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Microsoft Accidentally Shows Test Ads in Explorer

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A test user for Windows 11 was shown an internal ad in their Windows Explorer this week. According to the company, that was not the intention. However, it does show that the tech giant is at least thinking about introducing ads.


Windows has a slew of volunteer testers who sometimes come across things that aren’t quite public yet. Such as Florian Beaubois, who indicates on Twitter that he encountered an internal advertisement in Windows Explorer.

Those ads won’t come right away; however, Microsoft senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc told tech site The Verge. Instead, he reports that it is an experimental function, which was not yet intended to be seen externally. It’s a pretty embarrassing bug then, considering it’s just the kind of feature that a lot of people pounce on.

The idea of getting ads in an office product you’re already paying for is off-putting, especially if it turns out that those ads are based on more than file formats or location on the system.

However, that hasn’t stopped Microsoft and others in the past. The tech giant has been publishing advertisements for its products in its Edge browser for some time, and it must be said that Microsoft is not alone here either. For example, think of Gmail trying to get Chrome to download if you’re using it on the Firefox browser.

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