Windows 11 preview build 23435 has just been released to the Dev channel, featuring some new “badging” on the Start menu. According to Microsoft, this badging is a form of advertising designed to highlight the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account (MSA).
While some users may find this approach intrusive, it’s worth noting that Microsoft is actively seeking feedback from testers in the Dev Channel. However, some users may be sensitive to the suggestion that they sign up for an MSA, as they may prefer to keep their operating system separate from Microsoft’s ecosystem.
Another concern is the use of a yellow warning circle and exclamation point, which may make users think there is something wrong with their system setup. While cloud backups are important, ads in the Start menu are unlikely to be a popular move among most Windows 11 users.
On a more positive note, build 23435 also introduces a new built-in image gallery, known as the Gallery, within File Explorer. This is just one of many tweaks and changes in this latest preview build, so be sure to check out Microsoft’s blog post for more information.
While the new Gallery feature is a welcome addition, it’s hard to ignore the growing concern around the use of Start menu ads. Microsoft’s approach to badging and advertising in Windows 11 has become a contentious issue, with some users feeling like they are being badgered into signing up for Microsoft services they may not want or need.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft has defended its use of badging as a way to highlight the benefits of its services, but it’s clear that many users feel that these ads are intrusive and unwelcome. Some may even argue that these ads are a cynical way of pushing less tech-savvy users into signing up for Microsoft accounts.
Ultimately, it’s up to users to decide whether they want to sign up for Microsoft accounts or not, and it’s important that Microsoft respects their decision either way. While ads and badging may be an effective marketing tool, they need to be implemented in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive or annoying to users.
As Windows 11 continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to user feedback around its badging and advertising practices. If the company wants to win over users and build trust in its products and services, it will need to find a way to strike a balance between marketing and user experience.