Microsoft Pauses Copilot Promotion on Windows 11 Lock Screen


In recent efforts to promote its AI assistant, Copilot, Microsoft implemented a strategy that backfired. Windows 11 users encountered a large QR code displayed directly on their lock screens. Scanning the code redirected them to the Copilot website, further prompting downloads of dedicated mobile apps. This approach, however, drew criticism from a segment of the user base.

Microsoft Pauses Copilot Promotion on Windows 11 Lock Screen After User Backlash

The primary point of contention was the unexpected nature of the promotion. The QR code appeared without any accompanying explanation or prior announcement through official release notes. This perceived lack of transparency, coupled with the prominent placement on the lock screen, led some users on platforms like Reddit to express feelings of being bombarded with unsolicited advertisements.

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Microsoft, upon receiving user feedback, clarified their intentions. In a statement to Neowin, the company positioned the QR code as an educational tool aimed at informing users about Copilot and its potential benefits. They emphasized their commitment to user experience and a willingness to adapt based on user reception. The full statement reads: “The notification was simply a way to educate users and has since been discontinued. We value our customers’ experiences and are always learning to determine what is most valuable and for whom.”

Following this response, Microsoft suspended the lock screen-based promotion of Copilot. While the company maintains its focus on user education, the incident highlights the ongoing challenge of balancing product promotion with user experience within the Windows 11 ecosystem. Moving forward, it’s likely that Microsoft will explore alternative strategies for promoting Copilot that are both informative and respectful of user preferences.

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