back to article Microsoft to use Windows 11 Start menu as a billboard with app ads for Insiders

Microsoft is to try out "recommendations" – ads for apps in the Microsoft Store – in the Windows 11 Start Menu, but only for a small set of US Beta Channel Windows Insiders at first. The Windows behemoth is known for running ads in its flagship operating system. In 2022, the company released a build that displayed ads in File …

  1. loops

    If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

    "Kerching. Thanks sucker. One born every minute. ROFL".

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

      If only that were the case.

      The last time I heard the statistic a child was being born, on average, every second and a half. 40 children a minute, so "one born every minute" would amount to 2.5% of the population.

      I would find a market penetration of 2.5% for Windows to be perfectly acceptable!

    2. simonlb Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

      Microsoft noted: "We regularly try out new bad experiences and fucking stupid concepts that may never will probably get released with Windows Insiders to get feedback royally piss you off."

      There are four channels in the Windows Insider program. The Canary Idiot Channel allows users to preview platform changes woefully bad design decisions early in the development cycle, while the Dev Channel is aimed at enthusiasts masochists and is used by Microsoft to "incubate new ideas." "just chuck any old shit out there."

      Microsoft recommends the Beta Channel "for early adopters." "as a bit of a laugh, but people keep using it so we'll keep it going until we're bored."

      Of the Beta Channel, Microsoft has said: "Your feedback has zero impact here," and it has asked Insiders receiving the new experience to "let us know what you think, so we can ignore you some more."

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

        If you manage systems, it's always a good idea to dip into Insider builds periodically - especially in the run-up to a new version release (and even more especially server versions). Forewarned is forearmed, and all that.

        On that subject, I've just bene playing with the latest build of Server 2025 and it's acutally not bad. Apart from aligning the tasbar correctly, it doesn't need much doing - none of the unwanted 'app' crap which infests the client versions.

        1. Fred Daggy Silver badge
          Meh

          Cloud 'em if you can, on-prem if you must ...

          Since 2016, server build have basically been service packs. 2016 performs somewhat sluggishly (i think disk related) but 2019, 2022 are both surprisingly zippy on the same hardware.

          Not much in the way of blockbuster features. Very minor upgrades here and there on some things. Not surprising when we know they want you to cloud everything.

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            Re: Cloud 'em if you can, on-prem if you must ...

            Indeed, but the next version is a bit more substantial in the way of changes - new GUI, new functional level in AD (hasn't been one since 2016), and a few other things. Not massive, but more than 2019/22.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

      I'd like to know about this supposed Win10 'ad' thing. I've never, ever seen a Windows ad anywhere on a desktop outside of the Weather & News taskbar widget, and (a) only if you completely open the widget and (b) only if you didn't kill the widget off your taskbar in the first place.

      Never seen a Microsoft ad feed in all the Windows systems I'm responsible for admin o_O

      1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

        Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

        So clearly you’ve never seen W11. You can’t move for ads, and have to work quite hard to get rid of them.

        If M$ are going to continue like this and act like Amazon do with the Fire tablet, best they start giving away Windows and MS365. I don’t buy a car and expect to be recommended partner crap every time I change gear. I’d demand a refund pretty quick if I got that user experience.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

          Uhh, Snake may indeed never have seen Windows 11...as his comment was specifically about Windows 10.

          Reading comprehension is a skill...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

            I only use Windows at work and so it's an "enterprise" build. It's Win10 and I have seen stuff such as "recommendations", ie "ads" in both the task notifications and the start menu. Rarely, I admit, but no obvious way to turn them off. Maybe it's more obvious to people who use it more often than I do.

        2. andy gibson

          Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

          Does it depend on version? I've been using 11 Enterprise for about a year and not seen a single ad. The only annoying thing is a few start menu feature that I didn't ask for but can easily delete.

        3. Throgmorton Horatio III

          Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

          "So clearly you’ve never seen W11. You can’t move for ads, and have to work quite hard to get rid of them."

          Windows 11 user here. With a new install I spend an hour going through, changing settings, removing detritis like that. I don't see ads from the OS.

          With the POCO phone ads are much more intrusive - the price you pay for a lower cost phone - but not in Windows. I DO hate the way advertising is taking over so much, and I have a semi-principle that if someone pushes ads at me I will try not to buy their product.

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

        How about those annoying Blue, Green and Black rectangular popup boxes that call your attention to some clever new (and usually useless) feature of Office or Windows? I get 'em on my corporate machine. I think they're called "feature tips" or some such and there does not seem to be a way of turnng them off, except one at a time by registry entries. They're present in 10 and 11.

