Microsoft may have mistakenly leaked information about its plans to include banner advertisements in Windows 11 File Explorer.
Florian Beaubois, a Windows 11 user who also possesses a Microsoft MVP certificate, uncovered the information on Twitter. Beaubois tweeted, “Some people will go mad if Microsoft starts adding ads in explorer,” and included a screenshot of a banner ad appearing at the top of a File Explorer window.
“Write with confidence across documents, email, and the web with advanced writing suggestions from Microsoft Editor.” the ad stated. It also has a “Learn more” button and an “X,” presumably used to cancel it.
The tweet drew a lot of traction. Microsoft responded promptly to Beaubois’ revelation, with senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc saying that “this was an experimental banner that was not intended to be published externally and was turned off.”
LeBlanc’s comment does not rule out the potential of the experimental banner returning in the future. This indicates that Windows 11’s File Explorer may function as a new advertising arena for Microsoft.
If this is true, it won’t be anything out of the realm of normal. Microsoft has placed advertisements in spaces such as the lock screen, start menu, taskbar, and even Windows 10’s own File Explorer across numerous Windows generations. It should be noted that the majority of these ad placements drew great criticism, although they were easy to cancel or remove.
Windows was only available as commercial software for the majority of its lifespan. However, given that Microsoft has supplied numerous generations of free, sequential upgrades to the operating system, it’s not surprising that it’s looking into new revenue-generating strategies that utilize the OS.
Users of Windows 11 will have to wait and see if Microsoft’s reaction to this coincidental revelation is enough to prevent them from proceeding.