Microsoft was quick to drop this Windows 11 pop-up that took annoying to new levels

Microsoft has reversed course to remove a pop-up that it was trying out with some Windows 11 users that attempted to discern why they were quitting out of OneDrive.

Specifically, this move concerned the OneDrive sync client which resides in the system tray on the far-right of the taskbar (the little cloud icon). As the name suggests, this client oversees the syncing of the files on your PC with OneDrive in the cloud.

If you close it, you’ll see a pop-up telling you that your files will no longer be synced to the cloud, which is a fair enough warning to issue – but then Microsoft incorporated something else for some users.

As Windows Latest reports – and Neowin first observed – as November began, Microsoft added a survey pop-up for those shutting down the syncing client which appeared after the aforementioned warning.

That dialog box was piped through to a small group of Windows 11 users, we’re told, and it asked them to give a reason why they were quitting out of OneDrive sync. Reponses included ‘I don’t want OneDrive running all the time’ (which it is, in the background, with this client) and ‘I don’t know what OneDrive is’ among others. (If the latter would be your response, check out our guide to using the cloud storage service).

This annoyed a fair few Windows 11 users as you might imagine, so Microsoft canned the idea.

Microsoft told Windows Latest: “Between Nov. 1 and 8, a dialog box temporarily appeared for a small subset of consumer OneDrive users when closing the OneDrive sync client asking for feedback on the reason they chose to close the application.

“The prompt was removed after a sufficient sample of user feedback was gathered. This feedback helps inform our ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of our products.”

Analysis: Repeated aggravation

Microsoft is constantly testing these kinds of more intrusive elements in Windows 11, whether it’s ‘suggestions’ or ads for its services or polls, and like most people, we find that quite frustrating. Okay, so this was a limited subset of users, and it was quickly reversed – we’re not surprised and can only imagine the reaction (indeed, we’ve seen some of it on Reddit).

What was overstepping the mark here is that not only was this poll sent to users on the release version of Windows 11 (it may have been a test, but it wasn’t deployed in preview builds of the OS), it actually appeared repeatedly.

Yes, Windows Latest tells us that this pop-up would be summoned for affected users every single time they quit OneDrive sync. Surely, when Microsoft got an answer out of the user, that should have been it, done and dusted as they say?

Hopefully Microsoft will learn a lesson from the spicy feedback on this one and not try to insert any more such surveys cluttering up the flow of using the interface (and certainly not outside of preview versions of Windows 11).

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that for OneDrive sync there is a middle-ground in terms of not quitting, but not having it running either – the pause option. Right-click the icon and you’ll find the choice to ‘Pause syncing’ which will do exactly what it says, plus you can set the length of time (to a fairly hefty pause of 8 hours, or even 24 hours, from the drop-down menu). The app will still be running, but doing nothing, and so it shouldn’t be consuming any noticeable system resources.

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Zoom update delivers a quick hack for more productive meetings

Zoom has announced a number of new updates and features for its video conferencing software that will help organizations be more productive and get the most out of their meetings.

According to a new blog post, hosts will now be able to schedule a meeting with Focus Mode set to start automatically. While this feature was originally designed with online learning in mind, it can also help large businesses with many employees stay on task during their meetings.

For those unfamiliar, Zoom's Focus Mode places meeting participants in a view where they can only see themselves, the host and or co-hosts and the content being shared. However, hosts and co-hosts can also choose to view participants in Gallery View which enables them to see everyone at once.

Speaking of Gallery View, Zoom has also added the ability to save a custom Gallery View order. Meeting hosts can now save a customized gallery order to each unique meeting ID which allows them to load the saved customized order before a meeting as opposed to having to manually change the order each time they're in a video call.

Video Mail

In addition to helping users have more productive meetings, Zoom has also announced a new update for its cloud phone system that will make it easier for colleagues to keep in touch.

While voicemail used to be the only option to leave someone a message when they didn't answer their phone, nowadays most people don't even check their voicemail. For this reason, Zoom has decided to provide its users with a more personable alternative to standard voicemail.

Zoom Phone users can now greet their colleagues with video greetings which allow them to leave video messages right from their voicemail inbox. You can check out this support document from Zoom to get started leaving video greetings or videomail for your colleagues.

While some users have returned to the office full time, other organizations have introduced hybrid work policies where some people are at the office and others are at home. With Zoom's new tools though, employees can stay connected with their teams regardless of whether they're working from home or are out in the field. 

Looking to improve your video calls? Check out our roundups of the best video conferencing softwarebest business webcams and best headsets for conference calls

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Be quick, these Adobe Creative Cloud Cyber Monday deals saving 40% end soon

Adobe is continuing its deals for Cyber Monday on Creative Cloud, saving a big 40% on yearly and monthly plans, the deals are ending December 3. (Not in the UK or US? Scroll down for deals in your region).