        You have to explicitly dismiss them by clicking "got it" every time, and they pop up randomly. I call anything that is not directly facilitating the task I'm doing, advertising.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

          I'm pretty sure there's a GPO to disable those tips. Can't recall exactly, but I think it's User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Edge UI -> Disable Help Tips [Enabled], for at least some of them.

          Whether Windows/Office pays any attention to aforementioned policy settings is a whole other matter. They have form for "accidentally" breaking GPOs in subsequent releases of Windows, such as the one that was a quick and easy way of killing the Start Menu's $%@%! "web search". Or only respecting the GPOs if you have the LTSC version of Windows.

        2. Dagg Silver badge

          Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

          How about those annoying Blue, Green and Black rectangular popup boxes that call your attention to some clever new (and usually useless) feature of Office or Windows?

          Running W10 Pro 22H2 here and never seen them.

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

        I'm not sure if you'd class them as 'adverts', but even a supposedly 'clean' install of Windows has icons for various games and programs (eg Candy Crush, Whatsapp) that aren't installed by default (thank fuck), but the icon links you to their Windows store page. You can delete the icons, but you have to do it manually (although if I had to install Win11 more often I'd think about writing a script to delete them in one go).

        It's not a dealbreaker for me, but it is an added annoyance. I'd happily pay for a real 'Pro' version of Windows that didn't install any of this crap in the first place, then Microsoft could reserve ads for the free/'Home' versions if they feel they're hurting for revenue.

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: If you read the Windows EULA carefully, you'll note the words...

        I'd like to know about this supposed Win10 'ad' thing. I've never, ever seen a Windows ad anywhere on a desktop outside of the Weather & News taskbar widget, and (a) only if you completely open the widget and (b) only if you didn't kill the widget off your taskbar in the first place.

        Well there's the Start Menu "suggestions", Windows Ink Workspace "suggestions" (very classy putting ads in accessibility features), Notification sidebar, ads in the Cortana search box, pre-installed apps which are just ads (Get Office, Candy Crush etc... games pushed on behalf of third parties, Solitaire also shows video ads unless you pay for premium), Live Tiles which are ads, Lock Screen "suggestions", ads in the notification bar in File Explorer windows, ads appearing over Chrome when you try to install that, and a targetted advertising ID. Oh, and all the rewards/shopping nonsense in Edge.

        I guess a lot of us turn everything off when installing Windows 10 then forget about it until MS accidentally turn stuff back on so we may have forgotten how much advertising there can be in Windows 10.

        So given that the Start Menu, pre-installed apps, and Live Tiles can already contain ads, I'm surprised they managed to find further space in Windows 11 to squeeze more ads into the Start Menu but found it they have.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a dream

    Where the person responsible for this sort of thing at MS is strapped to a chair, and their eye lids taped open, then, on the screen in front of them, the offending UI feature is played back on repeat until said person is a gibbering wreak

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I have a dream

      Where the person responsible for this sort of thing at MS is strapped to a chair, and their eye lids taped open, then, on the screen in front of them, the offending UI feature is played back on repeat until said person is a gibbering wreak

      Bleeding heart liberal!

    2. FIA Silver badge

      Re: I have a dream

      Where the person responsible for this sort of thing at MS is strapped to a chair, and their eye lids taped open, then, on the screen in front of them, the offending UI feature is played back on repeat until said person is a gibbering wreak

      Why do i suspect you’ve inadvertently stumbled across the MS standard UX designer recruitment test?

      “Are they gibbering yet?”

      “Yes.”

      “Ship them off to the ‘Teams’ team. Next!”

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a dream

      Joke's on you. They'd be panting and moaning "More! More! More!", because what kind of weirdo wouldn't like this stuff?

  3. rgjnk
    Devil

    Can see how this will go

    Wanna bet they'll follow the Amazon model, where the point of the ads (usually for your own products) isn't to raise money themselves but to annoy you so much that you'll pay extra to get rid of them?

    Nice extra revenue stream from 'advertising' without most of the hassle of actually running an ad business.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Can see how this will go

      I'm afraid that there is somebody in their ivory tower marketing department who actually thinks users do like those nuisances ads exciting opportunities (cough, gag).

      After all, what greater satisfaction can anybody expect from life than to improve Microsoft's bottom line...

      1. Julian 8 Silver badge

        Re: Can see how this will go

        Probably the same twat who thinks the "callouts" in Office which you cannot disable are a good thing

        (yes, I have a list of a number to add to the registry, but they keep adding new ones)

        1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: Can see how this will go

          and it's shite like this why we switched to libreoffice

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can see how this will go

        As I've said before, marketroids are deluded narcissists convinced the world is waiting anxiously for their next fart, brain or otherwise.

