Microsoft Account sign-up prompts, now in the sign-in menu.

Microsoft Account sign-up prompts, now in the sign-in menu. (credit: @thebookisclosed on Twitter)

Microsoft is always adding new stuff to Windows 11, but some of those changes are more positive than others. Case in point: Twitter user Albacore has spotted new prompts in Windows 11 nudging users toward using Microsoft Accounts and backing up their files with Microsoft OneDrive. These have been tucked into the operating system’s sign-in menu, using an orange “pay attention to me” indicator dot like the one used on the power button to signal that Windows Updates are ready to install.

We haven’t seen these messages on our own Windows 11 machines, but Microsoft does regularly A/B test UI tweaks like this, even in the release builds of Windows 11 (some of our PCs have a new Search menu with the word “Search” spelled out while others only have the magnifying glass icon, even though both systems are running the latest version of Windows 11 22H2). It’s possible that this is only affecting some Windows Insider builds or a limited subset of Windows 11 PCs. This Twitter user also has a history of exposing buried functionality in both old and new builds of Windows.

These kinds of prompts aren’t totally unique to Windows 11 or Microsoft. Apple’s Settings app on iPhones and iPads will encourage you to set up an Apple ID or Apple Pay if you haven’t already done so, and Chrome and Android will do the same thing with Google accounts and other services.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments