Microsoft Ads in Windows Could Boost Product Adoption

With Windows 11 rolling out with annual updates since its launch last year, Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) operating system (OS) business seems determined to catch up with competing OS updates, by especially those of Apple Inc. (AAPL) Mac systems.

Key points to remember

  • Ads on File Explorer in a new tested version of Windows 11 may indicate Microsoft’s future plans to use ads on its operating system.
  • Placing advertisements to promote Microsoft products could entice the huge base of Windows users to adopt the company’s products which are lagging behind their competitors.
  • Ads dilute the user experience, but as an additional way to improve sales, Microsoft can use them to improve business across multiple segments.

However, the chance discovery of an advertisement on the latest Windows 11 tests may suggest a new wrinkle in the environment of the software giant’s operating system. The ad appeared on Microsoft’s File Explorer on Windows 11 and urged users to check out the Microsoft publisher. According to Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager for Windows, the announcement was not meant to be released externally. However, nothing in his remark would rule out ads on Windows in the future.

Microsoft Windows, like other operating systems such as iOS or Mac Linux, comes pre-packaged in new devices, and its cost is built into the price of the device itself. More importantly, with a few exceptions, it has always been ad-free. If the Windows operating system starts throwing advertisements, the user experience might be diluted.

Previous experiences with ads

Earlier in 2017, Microsoft placed ads for One Drive, its cloud storage and file management service, in its File Explorer. The action was supposed to improve the user experience on Windows 10 by integrating Microsoft’s cloud offering. However, although users could opt out of receiving advertisements, the advertisement was seen as an attempt to remove two revenue streams from Windows: the price of the software itself and advertisements for other Microsoft products. Even then, the user experience was diluted due to ads on the operating system.

Announcements to address poor Skype and Teams performance, lagging cloud product

As remote working and virtual meetings increased in 2020 and 2021, Microsoft’s existing products, Skype and Teams, lagged behind and couldn’t match the video conferencing capabilities of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. ( ZM), the collaborative features of Slack and the ease of use of Alphabet Inc.’s Google Meet (GOOGL). Even after Microsoft made Skype and Teams interoperable in 2020 and integrated Teams with its Office 365 productivity suite and Outlook, the service failed to stave off the crowd of competitors such as Zoom and Google’s integrated offering of Gmail. , Meet, Chat and Voice. Microsoft’s cloud service Azure also lags Amazon.com, Inc.’s Amazon Web Services (AMZN).

Ads on File Explorer may convert some Windows users to other Microsoft products and services. If Microsoft decides to display ads on its File Explorer, it won’t be the first to do so – other tech giants such as Apple and Alphabet are also bombarding users with ads. Microsoft has experimented with ads in a number of ways, from placing ads on the Windows lock screen to promoting its apps in the Start menu. However, ads in File Explorer would benefit from the enormous reach of Microsoft Windows.

However, Windows is almost ubiquitous, and as the most popular operating system by far and as the “must have” operating system for those who don’t like iOS, it can have an incredible influence on future behavior. consumers. With flashing ads on the trusty File Explorer, users can adopt or convert other Microsoft products, especially those that integrate on its cloud, before the company’s competitors such as Dropbox, Inc. (DBX ) and even Alphabet do not enter through the door. .

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