      3. Dagg Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Can see how this will go

        You are actually right! I had a mate who worked in advertising, he LOVED watching adverts. He was also the biggest sucker he was so trusting and believed all adverts. I spent too much time removing crap that he installed on his machine as he said it was needed.

        He also believed the "ads" that told him that he had a virus infection and must click on this button to remove it. SHIT!

  4. GraXXoR

    So let me get this straight.

    Even though you’re paying money for a “premium” operating system, ads shallowly disguised as “curated recommendations” are being foisted on you from the very start menu itself?

    It’s almost like they want people to find reasons to stop using their OS.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So let me get this straight.

      If people won't stop using the OS then finding the next evil thing to inflict on them becomes a game.

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: So let me get this straight.

      Except you're not likely paying a premium, or anything at all. Since Windows 8.1, all upgrades have been free. If you want to go work as a software engineer at Microsoft for no salary, be my guest. Most people have pesky things like rent/mortgages and other annoying bills they have to pay on a regular basis, so can't afford not to get paid. And if money isn't coming in from sales of upgrades...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So let me get this straight.

        Every freaking time you buy a computer you pay the Windows tax. Windows is not free.

        1. aerogems Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: So let me get this straight.

          Reading should not be this hard. Where did I say that Windows was free? Go ahead, I'll wait. What I actually said was:

          Since Windows 8.1, all upgrades have been free.

          Now, go ahead and try to prove that wrong, I'll keep waiting.

          Besides, Linux isn't free either in the gratis sense. You have to pay for an Internet connection to download it (or for someone else to make and ship you the install media), a computer to run it, media to install it and electricity to run the computer. It's free in the libre sense that you're free to poke around the innards, but it's never been gratis free.

          Unless you live in Bumfuck Middle of Nowhere, there's bound to be a half-decent therapist in your area. Schedule an appointment. They can help you with those self-esteem issues you so clearly have. Even if you live in Bumfuck, you can probably find someone who will do therapy over the phone or video chat.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: So let me get this straight.

            Nice straw man you got dere. Shame is sumpin was to happ'n to it...as winds from the Northwest start building...

            1. aerogems Silver badge

              Re: So let me get this straight.

              Wouldn't want our precious little snowflake to melt under the strain of actually coming up with a counterargument. Much easier to just use an ad hominem.

              1. sgp

                Re: So let me get this straight.

                So saying you've used a straw man argument now is an ad-hominem? And in the same post you dare to use the word "snowflake"? Are you that thick?

                Anyway, Microsoft makes ample money from Windows and all other lines of business where it uses its dominant market force and monopoly to fleece its users. So no need to start crying for the poor Microsoft engineer not getting its paycheck.

                Some people's reality really is distorted. Sheez.

                1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

                  Re: So let me get this straight.

                  He should probably hide... I hear some billy goats gruff coming.

              2. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: So let me get this straight.

                Godwins 2nd law, anyone who uses 'woke' as a pejorative, 99% of the time turns out to be a fuckhead.

                Godswins 3rd law... as above with 'snowflake'

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Failed logic and debate?

                The strawman rebuttal WAS the counter. You lost the debate at "Now, go ahead and try to prove that wrong, I'll keep waiting"

                nobody owed you a reply, any more than if you had walked up and said "pull my finger"

                For a bonus fail, here is a reminder that someone failing to correct you when you say or do something wrong is not an indicator that you were or are correct.

                We may just be embarrassed for you.

              4. MSArm

                Re: So let me get this straight.

                Ah the old "ad hominem" counter claim, trotted out whenever someone disagrees. Are you a Linux user by chance?

          2. Telman
            Facepalm

            Re: So let me get this straight.

            OK. Upgrades are free. So what??? At some point your hardware will not run the new OS and you will have to buy a new computer with Windows, or buy a stand alone copy for your own hardware. Microsoft gets paid. Don't believe it? Shop Dell systems that offer Linux as an OS option. They are around $90 cheaper. That's the cost of Windows. Eventually, everybody pays......

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So let me get this straight.

        aerogems, the down votes indicate you hit the spot. Especially with the church of linux missionaries.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So let me get this straight.

        And we've found the world's last Windows apologist.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: So let me get this straight.

      "It’s almost like they want people to find reasons to stop using their OS."

      Yes, but you can't. The common belief is that to be a 'real' business, you have to be running Microsoft Windows, MS Office, Teams, etc. Applying physics concepts to corporations, the big ones have lots of inertia so for them to change after they have built up a reliance on M$ is difficult and takes a lot of energy. This is why it's often easier for small companies to be able to make changes, explore different ways of doing things and come out with new products much more quickly, less built-in inertia in decision making processes.

