Wordpress?

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      i'm one of those users, and I click on all that stuff with a blissful smile on my face when it's the work computer. why? Because they've crammed so much security crap on the box that makes my life harder for no good reason* that anything like this MUST have been vetted and approved, otherwise why am I seeing it? Therefore, if I see it, I click OK then let IT fix it.

      *1. Log into computer with password.

      2. Log into VPN.

      3. Approve login with 2-factor authorization.

      4. Log into second VPN from the first VPN with password.

      5 Approve login with 2 factor authorization. Wait 5 minutes for the VPN to connect.

      6. Select necessary application for my job.

      7. Log into application with password.

      8. Approve login with 2-factor authorization. Wait 5 minutes for the VPN to connect.

      9. Repeat steps 4-8 for half a dozen different applications

      And if I don't actually do something in the window for 15 minutes (and the nature of my job requires working across multiple applications to do the job) that VPN logs out. If I'm lucky the application also logs out, otherwise I have to wait for it to time out before I can get back into it.

      i would be about 30 percent more productive in my job if our IT Security department were less "productive" with theirs.

      Icon, because I feel like IT Security's gimp 40 hours a week.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Maybe you need this. Can be programmed to jiggle your mouse in "one tick" instead of 10 pixels, which is the annoying default. Once programmed it just works, and the "one pixel every minute" programming is invisible.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Hah, I'm not surprised that such a thing already exists. When I needed to work around this exact problem, I just threw a quick Autoit script together to accomplish the same thing. But then, re-inventing the wheel is my forté, it seems.


          Dim $aMousePos


          $aMousePos = MouseGetPos()





          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Yeah, AutoIt and Autohokey can do that too. But there are quite some laptops out there which block such programs. Powertoys from MS has a similar solution, if allowed to install. That USB thing? Unless you target the specific USB hardware ID it says "I am a mouse" - which is usually not blocked. Al already run two of them :D.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          there was such a thing... in the prehistoric times of 1990s, some IPS would disconnect you when they detected no mouse movement (while, in fact, you've been trying to download that last bit of an unltra-rare song off someone in Holland or Russia, via napster. And no, 'resume' was not exactly a fully implement a feature. I remember how people messaged me and begged not to disconnect, because I shared a very rare (at that time) album. So, somebody wrote a mouse script, somebody else added an interface...

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          Love the spec's...

          The dongle is compatible with macOS 10.x or newer, however, the custom scripts creation software is only compatible with macOS 10.x or earlier...

        4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          5 minute timeout here. Not playing the log in every time I take a pee or blow my nose game, 'cause I'm WFH.

          Bought one of those and it works an absolute treat.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm in charge of security for a mid-sized company, and I can tell you that your problem is not the "security people". The problem is your incompetent IT leadership. Notice I say leadership, not IT staff. This is a leadership problem.

        If your company had competent IT leadership, you would have SSO implemented across your organization in a way that would keep everything secure without requiring the login nightmare you are describing. It's not super easy to make work, but it can be done. We made it work seamlessly with an IT staff of three people.

        1. Kevin Johnston

          While I understand and agree with most of your comments, the problem with SSO is that the bad chaps only need to break one username/password to get access to everything that person uses. While this is not good, that same leadership mandates that everyone below Important Manager needs to be forced into SSO including people with Admin access to systems so to protect the Admin stuff they come up wth a new extra layer (or 10) which those Admins have to fight with and just for fun each layer has an inactivity timeout and needs a new password to log back in

          Calming down now...thinking butterflies and bunnies in grassy meadows....Nurse, could I have my next pills early please

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            >Nurse, could I have my next pills early please

            Hang in there, we're grinding and dessicating the frogs as quickly as we can. There's been an unprecedented spike in demand for these!

            1. train_wreck

              We’re currently having an Adderall shortage here in the US. The situation you describe is not terribly far off from reality for some of my IT colleagues. (Well, except for the frog part).

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          If your company had competent IT leadership

          Copious money, no real legacy applications, no interfering C** suite, etc etc.

          Stuff being broken is not always the fault of the IT management - sometimes they don't have choice about how to implement stuff (or what stuff to implement).

