Contentious Windows 11 Start Menu Change Abandoned

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has abandoned plans to recommended websites in the Windows 11 Start menu. It hasn't said exactly why but suggests user feedback played a role.

An idea to suggest searching on Microsoft Edge when copying text has also been ditched. It was the latest attempt to promote the browser to Windows users.

The two ideas were both rolled out last November to users of the Dev channel in the Windows Insider test program. That's the first time potential new features are available to anyone outside of Microsoft.

People who choose to use the Dev channel are particularly eager to see new ideas, knowing they are at the earliest stage of public testing. That means there's a greater chance of performance and compatibility issues. It also means these users are very much not representative of the average Windows user, though the channel is still a good way for Microsoft to see how changes work on a "real" computer setup rather than a dedicated test machine.

Websites 'Recommended'

The first of the changes involved the "recommended" section at the bottom of the Start menu. The Start menu normally displays installed programs and quick links to documents recently used. The theory is these are documents the user is most likely to want to open right now.

Exactly how Microsoft chose the websites it added to this section hasn't been confirmed. It appeared to be a mix of popular sites in the user's area and the user's own browsing history.

Aside from people not wanting to have recommended websites take up this space in the Start menu, it also prompted unease about the potential browsing history being monitored. Some also feared Microsoft might eventually use the feature to promote sites in return for payment. (Source:

Cut-And-Paste Prompts Edge Link

The other proposed change was that when users highlighted and copied text in a document, Microsoft would show a link to open up the Edge browser and automatically search for the text. That raised questions about whether the feature was more annoying than useful. It also reawakened the debate about when it's appropriate for Microsoft to use Windows to push people towards its own browser.

Announcing the removal of both ideas, Microsoft said:

Thanks to all the Insiders who gave us feedback on these two experiences. As a reminder, features and experiences we try out in the Dev Channel may get removed and never released beyond the Dev Channel as we incubate new ideas and get feedback from Insiders. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you use the Window Insider program? Would you have found either of these features useful? Should Windows push users towards Edge even if they prefer using another browser?

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Focused100's picture

Yeah they would certainly try to monetize it.
It goes without saying they will also try to track the sh*t out of us as well.
Just another day in the MS playbox