back to article More ads in Windows 11 Start Menu could be last straw for some

Microsoft is looking for user feedback on ads it's putting into the Windows 11 Start Menu for its products and services. If responses on Reddit is any indication, the response hasn't been great. The software vendor has for months been playing around with putting ads – or at least in the case of the Start Menu, notifications – …

  1. usbac

    "Thinking realistically, every software I use with the notable exception of Windows and DaVinci Resolve switched to a subscription model. If Microsoft doesn't do that and pushes its OneDrive and 365 subs via the task bar every now and then I'm personally okay with that. Better than paying $$$ every month just to use the OS."

    This person does know that there are other operating systems out there other than F***ing Windows, don't they? Who on earth would keep paying Microsoft every month for using Windows?

    I know, some enterprise customers probably still would, for now!

    1. Joe Drunk
      Trollface

      I wouldn't lend much credence to that comment. It more than likely was written by an MS employee or shill. This is the internet after all.

      P.S. There are quite a few start menu replacements, free and paid. Openshell comes to mind although I've not tested with Windows 11, works great with Windows 10. No ads, thus flipping the bird at MS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Joe Drunk - Just to remind you

        medium and large enterprises will not deploy menu replacements. For them any piece of software or customization has to be justified by a real business need.

      2. wsm

        OpenShell does indeed work with Windows 11, though a simple jpg file is necessary to replace the Start button if you want to open the menu with a click and not just the Windows key. Even older Classic Shell skins work with it, the ones that let you choose colors and fonts. It almost makes the rest of Windows 11 tolerable.

    2. EvilGardenGnome

      I don't know their reasons for using Windows, but I'm gonna assume they have a reason of some sort (and not knowing about Linux, as unlikely as that is, is a reason for people). And I agree with them; in a dichotomy between Ads and Subscription, I'll take the ads.

      That said, it isn't a dichotomy, and if you have the option (that is, no specific reason to stick with Windows as opposed to a reason to change), then change. Heck, there's a ton of drop in Linux options, or even try a Mac (has it's own semi-subscription issues, but at least the "subscription" lasts a good long time with their current support windows). With any luck saner heads at MS will prevail since I don't want to have to teach my parents about the new ads and that they haven't been hacked.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        I also agree with EvilGardenGnome, with the minor objection that Microsoft really don't care about whether your Mum or mine has to figure out if they've been hacked, or how the new Start menu works or whatever.

        They only really care about whether corporations will put up with this, and I think most of them will.

        The one I work for (for example) has about 80,000 workstation licenses and I can't see them ever ditching Windows for Linux not matter how inconvenient Windows gets.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          The frogs are well boiled by now. Or is it Stockholm syndrome?

          1. NATTtrash

            The human species is strongly convinced of the infallibility of its own mannerisms and actions, abilities, change-averse... and inherently lazy.

        2. 43300 Silver badge

          Currently, most of the Windows 11 shite can be removed with Powershell scripts in one way or another, some directly applied and some via Endpoint Analytics proactive remediations (we do it via Intune, but there are other ways). They don't make this easy and you generally have to work it out yourself and trawl forums. I've set our W11 devices with left-aligned taskbars, and all of she shiteware 'apps' removed (including that fucking annoying take-Teams thing which confuses the hell out of users).

          Doing all this is a pain in the arse, but it's possible. The big concern is that their next step will be to make it impossible.

        3. EvilGardenGnome

          Absolutely agree MS doesn't care about anyone's Mum outside her wallet. They care about the bottom line, and the fact is Windows is in the loss lead category, and not directly a revenue generator. Some of the bean counters (and sadly more than a few engineers I've talked to) lament this on the regular.

          To your point about corps, the sad fact is they already effectively pay a subscription and so won't see these adverts. They'll be turned off in Intune or what have you. The sad fact, and damn MS for this, is that this targets consumers and is a blatant money grab.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @EvilGardenGnome - As much as it might annoy you

            Microsoft as a corporation has one single primary goal: to make as much money as possible. This is not only Capitalism 101, even the Communist China has figured it out.

            Heck, even Ubuntu is toying with the idea of displaying ads in their Linux.

            1. null 1

              Re: @EvilGardenGnome - As much as it might annoy you

              True. Even firefox puts ads on your homepage now. Sure, you can turn them off with a few clicks, but it's the principle of the thing.

            2. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: @EvilGardenGnome - As much as it might annoy you

              The problem is that they have close to a monnopoly on the business desktop and office software market. With the result that normal rules of competition (piss off / rip off your customers and they will go elsewhere) only applies to a very limited extent, so they do what the like, including things which are very much anti-competition such as aggressively pushing thier own browser. I really don't know how they have avoided any major EU pushback for a number of years now, as they are much worse these days than they were when that 'choose your browser' thing was imposed (that addressed a real issue, but did it so badly that it didn't help the situation!).

    3. demon driver

      I mostly agree, but the problem still is that a) Apple isn't much better than Microsoft when it comes to their business practices and b) Linux is still missing a lot of applications many people rely on, and for some of them there still aren't even any sufficiently capable replacements available. (Which is why I, even though most of what I do I do on Linux, I still need Windows VMs on some of my Linux machines and one Windows PC, even if just for the one or two Windows applications I still need which require a real GPU...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple isn't much better than Microsoft when it comes to their business practices

        Really? In what way?