    3. Long John Silver

      Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

      I had recent brief exposure to setting up Windows 10 for someone. That was the "Home" version. Experience just of the installation procedure was mired in commercial tackiness from Microsoft. Giving a handful of Windows functions a quick run, exposed me to extended merde from MS "Trusted partners". Bluntly, I wouldn't trust them or MS further than I can spit.

      That said, I was surprised by your account of MS Windows in a commercial environment. I imagined "enterprise" versions stripped of irrelevant nonsense, else strippable through options available to IT personnel.

      I occasionally run an "unofficial" copy of Windows 10 Professional in a virtual machine on Linux for very rare tasks more convenient to accomplish that way. The copy I am running has been shorn of most annoyances but apparently there are further things one could silence if one had a fully registered product. But, would the further 'privileges' get rid of MS Windows most egregious features? Also what of Windows 11?

      Personally, I would never nowadays use an operating system I don't have total control over, at least in principle. Most people, particularly in workplace environments, have no choice in the matter.

      In reality, I do not completely control my Linux installations. Matters deep-level GUI and Kernel are beyond my willingness to spend time learning. The point being, the option exists. Moreover, my trust in whatever is below the bonnet being in my best interests rather than those of a single corporate entity is strong.

      1. eldakka

        Re: Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

        > That said, I was surprised by your account of MS Windows in a commercial environment. I imagined "enterprise" versions stripped of irrelevant nonsense, else strippable through options available to IT personnel.

        It is. My win10 work desktops only ever receive updates pushed out via the IT (Wintel) team, not directly online from Microsoft.

        1. TonyJ

          Re: Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

          "...That said, I was surprised by your account of MS Windows in a commercial environment. I imagined "enterprise" versions stripped of irrelevant nonsense, else strippable through options available to IT personnel..."

          I must admit I rarely see what others are complaining about, but my own system is and has been for as long as a version in MAPS has been a thing, Enterprise.

          Even a new install prior to any lockdowns or customisations are applied from SCCM/Intune/GPO on Enterprise comes fresh installed with a fairly clean interface.

          Still, some silliness creeps through occasionally although these seem to be baked into the OS (looking at you, XBOX gaming bar! WTH is that doing on an Enterprise build?)

          That said whenever I use someone's machine with a Home version, I am aghast at the sheer levels of shit that are in there. It's just awful.

          1. Evil Scot

            Re: Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

            I only recently realised that XBOX gaming bar does screen capture (Video tutorials etc.)

            A double fail on branding

            * WTF is this crapware...

            * Surely we should have some way to capture video by now...

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

          I imagined "enterprise" versions stripped of irrelevant nonsense

          You've obviously never bought Windows kit from from HP, Dell or Lenovo..

          There's a reason why the supplied OS gets wiped and our base build gets applied..

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

        Experience just of the installation procedure was mired in commercial tackiness from Microsoft

        I do the Mac stuff at $ORKPLACE.. (well - I do Windows stuff as well but the Mac stuff is 50% of my remit). My Windows-herding colleagues find it difficult to understand that the base OS doesn't need to be wiped to get rid of the vendor/Windows crapware - just make sure that the Macs are registered to us in ABM, the MD is online and push the power button on the Mac.

        Some while later, all the base LOB apps are installed, all the profiles configured and the Mac is ready to deploy. It takes about 10% of the time that the PXE builds take on the Windows side of things.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Tacky Windows in the corporate world too?

          > I do the Mac stuff at $ORKPLACE..

          Ah. Are you one of those cow orkers I keep reading about?

          > My Windows-herding colleagues

          I see that you are. Herd of cows? Of course I've heard of Cowes. It's on the Isle of Wight.


  3. OhForF' Silver badge

    "We documented we're trying some variations of this out with Windows Insiders."

    and thus you expected users not to complain about ads there?

    Instead of working on features you already know will be as welcome as Clippy you might consider fixing the Windows search functionality that has failed to find Documents when i searched a folder by the exact file name but instead started searching the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's what they keep A/B testing.

      When the howl rate drops below a certain percentage on the insider builds it gets added to the feature list for GA.