There have also been other deals on Walmart and Best Buy where you can pay a one-off fee at a discounted price, but these may last after Adobe's own deals expire.

As Adobe Creative Cloud runs natively on Apple's M1 Macs, alongside the newest M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, it's a great opportunity for Mac users to consider a purchase to Adobe's suite of apps. 

Adobe Creative Cloud also offers a wide range of services. Beyond Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro, there are tens of other creative apps and 100GB of cloud storage to easily store your content.

For all the Adobe Creative Cloud discounts as Black Friday winds down and Cyber Monday ramps up, read on below.

Today's best US Cyber Monday Adobe deals

Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps: $ 599.98 $ 360 a year
Save £239.98 –
Get a huge 39% off a subscription to Adobe’s full bundle of creative apps for the first year. The All Apps suite includes over 20 apps, including Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom and Illustrator, plus 100GB of cloud storage.

Adobe Premiere Pro 1-year plan: $ 239.88 $ 191.88 at Best Buy
Save $ 48 –
A big saving for an app that you’ll most likely be using every day. For 365 days you get the latest updates of Premiere Pro, while taking advantage of the features out now, such as better M1 Mac support, better syncronization of audio and merged clips, alongside more.

Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements: $ 149.99 $ 89.99 at Best Buy
Save $ 60 –
For a one-off fee you get the full version of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements in one, for a cheaper price. You can take advantage of the new features out now, such as better .RAW support, native M1 Mac support and more.

Adobe Premiere Elements: $ 99.99 $ 59.99 at Best Buy
Save $ 40 –
For a one-off fee you get the full version of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements in one, for a cheaper price. You can take advantage of the new features out now, such as better .RAW support, native M1 Mac support and more.

Today's best UK Cyber Monday Adobe deals

Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps: £49.94/mo. £30.34/mo
Save £19.60 –
Available until December 3, the Creative Cloud plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and 20 over apps from Adobe to use across your devices. This also includes 100GB of cloud storage, alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available.

Adobe Creative Cloud for students: £16.24/mo. £13.15/mo
Save 19% –
The Creative Cloud plan for students gives them an additional 19% off. This includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and 20 over apps from Adobe to use across your devices. This also includes 100GB of cloud storage, alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available.

While Adobe will be one of the first to wind down some of its deals for Black Friday, that doesn't mean other vendors will. Best Buy and Walmart look to be ending deals once stock has run out, which has happened already.

We're in full swing with Black Friday, but Adobe hasn't confirmed as yet whether there will be other deals coming with Cyber Monday coming on November 29.

In the meantime, however, there probably won't be another time where you can sign up to Creative Cloud at a 40% discount, so be quick.

More Adobe deals

No matter where you live, you'll find all the lowest prices for Adobe deals from around the web right here as Cyber Monday ramps up, with offers available in your region.

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YouTube launches free DIY tool to let SMBs build quick videos

Creating video ads can be a costly and time consuming process which is why YouTube has launched a new tool to help small businesses create simple videos to better reach their customers.

The company's YouTube Video Builder has already been in the testing phase for several months but Google decided to fast track the tool's beta release to allow businesses to easily advertise their products during the global pandemic when in-person video shoots are no longer possible. 

In a blog post announcing the beta of YouTube Video Builder, director of product management at YouTube ads, Ali Miller explained how both large and small businesses can use the tool to reach their customers, saying:

“Different businesses have different creative needs. A restaurant may want to communicate changing hours or promotions, while a supermarket may highlight new services like curbside pickup. For brands or agencies with existing video resources, Video Builder can help bring agility and experimentation to the creation process by generating supplemental, lightweight videos. For smaller businesses and those with less creative experience, it can provide an efficient, low-resource way to create videos, perhaps even for the first time.” 

YouTube Video Builder

YouTube's new tool is now available for businesses to try out for themselves but they will first have to sign up to participate in the beta. Once accepted, businesses will need a Google account as well as a YouTube channel to start making and publishing videos.

The beta version of YouTube Video Builder allows businesses to animate their images, text and photos and set them to music from YouTube's free audio library. Users will also be able to select from a variety of layouts and customize the colors and fonts in their videos to create short six or 15 second videos.

Finished videos can be uploaded to a business' YouTube channel but more importantly, they can also be run as ads through Google Ads.

While YouTube's new tool has just entered its public beta phase, both large and small companies including the interior design service Havenly, sandwich shop Which Wich and the grocery store Central Market have already been using the tool to create their own videos.

Interested businesses can sign up here to gain access to the beta and Google Ads has also published a guide on how to use the new tool.

Via TechCrunch

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