It looks like Microsoft could cram more adverts veiled as 'recommendations' into Windows 11

The Start menu has been spotted with 'promoted' apps in testing, which could be yet another way Microsoft monetizes an OS it already charges for.

1 minute & 27 seconds read time

At this point, we're all accustomed to a 'nudge' or 'recommendation' in Windows 11 -Microsoft's suggestions that are basically veiled adverts of one kind or another - and sadly there might be more of this coming in the pipeline.

PhantomOfEarth, a regular leaker and Windows 11 tester, shared a discovery on X (formerly Twitter) of a new flavor of recommendation which has appeared in Window 11's Start menu, specifically the 'Recommended' section.

In a preview version of Windows 11, alongside the normal content here (of frequently used software and the like), there are now 'app promotions' - which as you can see in the case of the tweet consists of prodding the user to adopt the Opera web browser. (Although we suppose that is a twist on the usual pushing and shoving to gee up Edge adoption).

As PhantomOfEarth points out, these little nuggets of advertising are similar to the suggested apps present in the Start menu of Windows 10.

The good news is that if you aren't keen on having such suggestions served up to you, cluttering up a key part of the Windows 11 interface, it is possible to turn them off.

In the Settings app, under Personalization, there are options to toggle off various Start menu features, and that includes 'Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.'

Microsoft has a long history of trying to cram various promotional aspects into Windows 11 (and Windows 10), often trying to drive users towards its own services (Edge, Bing, OneDrive, Microsoft Account), but sometimes third-party efforts too, as we see here.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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