      Keep complaining, you are the finger keeping the ocean from spilling out of the leaking embankment.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: That's what they keep A/B testing.

        I'm pretty sure it works like this for every H1 release:

        1. Add new unwanted advertising feature nobody asked for.

        2. Bury an opt-out setting somewhere in Settings using a dark pattern methodology, so that some pesky regulator somewhere in the EU can say people don't have the choice.

        3. If not enough people find it and opt out, success! It gets added to this year's H1 release.

  4. AnotherName
    Big Brother


    "or whether they need a Microsoft account"

    It's hard enough to get past the personal setup of a new Windows computer without falling into the trap of setting up a Microsoft account. I know I don't want or need one, but how many people can't find their way past all the traps they set when you run the computer for the first time?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: NEED?

      And MS have made it even harder to setup a MS account if you attempt to use a "work" email address; been locked out of a VLSC account because MS have decided the old way of using a standalone account is less secure than an account that is linked to and controlled by some other MS account...

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: NEED?

      I got caught by that. Accidentally let the setup create mine as a Microsoft account rather than a local one (I was in a hurry). Then spent the next month trying to connect my new machine to the shared folders on the two other PCs in my house and vice versa.

      Which I couldn't. My shiny new PC with its shared folders just wasn't visible on the simple network. Not until I switched it to a local account. And Bingo, back in business. Bastards.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: NEED?

      Windows 8.1 had quite a good set of parental controls which worked with local accounts.

      Windows 10's is dumbed down, needs Microsoft accounts for all members of the family instead of local logins (kids get email addresses too), and the kids log in with the same password as their email address. There's nothing like teaching complex passwords right from the start.

      Something tells me Big Tech aren't exactly on our side.

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


    Sounds benign enough, but with Microsoft this will no doubt be connected with the verb "to badger".

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Badging

      You are so inured to advertising that you look on this invasion of your personal toolbox as "benign"?

  6. navarac Bronze badge

    For f**k sake Microsoft. Give it up, you are just pissing in our faces now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It takes two to play golden showers, otherwise it's just taking a piss. Enjoy the grooming microshite are giving you, you'll soon be paying them for it everyday.

  7. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Microsoft does everything to stay out of companies

    I don't care what they do to the home or S version. But the pro version should be without that trash. How should a company accept such nonsense on work machines? This is why companies avoid Windows 11 like a plague.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft does everything to stay out of companies

      Downvote because it shouldn't be on any of it. If M$ wants to be ad-supported they can stop charging anything for the OS.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft does everything to stay out of companies

        Upvote for not doing it anonymously.

    2. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft does everything to stay out of companies

      >But the pro version should be without that trash.

      Alas, the days when "Pro" meant "Professional" are long gone for Windows. You have to now think of Home, S and Pro as all being aimed at consumers, but with different mixes of lockdown, and Group Policy editor thrown into the latter - as if half the GPOs actually have any effect on it... no, for that, you need the Enterprise version.

      In Microsoft's current approach, their corporate customers should all be on Enterprise editions, paid for monthly and with all that lovely lovely ongoing 365/Teams/Azure revenue.

      Everyone else - home users, professional enthusiasts, small one-man businesses - can go hang. They're just a revenue stream to be monetized, data-mined, and "persuaded" into other MS services.

      Actually, before someone corrects me, I take some of that back. Enterprise customers are also there to be monetized... but at least Microsoft is a little more subtle towards them.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft does everything to stay out of companies

        Enterprise customers are also there to be monetized

        Client CALS, server CALS (one per client), CALS (or ongoing subscription costs) for each of the bits of MS software installed.

        Oh yes - let's not forget the CALS for all the other various server types.

        I believe it's called 'paying for the same thing three times'. Whoever came up with that idea at MS doubtless got a big fat bonus.

  8. pip25

    Of course they've lost their damn minds

    But that's hardly recent or surprising.

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge



    I've just paid you $XX.X for my windows 11 home licence.