        Because so far Mac OS never:

        - actively prevented me or made it difficult to create an offline account

        - asked me repeatedly whether I want to have Apple preferred search engine and browser settings reset

        - Never asked me to switch to Safari when I used a non-Apple web browser (Chrome, Firefox, even fucking Edge)

        - Never forced the installation of OS updates when auto-update was disabled

        - wanted me to activate my copy of Mac OS online

        - Never showed me any ads outside the Mac OS app store or iTunes (or the TV and Music apps which replaced it), both which are Apple's online marketplaces for apps and media

        Also, Apple doesn't do search engines, there is no "Shopping with Apple" or Apple Search Rewards coupon schemes, or any of the other commercialization BS Microsoft pushes to it's users. Apple also doesn't kill off its offline apps to force their customers to migrate to their cloud replacements which come with a subscription ransom.

        So pray tell, how exactly is Apple as bad as Microsoft?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple isn't much better than Microsoft when it comes to their business practices

          I love my mac but I have a couple of qualms. Most, it's that they forced my macbook pro into obsolescence by refusing to update it. Then, they said I couldn't encrypt my iCloud storage because one of my devices couldn't be updated. So, I flipped 'em the bird, removed the laptop from my account, and installed linux instead. This laptop is perfectly capable; it would be a terrible waste to throw it out.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Apple isn't much better than Microsoft when it comes to their business practices

            Even when Apple refuse to update it it can be updated. I believe I used OpenCore (I think) to update my 2007 iMac to Monterey. Still works fine. Sometime the odd colour glitch due to it having an older graphics card that has issues with metal (or whatever the new graphics system is). Operationally fine. Allows the kids to seamlessly use an alternate machine with Office365 etc than their laptops.

            If I remember correctly OpenCore handles Apple updates better than Clover etc. where the system would often require additional work to get running again.

    4. FatGerman Silver badge

      >> This person does know that there are other operating systems out there other than F***ing Windows, don't they?

      Of course they do. But do any of those operating systems run the software they want to run? Of course they don't. And don't start on about there being "viable alternatives". Some of us need more than an office suite and a text editor.

      (*With the possible exception of macOS, but then you're paying the Apple tax so you might as well pay MS a subscription.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        windows got so annoying

        that I moved to a Mac.

        I obviously use Windows at work, but even there with some of the updates shenanigans you see and the MS travel towards forcing you into the Cloud for everything is annoying. I hate Teams with a vengeance and although Office365 is liveable at the moment, I'm going to remove outlook from my machines and phone soon because it's constant changes and annoyances are getting to me.

        I have no idea whose driving these changes at MS, but they need to stop now.

        I'd honestly put everyone on a Mac at work if I could, just to annoy MS.

        And screw linux...far too much stress

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: windows got so annoying

          I was all with you until that last comment, then downvoted.

          My spouse has a Mac. Overall a good machine, but pricey, and they really don't care if an update breaks things. ("Hard drive failure" that was only "revealed" by OS update? Yeah, right, pull the other one...)

          I have a Linux (Ubuntu) laptop, a Linux (Ubuntu) desktop, and a Linux (CentOS) fileserver. No stress; the only issue I've had with them in the past year or two is the touchpad suddenly not working on the laptop. Given it's over 10 years old, that's likely to be a hardware problem, not OS-related. Oh, and none of these are capable of running Windows 10 or 11, but are just fine with Linux.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: windows got so annoying

            >> I was all with you until that last comment, then downvoted.

            Why? Because he's not wrong, for desktop use Linux isn't exactly an easy choice (and we use Linux for our desktop workstations at work).

            >> My spouse has a Mac. Overall a good machine, but pricey, and they really don't care if an update breaks things. ("Hard drive failure" that was only "revealed" by OS update? Yeah, right, pull the other one...)

            Right, because it's completely impossible that your spouse's old Mac (if it has spinning rust then it's most certainly an older model) had a hard drive failure when the disk was trashed during an OS update.

            Also not sure I get the "pricey" part, because while most Macs aren't cheap the costs are not much different than for other business grade hardware - which still can't come anywhere near Apple Silicon's power efficiency.

            >> I have a Linux (Ubuntu) laptop, a Linux (Ubuntu) desktop, and a Linux (CentOS) fileserver. No stress; the only issue I've had with them in the past year or two is the touchpad suddenly not working on the laptop. Given it's over 10 years old, that's likely to be a hardware problem, not OS-related. Oh, and none of these are capable of running Windows 10 or 11, but are just fine with Linux.

            Not sure what your point is. Are you saying because the laptop is running Linux it must be a hardware problem while when its a Mac it must be a software problem?

            1. ThatOne Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: windows got so annoying

              > for desktop use Linux isn't exactly an easy choice

              Could you elaborate? It's actually a very easy choice, installing/configuring a consumer Linux desktop is way faster and a lot easier than installing Win11.

              The only realistic drawback (the reach of which depends heavily on your profession and hobbies) is that most software is Windows-only. But then again the vast majority of average (non-IT!) users only need a way to surf the web, get email and use Facebook/Twitter/YouTube -- with the occasional opening of a MS Office document (OpenOffice can handle). So...

              (Written from my Linux laptop.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: windows got so annoying

                Oh, let's see....business software, educational software used in schools as just two high use-case examples. Linux is great, but most places will only support software (especially in education) on Mac and Windows.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: windows got so annoying

                If you're only a basic use that needs to surf the web, get email and use social media then get a tablet.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: windows got so annoying

          My personal systems are mostly Linux, the exceptions being an old WinVista laptop (because it supports VC6++, one of the best object-based platforms ever) and a Win10 Surface Pro 2).

          I find Linux - any version - to be far easier to administer than Windows - any version.

          But, Windows, yes, well. Windows deserves all the opprobrium and burning coals one can heap on it.

          The constant fighting with Windows 10/11 on my work systems is a daily, hourly battle. Multiple machines in a test system.

          I call Windows 10/11 simply 'Updates'. Even the Enterprise versions update with no regard to people trying to get work done.

          My experience with VisStu 2017/2019/etc. is a nose-in plane crash. It is a nightmare with all the different types of code/technologies that are supported simultaneously with references that won't allow themselves to be linked in the project, because the build system includes it. But the inability to link in, say, mscorlib, causes the code verification to freak out and paint red squiggles under every .NET and interop language term and reference in the code.

          And documentation? Documentation for code (C#/C++/SQL) is a hodge-podge of opinions and whim written mainly by folks for whom English is a second, third, fourth, sixth, tenth, etc., language. The only thing that keeps me from bashing my monitors to dust is that, since I work at home, they are my own equipment.

          I've switched to LibreOffice instead of MS Office 365. One less pain point.

          Outlook and Teams are nothing short of really un-funny jokes.

          So, aside from your anti-Linux sentiment, I can feel your pain.

      2. 43300 Silver badge

        And if you use some of the Microsoft online services you pretty much need MS Office installed - especially Outlook. I have done quite a bit of playing around with Ubuntu (as the most common general-use distro) and Wine, and I haven't get managed to get the CTR-installer Office apps to even install.

    5. Goat_war

      Linux does not run most of the 3d software I use for work. Even macOS doesn't either. I am stuck with windows for better or worse and I suspect a lot of other people are too.

      Besides, Linux is simply not user friendly for most people once you get beyond clicking on icons and have to go into the terminal - search for help with a problem, and often the answers out there make absolutely no sense to a beginner. I cannot imagine most of my non techy family including my 85 year old dad coping with it if anything goes wrong, and that means I'd be doing a lot more remote tech support.

      Expecting downvotes because one must never criticise the holy Linux round here, but it still hasn't caught on for the average punter and that's not going to change soon no matter how many ads they put in windows.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        @Goat_war

        Oddly enough I installed Linux on my dads PC (replacing Windows), because Windows was so problematic (some forced updates caused a lot of hassle) & I was spending a lot of time as "free support" rather than just having family time with him. He died in his late eighties & had been running Linux for quite a few years hassle free - it was fine for his generalist pensioner use basic email, web surfing, uploading & editing pics / video from digital camera / phone etc (obviously swapping a lot more hassle if someone uses a particular Windows only software suite as you have WINE fun, but lots of elderly people have simple needs that can be met by a fairly basic Linux install (& better performance on old kit than Windows too)).

        1. usbac

          It's the same here. My 83 year old father in law went out without saying anything to us, and bought himself a new laptop with Windows 10 on it. He went through so much hell with all of the forced updates, and Microsoft tricking him into setting up stuff that he didn't need, that at one point he put the thing away on a shelf and stopped using it. He told us that it wasn't worth using a computer anymore. Windows 10 had sucked all of the joy of having a computer out of him.

          We sent him a Dell laptop with Linux Mint installed. He has been thrilled with it. He told us "why do people still use Windows when this is available?" He is not super tech savvy, but he has no problems with Mint. The over-the-phone tech support dropped to almost nothing...

          This whole "Linux is too complicated for regular users" line is total BS!

          1. DonCervantes

            In my own experience, your most popular Linux distros (Ubuntu, Mint, Manjaro, among others) are only as complicated as you want them to be. I would argue they're easier for your average non-power user. They have native gui package managers that are easy to navigate, come equipped with firefox (or another browser, never edge or chrome), do not require an online account, transmit minimal data back to the developers, which can be turned off easily, have a decent office suite substitute, and are generally more stable than windows systems. One can even test the OS before install with a live environment before commiting to a full change. Several distros even offer different flavors that cater to different people.

            The current narrative on how "complex" a Linux distribution is not the same as it was 20 years ago when most installers required a text based install and config and more specific hardware. It's not even close. Most mainstream Linux distros are perfectly suited for an average computer user who is looking to navigate the web, do light document editing and even gaming.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Besides, Linux is simply not user friendly for most people once you get beyond clicking on icons and have to go into the terminal"

        It's always easy to spot those who haven't used Linux in the last 20 years or so.

        Sometimes the terminal option is quicker than clicking through a list of stuff and for a lot of work vi is a better option than any GUI editor on Linux, Windows or anything else which is why I used it in a terminal emulation window on Windows just as I do on Linux. But the occasions when it's really necessary to drop into a command line? - about the same has having to edit the Windows register.

      3. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Trollface

        ...and have to go into the terminal

        Oh you mean the registry editor?

        The sort of thing needed oh so many times to fix yet another borked MS patch?