      If people get used to the ads faster than the company can switch away, M$ wins and a new paradigm takes over. Welcome to the low-glow.

      I find a lot of what big companies consider basic software such as M$ Office and Teams as a waste of time. There's better software suites and ways of keeping a functional group in sync that don't need to have them conform to what a software company thinks is the proper way.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So no mystery as to

    why wider workforce productivity is down the shitter then.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: So no mystery as to

      That’s why you need CoPilot…

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Microsoft

    Fuck off.

    Just that.

    Fuck off.

    Yours with extreme prejudice.

    Me.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Don't tell Microsoft to do that. Do it yourself to go to somewhere better. They're not going to change but you have the option.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        They are definitely not going to change, except for the worse. They know people will keep using their products no matter what, so why would they try to improve not make things worse? It's indeed a game.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Some of us have chosen not to play it.

          1. Telman

            "The only way to win is not to play the game"

          2. ThatOne Silver badge
            Unhappy

            > Some of us have chosen not to play it.

            Unfortunately we're not playing, we (the "lusers") are the pawns. The actual players are the Microsoft marketing goons, who are trying to check how far they can go.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        They're not going to change but you have the option.

        Not, alas, on the work machine.

        My personal laptop still runs Windows, but that I could change, and run Windows in a VM for the very few things I actually need Windows for (mostly TurboTax, which is execrable but I haven't found a practical solution for yet). I just haven't gotten around to it, and I have Windows fairly adequately neutered by dint of stern configuration. And it's so easy to run Linux in a VM under Windows (I have Kali and SUSE Tumbleweed images at present), and use Cygwin for a reasonable Windows user environment, that I don't have a huge incentive to make Linux the host OS.

    2. David 132 Silver badge

      With due and very sheepish acknowledgment to the Reg commentard who came up with this in a post several months ago - alas, I cannot remember your name, but I am not claiming the credit:

      "Dear ad-slingers.

      Fuck off.

      Keep fucking off until you come to a gate bearing a sign, 'You Cannot Fuck Off Past This Point'.

      Ignore the sign, open the gate, dream the impossible dream, and keep fucking off forever."

      1. JT_3K

        If I could get them to read one comment on the internet and really internalise it, I think this would be it. Why can I not upvote this twice?

      2. GrumpenKraut
        Thumb Up

        That one was about systemd:

        https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2023/02/17/systemd_253/#c_4621389

        ...and admittedly lifted from some image.

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    Where can Microsoft be billed ...

    for:

    • the bandwidth needed to download these adverts

    • the machine resources (CPU, RAM, ...) needed to display them

    • the wasted employee time being distracted by them

    1. Stu J

      Re: Where can Microsoft be billed ...

      If you could bill Microsoft for wasted CPU cycles, then the abomination that is the Teams app would be costing them billions...

  8. heyrick Silver badge

    what some might see as helpful suggestions

    Was this article written by a Microsoft shill? Because that's not how I would describe unwanted advertising...

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: what some might see as helpful suggestions

      I read it as a fairly subtle piss-take!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Dave K

    Here we go again....

    "Your feedback has the greatest impact here ..... "let us know what you think."

    Do they *honestly* expect people to say "Great feature, I love seeing all the additional adverts in the Start Menu!"

    There's only one thing they're going to get for this - negative feedback. If MS want to "recommend" store apps, what's wrong with having a recommended section in the store people can select? Oh I know, it's not "in your face" enough.

    Honestly, Windows development lately just seems to be a case of "keep flinging shit at it to see what sticks".

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again....

      Shit always sticks. And stinks.

      1. aerogems Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Here we go again....

        Maybe yours does, but mine always smells like roses.

  10. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    "Windows 10 has long featured ads"

    I've got a couple of Win10 machines, and I don't recall doing anything special when I first set them up, but I don't think I've seen a single advert. Where do they appear, and any idea what magic trick is preventing them from appearing? Not that I want to see the ads of course, I'm just genuinely curious as to why something which has "long featured" in Windows has never shown itself on either of my Windows boxen.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Probably a complete failure of the Windows 10 update system on your kit.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Probably a complete failure of the Windows 10 update system on your kit.

        Ah...that could be it. I've disabled Windows updates for fear of MS-induced borkage.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      I too don't have any adverts on my Win10 boxes. I vaguely remember doing a right-click then "remove" on something after installing? A start menu group maybe? I definitely did nothing more than that.