    You've had your money for your crummy operating system , now piss off

    Yours etc

    <<still wondering how m$ get away with modifying the system clock all the time instead of doing what everyone else does of reading the system clock and then doing the timezone maths to calculate the time to display... my dual boot machine is wondering that too

    1. withQuietEyes

      Re: Dear

      I ran dual boot for a while when I worked for a company that didn't want to shell out for a new laptop (that's game companies for you I guess?) and I remember this was the one problem I never managed to fix. No matter what I did, my clock in Windows was always out of whack when I signed back in. Is this why, you think?

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Dear


        Running linux mint with network time results in the system clock being set to UTC and the displayed time being calculated as per your timezone

        Runing windows 10 with network time results in your system clock set to local time zone

  10. jake Silver badge

    One wonders what will happen ...

    ... when the General Motors Corporate Lawyers discover that Microsoft is displaying advertising for Ford on desktops company wide.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: One wonders what will happen ...

      Windows for Cars?

      Sorry officer I couldn't see my speed as it was obscured by Windows showing an ad and Cortana was arguing with the satnav...

  11. Il'Geller

    Soon, when you say America you will mean Microsoft, and when you say Microsoft...

  12. Paskis

    Win11 did me a big favour

    I like Win11, because it finally made me check out alternatives and it turns out, not only does Kubuntu 22 do everything I need, and no longer takes a wizard to install, but it actually does an awful lot of it better than Windows. I'm noticing on my work W10 machine that I'm often cursing Windows for missing features I've come to value on KDE Plasma. So all I can say is, if you are as annoyed with Win11 as I was, give Kubuntu a look, even if you tried a couple of years back.

    PS yes I know there's lots of other flavours and people prefer them, that's cool, I just found KDE to be the most familiar route away from Windows.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Win11 did me a big favour

      I'm often cursing Windows for missing features I've come to value on KDE Plasma

      Try being 50% Mac and 50% Windows. Noting like cursing because what you thought you'd copied to clipboard not being there then realising you'd used CMD-C instead of CTRL-C (or vice-versa).

      Or trying to quit a Windows app by trying CMD-Q and wondering why it didn't work.. (My bias is Mac because, along with various linux VMs, it's what I use at home)

  13. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Windows Insider Program Team Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc

    Does have an extra wide business card?

  14. pompurin

    > LeBlanc at the time said the inclusion was a mistake, telling El Reg: "This was an experimental banner that was not intended to be published externally and was turned off."

    This was not a mistake.

  15. GioCiampa

    "and was turned off."

    Not "removed" I note...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They started that rubbish in Win 10

    Win 10 has already become the visual equivalent of emacs (but in a profoundly negative way): every bit of screen real estate that is not immediately used for the application in focus triggers some bit of sh*te on mouse over that either gives you info you absolutely have no need of and/or which is not easily squelched or annihilated. A sort of visual version of Tourette, if you like.

    On the plus side, it didn't half encourage me to find more keyboard shortcuts..

    Thankfully we'll be booting it out soon. I can't wait.

  17. DenTheMan

    Free model

    Gamers and business still need Windows.

    However normal consumers can live well without it.

    So the consumer version has to be free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free model

      Business does not need Windows either. Even from a pure economic perspective there are alternatives with far better TCO and they're more usable to boot.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Free model

        What are the alternatives (apart from possibly Apple and Jamf) if you have users here there and everywhere and need remote management of the devices? Intune is far from great, but what would you choose instead?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Free model

          Yup, it's Apple. We presently work with profiles, but I have the impression that a project has started to write our own JamF equivalent. For some reason JamF didn't come through the screening process, I think there were legal questions.

          But, to be fair to them, we DO have pretty heavy compliance requirements - sometimes I wonder if our procurement lawyers are called Mordac..

    2. Il'Geller

      Re: Free model

      You just don't understand what Microsoft is creating! Now Windows is based on personal artificial intelligence, which means that advertisements are targeted at a specific person, knowing what what he really needs. This is not garbage advertising, as before, this is how Microsoft is entirely revolutionizing advertising.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Free model

        I was going to suggest you forgot the joke icon or the <sarc> tags, hence the downvote you got. Then I took note of the username and realised you're being entirely serious LOL

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