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Your PC is about to advertise Game Pass to you, thanks to Microsoft

Microsoft is bringing the first big ad to Windows 11 in its current Dev Channel build, bringing it a step closer to a complete roll out.

game pass ad on windows 11

Windows 11 ads have come one step closer, as Microsoft has given Xbox Game Pass a prominent slot in the Windows settings menu. Ads have become an inevitability in Windows 11 that we have been tracking for some time, and while this one in the latest Dev Channel update is quite blatant, it’s at least not overly obnoxious.

The Microsoft OS has already played around with app promotions in a Windows 11 ads update recently, which seemed like a natural precursor to outright advertisements. This latest Windows 11 development, however, isn’t just a recommendation, it’s a clear advertisement, presenting the opportunity to join Microsoft’s own Game Pass service at the click of a button.

An Xbox Game Pass advert as seen in Windows 11

The ad in question for Game Pass is only seen on the settings home screen on the latest Dev Channel build of Windows 11, version 26120.470 (KB5037864). Microsoft is quick to point out that this screen will only be shown to users who are signed in to a Microsoft Account and are using Windows 11 Home or Pro. It also states that you will only be shown the ad “if you actively play games on your PC.”

However, I’m split on how I feel about this new ad development. While it’s been clear for some time that this is the direction Microsoft would take with Windows 11, there was always a part of me that assumed it would never take off. Alas, here we are, one step closer to ads invading the latest stable version of Windows.

It’s possible to turn off ads in Windows 11, but ironically you would need to head to the settings menu to do this, meaning you’re likely to encounter this ad on the way to disabling them.

However, if the proposed ads are only as intrusive as this example, I will have no problem with them. Should they start to bleed out into other areas of the operating system, such as in prominent slots on the desktop wallpaper, then it will have gone too far.

While there are plenty of developments going on with Windows 11, there are also rumors that a new version of Windows could be on the way soon. Take a look at what could be in store with Windows 12 when it arrives.