      1. biddibiddibiddibiddi

        Those were technically recommendations/ads. Shortcuts in the Start Menu to games. All those 8KB items in the "Apps and Features" listing (which they liked to recreate after major updates) are things they think you might want want from the app store, for games and apps. Those were the least-offensive method of doing it, a trial run, and now with Windows 11 having been out for a long time they're going to see what they can get away with which will become the default from the start with Windows 12. Don't forget the ads for Office and OneDrive showing up in Explorer, either.

    3. aerogems Silver badge

      They exist, just like they've existed in macOS since shortly after Apple started giving away upgrades around OS X 10.7 or 10.8. You're getting the OS free of charge, so unless you can find a bunch of independently wealthy people who can code and are willing to work for no salary... the money to pay people has to come from somewhere. You don't have to like it, you just have to be mature enough to realize it's this or a lump sum up front.

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        That's not how I see it. I bought a new Mac last year with Sonoma. Hopefully the Mac will last many years and I'd be happy to keep Sonma exactly as it is today forever + free security updates.

        I consider that I paid for the OS to work when I splashed £2k for the Mac and the OS and I expect Apple to fix whatever it got wrong, just as VW fixed the doors of my car for free last year when it found a design problem with them. Any other updates - I don't care. A few extra emojis? Folders in Reminders? Don't give a toss. If those require wealthy coders working for nothing then set them free or put their updates in the store for a few quid cos I don't want them..

        It's in Apple's interest to get me on the newest build to reduce their support costs - they're not giving me free upgrades for my benrfit. The change from Sonoma to whatever comes next and letting me have it for "free" is part of a marketing strategy to support September's show, not a demonstration of Apple's altruism towards its existing customers.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          That's not how I see it. I bought a new Mac last year with Sonoma. Hopefully the Mac will last many years and I'd be happy to keep Sonma exactly as it is today forever + free security updates.

          Good luck with that. Apple doesn't support products nearly as long as Microsoft. Usually the current and previous versions get updates, previous versions on a significantly delayed schedule. They don't even bother telling people when they're going to stop providing updates. With Microsoft you know that, generally speaking, they're going to provide security updates for 10 years, and even before the software has been released you know exactly what day support will end.

          It's in Apple's interest to get me on the newest build to reduce their support costs - they're not giving me free upgrades for my benrfit. The change from Sonoma to whatever comes next and letting me have it for "free" is part of a marketing strategy to support September's show, not a demonstration of Apple's altruism towards its existing customers.

          That's not how it works. It's not about altruism, investors today want to see steady streams of income, not "we had a really good quarter because we released a new version of <software>" and then a couple quarters of flat to negative growth. I could probably write a book on the problems I have with that mentality, but nothing I do is going to change it, so... executives at these companies are incentivized, via bonuses, to do what it takes to make investors happy. Usually it means mortgaging the future of the company for small gains in profits today.

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            "Good luck with that. Apple doesn't support products nearly as long as Microsoft. Usually the current and previous versions get updates, previous versions on a significantly delayed schedule. They don't even bother telling people when they're going to stop providing updates"

            With MacOS it's normally the most recent three versions which are updated, and Macs support upgrading to the newest version for 6-7 years from the release date of the model (seems a bit hit and miss - Sonoma support everything from 2018 onwards but only one model from 2017). So that's a maximum of 8-9 years of running a supported OS (assuming no workarounds are used to get newer versions on older hardware - the average user wouldn't know about these). This is of course reduced if a new device is bought but the model was first released a year or two ago.

            1. aerogems Silver badge

              Every time. I swear, it's like when El Reg puts "Windows" in the headline of an article it causes the higher functions of all the precious little snowflakes to just shut down. You guys have such a throbbing erection at the idea of "Grrrrrr! Let's bash Microsoft! Grrrrrr!" you apparently don't have enough blood reaching your brain to do basic reading comprehension. And all the complaints about Microsoft are the usual tired bullshit people have been using for the past 30-years or more. There are so many completely legitimate things you can use if you want to complain about Microsoft, but you always just fall back on the tired tropes. I mean, back when Windows 95 was brand new, some UX designers created a whole series of critiques on just the start menu. They're basically all just as valid today as they were then, but not a single one of you precious little snowflakes use anything like that. It's just what would basically amount to personal attacks, or maybe an ad hominem for the more intellectual amongst you.

              Anyway... My point was more the following: Anything beyond the current version of macOS is going to get updates on a haphazard schedule, at best. It's been that way since at least MacOS X 10.4 when I started paying attention to any degree, and was probably the longest supported version of the OS. The previous version might get an update a couple days or weeks after the current version, anything after that, if it gets an update at all, will likely be months behind the rest. And you never know if some new major exploit being found in macOS will be patched unless you're using the most recent version. When I worked at Apple, they gave me some old laptop that was left behind at like 11.7 or something like that. I forget now, but it was at least one full version behind and they were only a month or two away from releasing the next one. While I was working there, it came out that there was some nasty exploit in the wild. Probably 2-3 months went by before an update was pushed out. I was honestly looking for ways I could reasonably convince them that my laptop was broken (and considered obsolete, meaning they scrapped all repair parts) so they'd give me one that could at least run the current version of macOS. Not even sure that update fixed the issue that was going around because Apple is as obtuse as possible about giving out any details on security vulnerabilities, but even assuming it did, people were left exposed for literally months. I was trying to exploit my position to see if I could access anything internal to find out if that version of macOS was listed as obsolete or EOL, but their systems are so convoluted unless you know the specific Agile change to look up or something, you're almost never going to find anything just by searching.

              For that matter, Linux doesn't really get updated all that much. Sure, the kernel gets patched, but how many people here have ever actually compiled their own kernel? *Raises Hand* Unless you know how to do that, and configure the bootloader so that you're running the patched kernel, you're at the mercy of the distribution putting out an update. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, and after a certain point distributions stop supporting older versions same as everyone else. See how many updates there are for the first version of Fedora that have come out in the last year, for example.

              1. 43300 Silver badge

                "you apparently don't have enough blood reaching your brain to do basic reading comprehension. And all the complaints about Microsoft are the usual tired bullshit people have been using for the past 30-years or more. There are so many completely legitimate things you can use if you want to complain about Microsoft, but you always just fall back on the tired tropes. I mean, back when Windows 95 was brand new, some UX designers created a whole series of critiques on just the start menu. They're basically all just as valid today as they were then, but not a single one of you precious little snowflakes use anything like that. It's just what would basically amount to personal attacks, or maybe an ad hominem for the more intellectual amongst you."

                I was merely expanding on your point, not contradicting it.

                Hope you feel better after your abusive rant, anyway

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                TL;DR

                "precious little snowflakes"

                Downvoted after getting that far through the rant.

            2. xyz123 Silver badge

              "welcome to Mac Support - Have you tried buying a new one?"

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        FAIL

        > You're getting the OS free of charge

        I do not want to get the OS free of charge: You get what you pay, and I was very happy paying good money for Windows (3, 2000, XP) and all their upgrades, and getting some value for that money.

        So please don't tell me they give away the OS so they just have to flood me with manure. I didn't ask for it, and for the record I've been using their products since DOS 2.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    Had an advert with 10

    First time disabled.

    Second time uninstalled the software forcing ads against my block.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Had an advert with 10

      When Windows 10 appeared, and now Windows 11, I started to use them at work but they convinced me to never "upgrade" from Windows7 on all my home computers ... all these Windows "upgrades" make me so happy to continue using the original Windows versions.

  12. navarac Silver badge

    Feedback

    Not on my PC! .... even if I can turn it off (for now). Just don't put this shit on an OS - put it on your website by all means but NOT on the OS. As for the Feedback Hub; that is not taken seriously at all by Microsoft. The greatest impact is in the bottom of their rubbish bin.

  13. david1024

    Crabby old greybeard

    I never liked the start menu and it has been a waste of pixels for me. It always seemed to be a great way to generate extra mouse clicks and gestures that just contribute to cts.

    I just use, and sit down for this, desktop shortcuts to what I need and use keyboard shortcuts or a few strategic mouse clicks to launch programs. I'm not sure who all these folks are that need more that 5-10 programs to get what they need to do done everyday, but maybe MS should put ads there and leave me alone and stay off my lawn.

    Only noobs use the start menu anyway.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Crabby and almost certainly older greybeard

      5 - 10? I've got 17 shortcuts on the panel (task bar is the equivalent for Windows users). Some only get used rarely, some everyday, depending on what I'm doing. The Desktop itself is a place to store files and folders for easy access.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Crabby old greybeard

      "I just use, and sit down for this, desktop shortcuts to what I need and use keyboard shortcuts or a few strategic mouse clicks to launch programs."

      Back in the olden days, when it was possible to customise the start menu and create folders/sub-menus etc, it worked pretty much as you describe, just a couple of clicks to your most used stuff, items were where you put them, and they stayed there. Of course, only "advanced users" knew how to do that. "Noobs" just filled their desktops up with shortcuts all over the place :-)

  14. Alan Bourke

    They just can't help themselves can they

    fixated on that ad nipple

  15. aerogems Silver badge
    Boffin

    While I'm not fond of the idea, at the same time... the software engineers at Microsoft don't work for free, and if they're giving away the OS upgrades now, that revenue hole has to be closed somehow. I'd love to see an option sort of like Amazon's "special offers" where you can pay like $20--the amount of a discount you were given up front--to opt out. All those open source projects rely on servers, bandwidth, and storage paid for by someone. We all want something for nothing, but of course that's part of why being an adult isn't as much fun. You realize that such things aren't sustainable short of waking up tomorrow and finding that we're living in a post-scarcity utopia where money no longer has any practical purpose.

