Next Windows 11 update might include a new PC optimization app - and a sneaky way for Microsoft to introduce ads

We’re expecting the next major upgrade for Windows 11, the 24H2 update, to roll out widely in September or October of this year, and it’s possible that it could include Microsoft’s system optimizing app for Windows 11 (and Windows 10) called ‘PC Manager.’

The app was originally made for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users in China but has since spread to some other regions. Where it’s available, users can download PC Manager from the Microsoft Store if they want, but now it appears that Microsoft is going one step further by including the app in the 24H2 update.

At least Microsoft has introduced PC Manager in the latest Windows 11 preview build in the Beta channel, but only in China right now. This is quite a large step forward because it means the app is now one of the default inclusions in Windows 11 for Chinese users, as Neowin reports.

Logically, in the future, Microsoft may make PC Manager a default app in other regions, perhaps including the US. Indeed, the official page for the app in the US now allows Windows 11 and 10 users to download it - though of course, that’s a far cry from it becoming one of the stock apps in Microsoft’s operating systems.

Managing expectations

PC system optimizers have been around for a long time in the form of third-party apps, and it’s very interesting to see Microsoft offer up an official take on this kind of utility, built right into Windows, that many people think is pretty good.

The app promises to improve your system’s performance with typical actions like suggesting ways to free up memory and disk space, checking for potential threats to your PC like viruses or other issues, and reducing ads and pop-ups. The last aim is a little ironic seeing as a recent version of PC Manager was shown to suggest that users ‘fix’ their system by changing their default search engine to Bing. This hardly seems like a repair or a quality-of-life improvement, but just another shoehorned attempt at prompting users to switch to Microsoft products dressed up as a ‘suggestion.’

Neowin also tells us that in the past, PC Manager has been shown to inject affiliate links to products promoted by Microsoft, and recommend questionable actions in terms of optimizing your system. So, take that as something of a caution.

Conceptually, PC Manager sounds helpful or even necessary, offering assistance like quick system clean-up solutions, and protecting your default settings from unauthorized changes. In practice, it looks like Microsoft is experimenting with making some not-so-helpful (or even potentially harmful) additions.

I hope that Microsoft reconsiders this and puts the effort in to make it a great app, as that’s what’s best for Windows users and what will foster goodwill. It may also be the case that the changes made for China - including PC Manager becoming a default app in Windows 11 - may never be applied to the US market (or other regions).

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