      4. Roland6 Silver badge

        > Linux is simply not user friendly for most people once you get beyond clicking on icons and have to go into the terminal

        Interestly, I am finding MS are putting more into powershell so I am increasingly finding (particularly on windows servers) functionality that is only surfaced via the powershell command line…

      5. CRConrad

        Weirdly unbalanced scale there.

        Besides, Linux is simply not user friendly for most people once you get beyond clicking on icons and have to go into the terminal - search for help with a problem, and often the answers out there make absolutely no sense to a beginner. I cannot imagine most of my non techy family including my 85 year old dad coping with it if anything goes wrong, and that means I'd be doing a lot more remote tech support.
        So, how great is your old Dad at coping with stuff that goes wrong on Windows? Because that makes so much more sense to non-experts, right?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @usbac - Please don't fool yourself.

      With or without a Windows subscription ads will still be there. Why ? Because it's easy money for Microsoft. They promise advertisers they will show you the ads in exchange for money and since they are a for profit corporation, what do you think they will chose, customer happiness or the money knowing very well they will not lose any customers ? Ask yourself, for all the perceived anti-user actions, when was the last time when someone reported a significant decline in number of Windows users ?

      So, in the end Windows will be sold as a subscription to anyone who will need it, ads and spying included. This has been in the making for a long time.

    7. Claverhouse Silver badge

      I know, some enterprise customers probably still would, for now!

      Well, to be sure, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in advertising to corporations they're not gonna buy the consumer dreck in adverts.

    8. I could be a dog really

      "If Microsoft doesn't do that and pushes its OneDrive and 365 subs via the task bar every now and then I'm personally okay with that. Better than paying $$$ every month just to use the OS."

      And said like those are the only options.

      Remember the days when you could pay for a licence, which is a one off payment to allow you to use a specific version of the software for as long as you want to ? So instead of paying a subscription, or paying through ads, how about just paying for the licence ? So far I've simply ditched anything that moves entirely to a subscription model - or (as is the case for Adobe) I keep my old laptop around with old versions (on their perpetual licences) and just don't pay Adobe a penny any more.

  2. Trigun Silver badge

    Unlike some, I don't actively hate windows, but ads will definitely drive me more towards linux.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I don’t hate it either, I am an OS agnostic and I actively use Linux, Windows and Mac daily.

      There are genuine flaws with Linux, windows and Mac but here is little objectivity about this here.

      Many of the things people on here whine about Windows on here are simply not true, or I don’t suffer the same problems. Some problems I can see with Linux are vehemently denied by Linux zealots.

      I use Windows for Visual Studio (not Code). It’s pretty damn good. There are other IDEs, I’ve tried many, but VS is a hard act to follow.

      Adverts, shrug. I’ll find a way to avoid,

      But having said all that, my 97 year old grandmother was having such trouble with Windows, she was ready to quit her laptop altogether, she could barely work out how to open a website or reply to an email.

      So I wiped off windows and installed Linux mint. 2 weeks later she got a new developing implementing Vulkan api for GPU makers. True story….. Jackanory.

      1. keith_w

        What the heck does that last sentence mean?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Jackanory

          British long running children’s TV programme where famous faces would read fiction to kids.

          I'll tell you a story

          About Jack a Nory,

          And now my story's begun;

          I'll tell you another

          Of Jack and his brother,

          And now my story is done.

          1. Geoffrey W

            Re: Jackanory

            It's not Jackanory that's the issue, it's the part that comes before the word. WTF does it mean?

            1. CRConrad

              It's supposed to mean...

              ...that the preceding sentence, about how their 97-year-old grandmother installed advanced development tools (or whatever that was supposed to be about), wasnt actually a “true story”, but fiction. (How the heck was this not utterly obvious from context, especially after having had “Jackanory” explained to you?!?)

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      > I don't actively hate windows

      I don't hate Windows either, I've been using Microsoft OSes since DOS on an IBM PC AT, I bought successively all the Windows iterations till and including Win7 (except ME and Vista...), but the writing was on the wall: Starting WinXP, what was previously an OS you could customize to your requirements yielded more and more to the "Uncle Microsoft knows what's best for you" mentality, removing options, changing things which didn't need to change, and generally taking arbitrary decisions about how you would work on your own computer.

      Win8 and its tablet GUI was the final straw, I had to leave for Linux. Luckily for me Linux had evolved in the meantime, and didn't require you to know by heart two dozen esoteric command line commands and their options anymore. Most distros I've seen are now as "dumb user"-friendly as WinXP had been back then, with nice explicit GUI menus, definitely much user-friendlier than Win11 actually is right now, with its cryptic menus, totally unhelpful "wizards", and settings hidden all over the place.

      TL;DR: It is Windows which made me leave it, by getting progressively less and less reliable and less and less user-friendly. I need an OS to do actual work upon, not a playpen for crazed marketing idiots.

  3. CatWithChainsaw
    FAIL

    Dear Microsoft employees

    Given how aggressively Windows 11 pushes offline accounts, you should assume that if someone has a local account, it's because they actively sought it out.

    (I mean, we know you know and it really chafes your cheeks, so why don't you piss off.)

  4. LenG

    Win 10 forever

    This sort of garbage is precisely why my new PC (due for delivery later this week) will be running Win10. And the TPN will be disabled to avoid a sneeky unwanted upgrade to 11.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Win 10 forever

      Yeah but you said that with Win 7.....

