Microsoft is no stranger to sneaky advertising for its products, often causing a public outcry, and it looks like it could happen again A Windows Insider shared a screenshot of the updated File Explorer window on Twitter (via BleedingComputer) where they pass flobo09. The image shows an ad bar below the address bar in File Explorer urging users to click a button to learn more about Microsoft Editor.
Some people will go crazy if Microsoft starts adding ads to File Explorer. pic.twitter.com/rusnyrYyX2 March 12, 2022
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Considering File Explorer is a pretty important part of using Windows, people are very frustrated. You don’t expect to see ads when you view your files. Especially since Windows is a paid service from a big company, unlike some free shareware programs, as Flobo09 points out in other tweets, this could very well be an overreaction. The ad is minimal, and they suspect it will be a bounce feature. The current advertisement for Microsoft Editor is also for the service, which is free for browsers and included with Microsoft subscription services for other uses.
The Microsoft Editor is simply a writing aid that considers grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Not a particularly excellent or necessary service and few seem to have heard of it in the past. It’s unlikely that someone would sign up just for this, so it looks like it’s more like a public service announcement or advice rather than direct advertising.
It’s still fair to not expect to see this sort of thing in Explorer, and Microsoft has a history of hidden advertising, so it’s easy to understand the immediate public outcry. I hope this does some good by alerting Microsoft to what users expect to see in the future because it’s not an ad in File Explorer. After all, that’s what insiders and tests like that are for. In the end, perhaps because of this, Microsoft makes it optional or finds a better way to implement it.