    Still, the start menu just needs to die already. It was an illogical POS back in Windows95 and it is still an illogical POS. Go back to the old Program Manager as a starting point, or even start from scratch, and design something new. The whole desktop metaphor never really made a lot of sense and has been holding back UI design for at least the last three decades now. If you watch how people use their computers, I'd be willing to wager a good sum of money that the overwhelming majority of them rarely use more than a dozen apps with any degree of frequency. Sure, there's always the "I use this app every second solar eclipse, but only if it's the second tuesday of the third month of an odd year," but that represents less than a rounding error of users. Most people have probably 3-4 "core" apps they use on a regular basis (e.g. web browser, email, word processor, steam) which you can just pin to the taskbar and never have to look at the start menu save for during those rare celestial alignments. If the start menu disappeared in Windows 12, I doubt many people would really notice after a month or two.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      "if they're giving away the OS upgrades now, that revenue hole has to be closed somehow"

      The OS is a loss-leader to keep people on their platform and sell subscription services (M365 and Azure), and slurp data for whatever purposes they want to put it to.

      Also, much of the same code-base is used for Windows Server, which is going to be seriously profitable given the prices they charge for licenses.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        The OS is a loss-leader to keep people on their platform and sell subscription services (M365 and Azure), and slurp data for whatever purposes they want to put it to.

        Look who thinks they're being all clever pointing out a flaw in my argument without realizing they're just restating it.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Look who is patronising know-it-all!

          I'm not 'restating' your point - you did not state that they were using it as a springboard for their other services (which they are) or that the codebase is largely the same as for Windows Server (which it is).

          Even on its own terms it's actually likely that Windows Client covers its costs, given how many computers are sold world-wide (even at the prices OEMs will pay, that mounts up to a substantial amount). Take into account the fact that much of this codebase would be produced and maintained anyway, for the server versions, and overall the Windows OSs are going to make a substantial profit.

    2. Chet Mannly

      The OS upgrades aren't really free. MS gets their Windows tax when people buy a new PC. It basically costs nothing to provide that software to others as well. So sure you may get an 'upgrade' (assuming that's the adjective you use to refer to Win 11 lol) gratis, it costs MS nothing at the same time. They'll get their pound of flesh from you next time you buy a new PC.

      Your point about the core apps is spot on - I have 6 key apps I use constantly and they are pinned to the task bar. The start menu gets opened maybe 1-2 times a week for out of the ordinary tasks.

    3. navarac Silver badge

      "If the start menu disappeared in Windows 12, I doubt many people would really notice after a month or two"

      Everyone CERTAINLY noticed it when Window 8 came out (if you are old enough to remember it, of course LOL).

  16. biddibiddibiddibiddi

    I literally had a dream last night about trying to use my computer and being unable to find anything on the Start menu because the ads were in the way.

  17. kend1
    Pint

    Microsoft spokesman was misquoted

    Misquote -- However, it will frustrate users who interpreted the promise to 'make Start Menu great again'

    Actual quote was -- promise to 'make Start Menu grate again'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft spokesman was misquoted

      l already did this trope !!! :)

      https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2024/01/03/windows_11_start_great_again/#c_4784181

  18. xyz123 Silver badge

    If they do this, Linux will finally have its day, even if current games have a technical debt and an FPS penalty.

    1. Chet Mannly

      More likely inside 24 hours an ad blocker or privacy app makes the ads go away and everyone gets on with their lives...

  19. David 132 Silver badge

    Blocking peoples' attempts to work around this is just evil.

    For me, the sting comes in the final paragraph:

    The recommendations come as Microsoft ramps up attempts to block several desktop customization tools, such as ExplorerPatcher and StartAllBack.

    I can grant that Microsoft might genuinely feel that their design decisions are correct; but presented with evidence that some users strongly disagree and tweak the OS to their liking, MS are actively working to stymie those tweaks and prevent customizations. That's just plain vindictive, although no doubt they'll cloak it in superficially-legitimate excuses such as "potential security risks".

    Is "One Microsoft Way" their street address, or their master plan?