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Win 10 forever

        At work we are mostly Linux but for some jobs Windows is needed (usually hardware specific software like poking a UPS, etc). We had some laptops lying around that had W11 on them and boy it sucks with annoying pop-up ads and news, etc! I wiped and put on W10, then used the registry editor to disable updates to W11.

        While far more annoying then W7 it is more or less usable, but we don't need it enough to investigate a better stat menu and ways to get rid of software entries that are not installed but just trying to get you to do so, etc.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Win 10 forever

          Ads aren't a fatality on Win11, I have kept a Win11 partition on my new laptop for firmware updating, and after installing OOShutUp10 and ExplorerPatcher, it is quite well-behaved. Ugly, very difficult to find anything, but no "exciting opportunities" polluting my computer I paid good money for. It's also a minefield, you need to constantly watch out what you click on, one second of carelessness and you have sold your firstborn for some amazing MS feature you need as much as a third leg.

          It can be done. (Don't know for how long though.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win 10 forever

        After using Win7 at work, I said that when XP went EOL I'd switch to Linux if there wasn't something better. One year after XP went EOL, I dual-booted to Ubuntu.

        I think that machine is still capable of booting back to XP, but why would I want to? Even hardware of that era is capable of running modern Linux (but absolutely not modern Windows).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win 10 forever

        And he'll say the same thing about Windows 12 when MS starts pushing Win 13 (although there's no way they'll call it Windows 13). You know the old rule, Windows releases are like Star Trek movies, they alternate between good and bad.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Win 10 forever

          > although there's no way they'll call it Windows 13

          Would not bet on it, remember Apple did sell an iPhone 13…

  5. Anonymous Coward
  6. MattPDev

    Not very original, didn't Ubuntu do this first?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Yes, an responded to the negative feedback PDQ. Monopolies are different in that regard, at least until TPTB start investigations when they promise to be good little children, all the while crossing their fingers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I believe I've already given this response to a similar previous article but, for the sake of completeness I feel moved to restate it here. This:

    Dear Microsoft

    Fuck off

    Yours with extreme prejudice.

    AC

    1. m4r35n357

      Hehe, you can tell them to "fuck off" with impunity, but just try calling them M$ and watch the downvotes come in ;)

      1. m4r35n357

        Dammit! ;)

  8. sarusa Silver badge
    Angel

    You don't have to use the native start menu - there are better alternatives

    Between Start11 and ueli (ueli.app) I never, ever see the native start menu, and I have no desire to. They're both better than the functionality it provides. Yes, Start11 will cost you $6 (or $3 each for 5), but that's trivial for the peace of mind, and ueli is free.

    Of course the plebs are going to have to use the native start menu, but El Reg people have options.

    1. Scotthva5

      Re: You don't have to use the native start menu - there are better alternatives

      Agreed, Start10(11) has been on my Windows partition for years. Well worth the trivial amount they ask for.

    2. Jotrav

      Re: You don't have to use the native start menu - there are better alternatives

      I put start10 on my son's pc, and will need to do something more when W10 goes EOL, despite having a Ryzen CPU, it's not supported in W11.!

      Adverts in the start menu? Thankfully, I upgraded to Linux (mint) years ago. Since then I have only twice needed real windows, once to reset my printers internal counters, and the other to update a satnav firmware. Neither would work in a VM, an offline W7 partition sorted those.

      For everything else, M$ can get stuffed.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: You don't have to use the native start menu - there are better alternatives

      I really can’t be bothered. I mean I don’t give a shit about the start menu. I launch app, start menu is no longer required.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        Re: You don't have to use the native start menu - there are better alternatives

        Search in the start menu has been largely broken since 8. That's reason enough to use a replacement.

        The newer start menus actively waste your time, even if you just want to type to launch.

  9. nematoad Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Nice operating system you have there...

    "Microsoft began sending them out to a few users, with the promise the practice would be more widely deployed in the following months."

    Promise?

    Looks like more of a threat to me!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Nice operating system you have there...

      I think it was my old Latin master who used to say "That's not a threat, it's a statement of intent".

  10. razorfishsl

    Sadly it is IMPOSSIBLE to move from windows, when many of your customers insist that they can only use office .

    We have tried a number of times with trial migrations and have always had them destroyed by the customers insistence of using MS office.

    There is a set of "copy" windows programs by a Chinese company "Kingsoft" that run on linux, but after taking a look at the network traffic from these programs we decided against using them.

    Until someone comes up with a 100% viable way to GET OFF office, migration to another platform is impossible for many companies...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Mushroom

      I would suggest using Linux + browser for the cloudy O365 if Office is a "must", but MS not only make that a much poorer "experience", they have form for for this sort of action over pretty much their entire history., eg DR-DOS, Netscape Navigator etc., etc., etc.

      1. FatGerman Silver badge

        I've been using 365 in a browser on Linux for the best part of 3 years. That and the native Teams client cover all my use cases fine, but it you're a "power user" of Excel or you need some of the other pointless management crap (like the oxymoronic PowerBI) then you're stuffed. Thing is, and I know this will come as a shock to some, but Office is actually quite good and while Libreoffice is a fine piece of software it just doesn't replace some of the little things that people have come to expect and rely on. Switching over from office to anything else requires people to relearn the tools they use to do their chores, and nobody wants to do that.

