Microsoft occasionally aggressively displays advertisements for its services within its software. Its ads typically display marketing materials for Microsoft 365 and the Edge browser.
Of course, we've also seen ads for Microsoft Editor in Windows 11's File Explorer, but the company claimed that the ad appeared randomly and was not intended to be published externally.
But it appears the Redmond company is preparing a new business model that will rely heavily on increasing sales of Microsoft services on low-cost Windows systems through advertising and subscriptions.
Such as was detected by WinBuzzer, Microsoft recently posted a job listing for a Principal Software Engineer Manager. In its original version, the ad explicitly stated that the company is working on a model that allows it to build "low-cost computers powered by advertising and subscriptions."
While that specific wording has now been removed, the listing still clearly emphasizes exploring cloud and web-based solutions. It also talks about the "mission to drive cloud-first experiences on Windows." The current job description there is.
Given Microsoft's trajectory with Microsoft 365 and its role in the overall Windows landscape, it's no surprise that the company is following this path.
Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 were free upgrades, and the company typically recoups development costs by tying people into the Microsoft ecosystem through its subscriptions and other cloud services, with customers paying regular fees to use certain software.
The above idea, however, is controversial if it ever comes to fruition. Ads in services you already pay for are bound to upset some, and Microsoft should think long and hard about it before moving forward.
The effort should also result in fairly inexpensive Windows PCs. This will bring more people to Windows, provided they don't mind ads and subscription apps.
Would you buy a cheaper Windows PC if it showed you ads for Microsoft services or required you to sign up for Microsoft 365?