  20. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Devil

    Volume Licensees

    will not like this, when (not if) it comes their way. The IT Security dept at [myco] will be even more upset than fhey are after dealing wifh the GlobalProtect(!) bug. Because you just *know* MS won't be able to resist the cash flow from external ad networks (and the associated malware)

  21. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    This is why.....

    I'm still on windows 10 and one of the first things I do on any fresh install is install OOSU10 and classic shell to restore a workable start menu. Everything else is locked down and blocked as best it can be.

  22. Sleep deprived
    Thumb Down

    Make Windows an OS again

    You know, that central program that arbitrates memory, CPU, I/O, tasks, etc. Not an ad vector and telemetry manager.

  23. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Windows

    Perfect

    Finally, a good distribution channel for impostor apps other than Google Play Store. Can these ads run scripts too? Asking for a friend.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Perfect

      Only the other day, we were reading on this site that the Windows "Format Disk" dialog hasn't been updated since it was thrown together by Dave Plummer as a temporary placeholder back in Windows NT.

      Well, here's Microsoft's long game revealed.

      The revamped dialog will invite you to "punch the monkey to win $$$", and install Bonzi Buddy, before you can format your disk :)

  24. Kingbob

    Never gonna happen

    I'm still annoyed they put ads in with Freecell and Solitaire! Give me the simple games back!

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Never gonna happen

      > Give me the simple games back!

      Your wish is myWinaero's command: https://winaero.com/download-windows-7-games-for-windows-11/

      Safe download, I've had them installed for ages and they work perfectly (even Purble Place, heh heh). Just ignore the - very polite - requests to install the Winaero tweaker tool if all you want is the games.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never gonna happen

        I wonder if adding a lot of adverts might be "a security feature" as a result of the cyber-criminals working to create malware in the Windows 11 environment all being pissed off at the amount of adverts they see all the time while trying to verify their hacking? But maybe not, although Microsoft would be making a lot of advert income with so many cyber-criminals working all the time to hack Windows 11 ... and being continuously presented with adverts.

        We're told that "Security Features" generate corporate income, but these days security problems do too.

  25. Lee D Silver badge

    If I'm aware that your OS is there, your OS has already failed.

    It should be entirely in the background.

    There should be a launcher that I can replace with whatever I want.

    Then the OS should get the HELL out of the way.

  26. xyz123 Silver badge

    My work has been forced to cancel this years planned windows 11 upgrade. having unskippable unstoppable, UNFILTERABLE ads on the start menu was the death knell for 65,000 PCs needing an upgrade from windows 10.

    Our tech update is now checking into Linux.

    EVEN the possibility of introducing this has killed windows 11 permanently for us and over 5000 of our client companies.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advisor

    An old airline pilot told me the first time he got in the right seat as a first officer, his captain told him that he (the copilot) was going to be his (the Captain's) "sexual advisor." The copilot asked what that meant. "If I want any fucking information, I'll beat it out of you. In the mean time, shut up and do what I tell you "

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Advisor

      Strangely, I was watching a TV program about "runway incursions", some of which have lead to disasters like one aircraft landing on top of another and that exact "old fashioned attitude" was given as one of the major causes of a particular crash. The modern attitude is NOT the captain being absolute authority but that they work as a team and the co-pilots job is to speak up instantly if s/he sees the pilot making a mistake or doing something incorrectly.

      But then you did say "An old airline pilot".

      1. doublerot13

        Re: Advisor

        I did a job about 10 years ago that left me with tons of free time as jobs and scripts ran. Felt like I read the whole internet.

        But I went through a period of reading about air crashes and the causes, and the above post about "equality" and freedom of speech in the cabin is bang on correct. I think Korea had (emphasis on "had") the worst record due to their respectful, hierarchical society, and Qantas had the best as the Aussie's weren't afraid to say "what the #### are you doing?"

  28. ldo

    Greetings, Boiled Frogs

    Of course you’ll get used to it. Just like all the other indignities enrichments of the user experience that Microsoft has inflicted innovated on you. After all, you’re still using Windows, aren’t you? And admit it: for all your grumbling, that isn’t really going to change, is it?

  29. doublerot13

    "the Dev Channel is aimed at enthusiasts"

    Ok, if anyone here is on this, PLEEEASSSSE tell me what motivates you!!!!!! I won't laugh, honest, I just need to understand someone spending their time on this #### :D

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Various M$ Disasters And Their Lead Actors......

    Employee Log (edited)

    (1) Steve Sinofsky (Windows 8) - resigned from M$ on November 13, 2012

    (2) Julie Larson-Green ("The Ribbon") - left M$ in November 2017

    Obviously, the unknown jerk at M$ responsible for this shambles will soon be "leaving to explore other opportunities".

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