        1. damiandixon

          I tend to use Libra Office from day to day.

          However for a release I have to check the docs using Microsoft Office.

          The online Office 365 is still not quite there IMHO for large content rich docs.

          Libra Office has it's issues and so does M$ Office. I often use one or the other to fix broken docs.

          Ideally I'd like to stick with Libra Office as almost all my development is on Linux now but customers require docs to be useable in M$ Office...

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            > Libra Office

            Ah, a balanced review.

            :P

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Switching over from office to anything else requires people to relearn the tools they use to do their chores, and nobody wants to do that."

          Each new version or even update of Windows? Switching UI to ribbon?

          You're quite right, of course. That's why I'm sitting in front of a Linux UI which looks more like W2K than anything Microsoft serves up these days. (Actually when I fire up a VM with W2K it looks a bit pixelated in comparison. Was it really so rough sitting directly on the H/W?)

      2. 43300 Silver badge

        The cloudy office is only really OK for a bit of basic editing and reading though - for anything complex it's pretty shite!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> Sadly it is IMPOSSIBLE to move from windows, when many of your customers insist that they can only use office .

      We have large business clients that are document centric, and they use Google apps (part of Google Workspace) to exchange MS office files with their partners and customers.

      We have a mixture of Macs and Linux and on the Mac we just use Pages, Numbers, and for the occasional case where this doesn't work we use to G apps (which we also use on Linux).

      >> We have tried a number of times with trial migrations and have always had them destroyed by the customers insistence of using MS office.

      Which suggests that there have been errors made during that migration (to what btw?).

      >> There is a set of "copy" windows programs by a Chinese company "Kingsoft" that run on linux, but after taking a look at the network traffic from these programs we decided against using them.

      Not sure why you think you need a Chinese office package, there are more trustworthy alternatives such as SoftMaker Office (developed by a German company, free/inexpensive, and when we last tried it was actually a very solid product - runs on Windows, Mac and Linux) or the widely known LibreOffice.

      >> Until someone comes up with a 100% viable way to GET OFF office, migration to another platform is impossible for many companies..

      There are viable ways, and not every business has made itself completely dependent on Microsoft products - if you can't get away from it then it's time to analyze why that is (customers asking for files in MS office formats is hardly a reason) and address the breaking points which prevent a migration.

      Or you suck it up and pay the Microsoft ransom.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Customers, schools, universities, publishers, printers…

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OS Adverts

    Once people get used to them: Just another attack vector

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OS Adverts

      "Malware was detected on this machine... for $30, you can buy our remover..."

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: OS Adverts

        I suppose it cuts out those long distance calls from India.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: OS Adverts

          Given the websites Bing returns on its first page, compared to Google, I suspect it will the owners of dubious businesses will be the main advertisers….

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "More ads ... could be last straw for some"

    The last straw for many was the 'Get Windows 10 (GWX)' campaign that bluntly showed that Microsoft were never going to listen, and never take NO for an answer.

    Anyone who didn't jump ship then is easy meat for Microsoft now, and of course the younger users don't even know what the GWX fuss was about.

    Sadly, the final words in the article are quite accurate:

    "With how weak the public is these days I honestly don't see enough people making a fuss long enough for anything to be done, and this is going to become a norm,"

    Me, I'm resigned to being one of the last of the dinosaurs, trying to decide whether to grow feathers and fly off into the sunset, or lots of teeth and lurk in the swamp, leaving the world to the fluffy bunnies that are easy prey for any predator fancying a snack.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "More ads ... could be last straw for some"

      "Me, I'm resigned to being one of the last of the dinosaurs"

      And keeping glancing nervously upwards.

  13. chivo243 Silver badge

    How strongly are the ads vetted?

    Are these the same ads that pop up on dubious news sites? Served with a side of Malware with trojan cherry on top?? I'll pay the Cupertino tax instead... I'm writing this on an 11 year old macmini, it was free, a gift from a friend who upgraded 6 or 7 years ago.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft is looking for user feedback on ads

    no it's not, it's just a lame attempt (more like an empty gesture) to be able to spread this misguided impression they really, seriously, genuinely do care about considering user feedback, because they care. They care, because they care and in their unbiased and carefully weighted, impartial assesment clearly points to the bleeding obvious, i.e. MORE ADS FOR YOU FUCKERS!!!!

    ...

    And no, people will not 'walk away'. People eat this ad shit left right and centre, otherwise, it wouldn't be all around us.

  15. rmacd

    “Personalise your windows experience”

    Linux user by day but still keep a W10 partition on the laptop for the odd job (has Office / Illustrator / Visio etc …)

    Latest saga was me trying to log into a OneDrive account and being presented with a “login to windows” dialog that would _not_ go away.

    Found the right regkey/gp to disable this f*****g “experience” but then it wouldn’t let me log into OneDrive! Error code suggested I needed to re-enable my f*****g “experience” and tie my account to a f*****g online profile before I could use it.

    Gave up whatever I was doing.

    Windows is a dying lame duck

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: “Personalise your windows experience”

      If you don't need graphics acceleration in Windows then a VM of Win7 or so works for a lot of software and if networking is disabled little risk of malware.

