Microsoft's latest ad test just might have you running toward a Mac

Windows 11 update with Task Manager menu
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Microsoft is testing a way of encouraging its users to buy more space in its cloud storage app, OneDrive, in Windows 11 when they're about to shut down their PC. It could potentially be the final straw for some users.

As we get closer and closer to Black Friday 2022, many of us are starting to see deals and adverts that are on our televisions, smartphones, and more, and you may be considering an upgrade to your PC, Mac, or tablet.

On one hand, seeing Microsoft and Apple's latest product lineup is a tempting prospect, but OneDrive is nowhere near as exciting. It's blunders like this that can harm a brand and tempt users to move to a different, less ad-laden operating system, such as macOS.

However, OneDrive isn't the only ad that has been sighted, with prompts to make a Microsoft Account also appearing for some users, and it could be a bad precedent for Microsoft and Windows 11 in the future.

A Mad Men of ads isn't the way forward

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We've been here before with Microsoft - it was caught testing ads in File Explorer before clarifying that this was an experiment that accidentally rolled out to more users than was intended.

Yet here we are again with another ad popping up in Windows 11. Granted, advertisements help to fund countless companies in their growth, and when done well, they can inform and educate users.

But seeing prompts as you're about to shut down your PC gives the impression that you're at the 'are you sure you want to unsubscribe?' stage. It feels like the company is trying one last-ditch attempt to convince you to buy the product.

Yes, Apple has also been faltering lately with baffling gambling ads in its App Store, but Microsoft's attempt feels more direct, in a place you'll find yourself frequently visiting if you routinely shut down your Windows device.

No doubt Microsoft will remove this experiment again as before, but it's looking likely that we're going to be seeing a Windows version in the near future where ads will be across the operating system, and that will not only hinder Microsoft's prized platform but also its brand - even for users who have stayed with Windows for decades.

Via Bleeping Computer (opens in new tab)

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.