Microsoft stoops to new low with ads in Windows 11, as PC Manager tool suggests your system needs ‘repairing’ if you don’t use Bing

Microsoft stoops to new low with ads in Windows 11, as PC Manager tool suggests your system needs ‘repairing’ if you don’t use Bing

As Windows 11 users are becoming accustomed to more ads in key places of the operating system, Microsoft is seemingly experimenting with adding yet another advert covertly presented as a recommendation. This time the software giant is trying out having PC Manager suggest that you ‘repair’ your system by reverting to Microsoft’s default search engine, Bing.

PC Manager is a Microsoft utility available in some regions that enables you to get a handle on system storage management and file management, and it can help optimize your PC’s performance. Generally speaking, it’s considered a pretty good app, but as with a lot of its products, that’s not enough for Microsoft – it’s also increasingly in the business of turning various products and features into ad vehicles (especially if they’re free!). 

Windows 11 has already seen ads introduced in parts of the interface like File Explorer, the Settings app, and, most recently, the Start menu. That roster is being expanded, as Windows Latest discovered, to include PC Manager, which recently got the addition of a ‘Repair Tips’ section and a Files Cleanup feature (which can detect duplicate files and more besides).

Looking for potential repairs? Microsoft has a suggestion

The advert was discovered when Windows Latest checked out the new ‘Repair Tips’ section of the PC Manager app, which suggested that the PC be ‘repaired’ by switching the default search engine back to Bing (which is the Windows pre-installed default) from Google Search (or whatever other browser is set as default). 

People who use Windows have picked up on Microsoft’s persistence when it comes to ads, for example the ‘promoted’ third-party ads beginning to show up in the Start menu’s ‘Recommended’ section. The suggestion that switching back to Bing is a ‘repair’ is a new low, though, as it’s effectively implying that using another search engine is actually a fault with your PC, in a way. Switching to Bing search is not going to improve your PC’s performance, is it? Hardly.

As Windows Latest reports, the PC Manager app was developed by Microsoft engineers in China, and it’s possible that the company may drop odd manner to push Bing if the software is rolled out more broadly elsewhere – it may come to the US eventually.

(Image credit: Getting Images)

Letting Edge, Bing, and PC Manager stand on their own merits

From what we’ve seen so far, aside from this advertising push that’s been witnessed across Windows 11 more broadly, PC Manager looks like a good app to help you better manage your PC’s resources and files, and Windows Latest recommends it as a seemingly secure performance-boosting app. This makes sense as it’s developed by Microsoft itself, which has an interest in ensuring that its apps are as secure as they can be. 

Microsoft Edge, the default browser pre-installed on Windows machines, and Bing Search aren’t bad products by any means – they are solid alternatives to Google’s own Chrome and Search. Edge has recently seen a whole host of new useful features like a sidebar, sleeping tabs, and an immersive reader. That said, there are parts of the browser that some people consider ‘bloatware’ and unnecessary clutter. For example, some folks don’t currently see much purpose in using Microsoft’s AI assistant, Copilot, which is integrated into Edge. 

Bing Search and Edge have enough of their own merits to be considered viable alternatives to the industry leaders, and I know personally that this kind of repeated prodding doesn’t convince me to try them. If anything, it can push people away, and tech companies would do well to remember that what wins people’s minds are products that work well. It’s as simple as that – let the product speak for itself, and the user base will grow.

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