  16. CookieMonster999

    lots of possibilities

    I wonder how long before cars start to show ads on the dashboard

    1. Tubz Bronze badge

      Re: lots of possibilities

      Can just see the advert on your dashboard ... I see you had a crash, did you know if you had upgraded to Microsoft Windows v11 Automative Pro, we would have applied the brake 0.4 seconds quicker, tightened the seat belts 0.2 seconds quicker and deployed the airbag 1.1 seconds quicker, way above the industry standard, all for $15pm subscription and a free automated emergency call included.

      1. Inkey
        Coat

        Re: lots of possibilities

        Tubz----

        You've obviously never read m$ full Eula terms and conditionsi (have only read Vista and xp2000's)

        ... it's basicaly a "get out of jail free card"

        They bear no resposibility or liability for an insatillation that has not been vetted by an aproved reaseller.... no liability for "mission critical" applications, there was a whole paragraph about not been fit to be used in nuclear fasilities, missile silos or power plants etc...

        There Is a famous quote by gates saying "if Detriot motors had innovated as fast as the pc industry then we'd all be driving cars that would do 1000m/g" to which the then Co of GM replied " yeah but would you want your car to crash twice a day"

        You can read how the lore has expanded since

        Here https://onewedge.com/2020/06/25/general-motors-replies-to-bill-gates/

        Mines the one with the cRash helmet in the pocket

    2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

      Re: lots of possibilities

      > I wonder how long before cars start to show ads on the dashboard

      Fortunately this would fall foul of the laws that prohibit you watching video etc whilst driving......of course every time you stop is another thing......

      1. xyz Silver badge

        Re: lots of possibilities

        And the doors stay locked until the ad finishes.

        1. CountCadaver

          Re: lots of possibilities

          Surprised Tesla hasn't tried that.....yet...

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: lots of possibilities

        "Fortunately this would fall foul of the laws that prohibit you watching video etc whilst driving"

        Car maker: That's your problem. There are no laws prohibiting us showing you video.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @David Hicklin - Re: lots of possibilities

        Who says you will be driving ?

    3. Kimiko

      Re: lots of possibilities

      I heard recently that certain German manufacturers are experimenting with pay to use subscriptions for "premium" features. So ads aren't much of a stretch after that.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: lots of possibilities

        Haven't some manufacturers already done this with model versions? e.g. heated seats where the hardware is there in all of them but it's deactivated unless you pay extra for that 'feature'>

        1. CRConrad

          Yup: BMW.

          And the lovely thing is, you keep paying for it. It's a subscription, not a one-time activation fee.

          Or, probably both: If you thought you could save a little money by not subscribing to heated seats during the summer, betcha they're either going to or have already implemented a subscription-activation fee that would eat those savings.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @CookieMonster999 - Re: lots of possibilities

      That's the whole purpose of fully autonomous cars, why do you think they're pushing them so hard upon us ? You'll be trapped inside with nothing to do but watch ads.

      There is a hilarious episode of the Simpsons on this topic. Does anyone know in which season/episode it was shown ?

  17. Tubz Bronze badge

    If M$ don't open up the ads to others then they will face another anticompetitive probe. No ads in an O/S ever ! Yes M$ may say we give you Windows free to consumers, but the people with an IQ above that of a M$ patch developer, know the tax is hidden in a new PC sale price to cover all consumers running Windows.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "the tax is hidden in a new PC sale price to cover all consumers running Windows"

      There used to be a view that it might be finely balanced with the bloatware payments offsetting the tax but these days I just by from PC Specialist with money off for removing Windows from the spec.

  18. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    The race to the bottom

    I find that these days most advertising is counter productive. It is so intrusive and pointless that people run ad-blockers, record TV shows so that they can fast forward through the ads, and a variety of other ways to avoid the endless audio-visual bombardment of sh!te you don't want and never will want. So many companies claim to have "targeted" their ads better but they haven't as they mostly end up showing you ads for stuff you already bought. Personally, I specifically blacklist certain companies due to their irritating/intrusive adverts and even on those rare occasions when I am watching live TV, I hit mute during the ad breaks.

    I think MS are wasting their time as the first thing that will happen is someone will release a Win11-Ad-Blocker, and then they get to join the endless chain of us-vs-them development.

    1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

      Re: The race to the bottom

      >> companies claim to have "targeted" their ads better but they haven't as they mostly end up showing you ads for stuff you already bought

      But that's what they mean by "targeted" so that you buy more cars, fridges, freezers and bridges etc

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The race to the bottom

      Humans are ingenious, in search of the bottom they keep digging, with ever more sophisticated tools. I'ts not like there's a blastproof solid rock to make them stop. God, I'd really zap this pesky species and start anew (if I were you)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The race to the bottom

      Hear hear.

      Gas/petrol pump plays ads? Press the buttons next to the screen, most of the time one of them is an unlabeled mute button. If none of them are, I won't go to that filling station again.

      Mail intended to make me think (falsely) it was hand-written, or has a fake check, or made to sorta-kinda look like it was from my mortgage lender (but just enough "not" to be legal)? Nope, won't ever do business with them.

      Calling or emailing me? If on my personal devices, that's illegal and will get a formal complaint. At work, on my (unpublished!) number and address, that's a "thanks for letting me know who not to do business with".

