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Microsoft's Windows 11 U-Turn After User Backlash on Ads

The Executive Headlines

It appears that complaining could be successful, considering that Microsoft has made a change regarding the cramming of one of the most popular Windows 11 applications with advertisements.

As Windows latest reports (opens in a new window), Microsoft had recently modified the Weather app on Windows 11 to be based on the MSN website's weather services. While this shouldn't have been controversial, considering that web-based applications can use less space on the disk and run faster than traditional Windows applications, Microsoft still found a way to annoy users by inserting ads into what was previously an ad-free app.

This isn't the only time Microsoft has upset customers by integrating advertisements into its products and services, but it seems like this time, it went a bit far and caused a backlash via social media and Microsoft's feedback platform which led the company to remove ads from its app, or at most in a few of the apps.

The home screen will no longer be able to see advertisements within the app. However the Windows Latest discovered and I've verified, when you go to a different page in the app like 'Forecasts' for instance there are still advertisements.

If you select 'See the full forecast' in the widget for Weather, you'll land on the MSN weather site that also displays advertisements. This also opens within the Microsoft Edge web browser. However, If you don't have it set as your default browser and you're not set, you'll get an alert soliciting you to change this.

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A Welcomed U-turn, Still It's Not Enough

The constant stream of ads and annoying pop-ups can cause Windows 11 to feel like work to use, and I'm happy that Microsoft appears to have heard some of these complaints.

An organization that listens to its customers' feedback and makes changes that are relevant is always a good thing and should be praised. However, though I would love for this to be a signal that Microsoft is reviewing its entire strategy for advertising on Windows 11, unfortunately, I'm not convinced it is.

The reality that Microsoft had to remove ads from the homepage in the Weather app, without acknowledging it suggests that Microsoft isn't a huge fan of this decision and may reinstate ads in the same way as it did when it took them off.

Additionally, the fact that ads are only being removed from a single screen in a single app, makes me think that this is an action that is unlikely to be replicated elsewhere, or even. It's a little like Microsoft has reluctantly eliminated only the minimum amount of advertisements.

Therefore, even though this is an excellent move, Microsoft has a lot more to accomplish in order to respond to the concerns people are having about the freedoms it's allowing users when it comes to Windows 11.

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