Warning: This New Microsoft Update May Increase Your Work Nightmares


Can’t we start in peace?

Screenshot by ZDNet

How do you start your day?

Do you start up your laptop and squeeze it as tight as possible?

I fear that this is the modus operandi of many an employee who wakes up in the morning and is worried about what the (work) day may bring.

The secret is therefore to go into the day calmly. Stare at your serene desktop for a moment. Then spend a few minutes on sites that you know will cheer you up. None of them are news sites, of course. Or work locations.

Perhaps checking your personal email can bring you a little joy.

What I suspect you don’t want is your desktop being invaded with a message from your employer.

But here Microsoft cheerfully promises such a concept.

As my colleague Mary Jo Foley reported, one of Microsoft’s latest fun, fine-tuned beeps is to soon allow IT admins to do something that not everyone will adore.

She writes, “IT can send targeted messages to employees on their Windows 11 desktops or right above the taskbar.”

Lord, please don’t.

You open your laptop and immediately see, “Hey, Pete from the company’s IT admin here. You’ve been using a banned app, haven’t you?” Or maybe, “Heyyyyy, you didn’t forget your corporate self-denial training today, did you?”

And this is just above your little app icons.

Is nothing sacred? Is no small part of the technology space immune to the corporate whine, the corporate squeeze, the corporate sell or the corporate plea?

Of course I understand why companies want to do this. There is nothing more exciting than being able to get into the virtual faces of your employees in the blink of an eye.

Who can forget Microsoft to use similar targeted messages to encourage the Windows believers to use Microsoft Edge? (Not everyone liked that idea.)

As Microsoft’s chief product manager for Windows, Heena Macwan, put it this way: “With the shift to hybrid workplaces, we can see that organizations need to better engage with employees in a way that is tailored to individual situations.”

Some individual situations are blessed personally. Do they have to be so contaminated right away?

I know. You will tell me that personal (work) communication is the essence of (work) life. You’re going to tell me IMs fly all day anyway, so what’s another burglary?

Maybe it’s that working from home has made the corporate invasion a little more complete.

If your employer can spy on you at home, review your interior design, and even comment on your choice of dog, what part of you hasn’t sold for the price of a paycheck?

Wouldn’t it at least be fair if employees could send IT administrators such personal desktop Windows 11 notifications?

Those who can read, “Hey, please don’t bother me today. OK?”


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