      TV? I don't watch it. Radio? I don't listen to stations with ads. Pretty much restricts them to the ads in games on my cell phone, which are almost always either scams or games I wouldn't play. (I did see one interesting game and took a look. Google Play said the developer could sell my purchase history to others. Nope, goodbye.)

      If you want me to buy your product, make it good quality, respecting privacy, and a reasonable price. Word will get around.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The race to the bottom

      Remember this: advertising companies don't sell you fridges or cars or anything else. The clue's in the name: they sell advertising, or more specifically, an advertising service. They sell it to advertisers. Unless you want to advertise you're not their customer.

      That targetting? It's a service. The adverts? They're a service.

      The ads are counter-productive? The advertising companies don't know that. They want to not know that. They almost certainly have ways of proving that they don't know that.

  19. vekkq

    Am I the only one who's using Windows because of a (crippling) gaming addiction? Also its rather convenient that most Linux tools work on Windows too.

    I'm glad that game platform compatibility and VM tech improved a lot in the last years, so that I can ditch Windows soon and dodge the Windows 11 mess entirely.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Obligatory sales pitch

      While I absolutely know where you are coming from, please come give Linux Gaming a go. Manjaro, Steam, Proton. Honestly there is surprisingly little that does not work well.

      I'm of the view that if enough of us show up in the linux user statistics on steam, that other developers will feel motivated to support.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Obligatory sales pitch

        I feel I have to give a shout-out here to GoG.com too. Surprisingly many of their games are cross-platform; pay once, and you can download full offline binaries for Windows, Linux and Mac, with no DRM. I'm a huge fan; I've spent more on games there than I ever have in my life before. I think that previously, I'd bought Elite for the Speccy, Civ2 & Monkey Island for the Amiga, and GTA3 for the PC and that was about it!

  20. CommonBloke
    Pint

    Here's to ReactOS

    Even though we're more likely to be struck by lightning than them doing significant advances, it's good to know that there ARE people that care enough to try and provide a viable alternative to Windows that is compatible with all its stuff, no emulation needed.

  21. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Linux Mint

    This is why I've moved over to Linux Mint. This is the last straw. Microsoft hasn't significantly improved Windows for at least a decade, maybe even two. All they've added is more cruft to suit their own personal financial goals, such as DRM to further their moves into the multimedia business, Azure integration to swindle businesses out of money and now ads to try and imitate Apple and Google.

    In terms of UI improvement they've only done the bare minimum to keep people and the press interested ("Look, tabs in Notepad!").

    The only reason I'm still using Windows is that some people pay me handsomely to write software for it. But it's getting to the point I'm willing to ditch the platform and focus on web-based software running on Linux.

  22. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    In some of the organisations I've worked in, adverts in Windows itself would breach the *users'* terms of employment.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2023

    2023 and you all are still running Winblows? What is wrong with you? Windows was never good, but this, THIS? Ads in your OS? And you're just gonna TAKE IT? Hop on the *nix train and don't look back. *choo*choo*, next stop, Good Design.

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: 2023

      You don't mention Linux specifically. Does that imply you're suggesting Mac OS X or BSD? Mac OS X is much worse than Windows IMHO, with the customer being locked in with both hardware and software. Apple keeps a tight grip on its platform to maximize its profits.

      At least Windows is a joy for a developer to work with and Microsoft have decades long experience making developer tools They made compilers before they made operating systems!

      The only sensible platform is therefore Linux, and specifically Linux Mint if you're a desktop user.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 2023

        "They made compilers before they made operating systems!"

        True, I used their FORTRAN compiler for CP/M. But does anyone from those days still work there?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2023

        I run both macOS and Linux on a variety of computers. macOS is pretty good for what it is. I love having all my Unix tools at my fingertips. Of course it's not open source and, yeah, it's locked to the hardware but it's pretty decent for what it is. I ran my last laptop on macOS for about 7 years until getting forced-obsoleted by Apple and then put I linux on the laptop and it runs great.The main problem i have with linux is driver issues that can make working with linux a pain but it's not so much of a problem on my preferred distro, which is Ubuntu-MATE. Everything 'just works.'

        1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: 2023

          Depends on the hardware you're using. If you buy pre-owned laptops from well-known non-Apple brands (i.e. HP, Dell) the hardware is usually well supported in Linux.

          Newer hardware and Apple laptops specifically are rarely fully supported and should be avoided if possible.

  24. dases6

    Ads in windows 11

    In Windows 11, Microsoft has introduced some changes to the way ads are displayed. While the operating system still includes some promotional content, Microsoft has stated that these ads will be presented in a more tailored and refined manner.

    for more detain must visit:https://pencilguides.info/ads-in-windows-11/

    Windows 11 aims to provide personalized experiences for its users, which includes offering recommendations and suggestions based on their preferences and usage patterns. This may involve displaying relevant content, such as app recommendations or featured Microsoft services, within certain areas of the operating system.

    However, it's important to note that Microsoft has also emphasized user control and customization in Windows 11. Users will have the ability to customize their Start menu, taskbar, and other parts of the operating system according to their preferences, including removing or rearranging suggested content.

    Additionally, Microsoft has stated that ads will not be displayed during the Windows 11 setup experience, ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted installation process.

    It's worth mentioning that the specific details and implementation of ads in Windows 11 may vary based on the version and edition of the operating system, as well as any future updates or changes made by Microsoft.

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