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Microsoft's Hidden Windows 8 Feature: Ads

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the let's-call-it-a-feature dept.

Advertising 635

MojoKid writes "Despite the fact that I've been using Windows 8 for the past three weeks, I somehow managed to overlook a rather stark feature in the OS: ads. No, we're not talking about ads cluttering up the desktop or login screen (thankfully), but rather ads that can be found inside of some Modern UI apps that Windows ships with. That includes Finance, Weather, Travel, News and so forth. On previous mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android, seeing ads inside of free apps hasn't been uncommon. It's a way for the developer to get paid while allowing the user to have the app for free. However, while people can expect ads in a free app, no one expects ads in a piece of software that they just paid good money for."

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635 comments

M$ (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919083)

M$

Re:M$ (1, Troll)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919135)

This is why Linux is King (in 2013)!

Re:M$ (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919197)

£inux

Re:M$ (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919269)

Appl€?

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft" (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919471)

No, "(GBP)inux" and "Appl(EUR)" aren't quite the same as "M$". Microsoft started out as a publisher of interpreters of the line-numbered BASIC programming language. Names of string variables in early BASIC always ended in $, making LET M$ = "Microsoft" valid code. What language are you talking about that uses the symbol for GBP or EUR?

Re:M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919335)

Problem is even ubuntu is getting bloatware in 2012 ,which is a form of advertisement.
Any company tries to maximize there resources it's human (crappy) nature.
Not that I'd ever use windows 8 in my darkest dreams, but if I did I'd email them and demand they were removed, if they get enough emails it will change.

Re:M$ (5, Funny)

NIK282000 (737852) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919389)

Good! I'm glad some one has the balls to hypothetically speak up with their hypothetical outrage about their hypothetical purchase! Way to hypothetically let them know what you really think of them!

Re:M$ (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919423)

Ubuntu is allowing Amazon search results in their search results. I'm not sure that constitutes direct advertisement or bloatware. They're just opening search to also include a commercial entity.

Re:M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919449)

This is why having a good ad-blocking host file [someonewhocares.org] , is a good thing. Only with Windows 8 [slashdot.org] you have to disable Windows Defender from mucking with the host file.

Re:M$ (4, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919199)

Like Smokey (almost) says: Only you can kill it with fire.

That's OK (5, Funny)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919089)

I only pay for applications with bad money instead of good money, so I'm fine with the ads.

EULA? (-1, Offtopic)

Vermyndax (126974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919107)

I can hardly believe this article was posted without researching the EULA. I would imagine it addresses this new feature. If it does, that's not news (other than the usual EULA hilarity). If it does not, that's news.

Re:EULA? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919233)

I can hardly believe this article was posted without researching the EULA. I would imagine it addresses this new feature. If it does, that's not news (other than the usual EULA hilarity). If it does not, that's news.

The only thing that's "news" here is the rather unbelievable concept that you actually think people read EULAs anymore. Even if it did address it, chances are the words "built-in ads" are summed up inside three paragraphs of legalese that no one understands anyway.

Re:EULA? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919235)

Only the second coment and it's parrotting "feature". How is this in any way a feature? features help the end user, anything that detracts from the user's experience is either a bug or a design flaw.

This is not a feature, it's a flaw. A really BAD flaw.

Re:EULA? (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919513)

Definitely a feature. If you look at it though, these apps are just a native replacement for the MSN website...which has ads. Probably always has. I don't see the controversy here. If you don't want to see Microsoft's ads, don't use the preinstall internet apps like Finance, etc...

Re:EULA? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919383)

It's news because it's surprising Microsoft thought this was a good idea.

Maybe they are right, maybe people won't mind and they will make tons of money, but it sure annoys me, and my guess is other people will be annoyed too. Who wants this stuff on their work computer?

Re:EULA? (5, Informative)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919421)

On page 7 of the 11 page legal document called the Windows 8 EULA, in Section 6 "Windows Apps", Microsoft include the following wonderfully enlightening information...

"Some Windows apps include advertising. You may choose to opt out of personalized advertising by visiting choice.live.com."

Re:EULA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919625)

""Some Windows apps include advertising. You may choose to opt out of personalized advertising by visiting choice.live.com.""

It's bull. It's a cookie for fuck's sake! You have to allow 3rd party cookies to avoid getting spammed.

http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ [aboutads.info]

Like most people I know, I delete all cookies on exit on principle, so that won't work anyway.

Re:EULA? (4, Insightful)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919501)

Covering it in the EULA does not necessarily make it either reasonable or unremarkable.

Not Ok. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919111)

That is all.

Re:Not Ok. (2)

durrr (1316311) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919321)

It's not like you pay for windows anyway.

Same as Win Phone 7 and Zune (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919113)

Didn't Microsoft pull this same joke with Windows Phone 7? And Zune apps?

Just... (2, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919117)

send Microsoft your monthly Internet bill, so they can pay for the bandwidth those ads use.

Re:Just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919175)

send Microsoft your monthly Internet bill, so they can pay for the bandwidth those ads use.

Enjoy that 0.3 cent check...

Re:Just... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919221)

That's not the point.

Re:Just... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919277)

What is the point beyond the person making a stupid statement? Why would Microsoft have to pay anything? The entire premise is both flawed and idiotic.

Re:Just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919263)

.3 cent x a billion people = $300 mill per month that M$ loses.

Linux ftw

Re:Just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919297)

Especially when we start seeing full-motion HD quality video in our cable televisio-- Oh! I'm sorry, I meant to say "desktop and laptop computers"!

Re:Just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919373)

It does suck that Windows now ships with crapware default, but at least they make it far, far easier to uninstall than the hardware vendors. Simply right click on any of the shipping apps and they can be uninstalled with one click.

Who cares (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919123)

It's all of those silly Bing! apps that nobody wants to use anyway. Stop being a crybaby.

Kind of sleezy (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919131)

This kind of caught me off guard too. The music App started showing me ads, and not just little images off to the side, but full screen videos asking me to sign up for a subscription. I thought that the :"Music" app was what I was supposed to use to listen to the music I already owned. Not some nagware that tried to convince me to buy more music off the MS specific store. I promptly removed the music from my desktop after that and just went to download Winamp, since WMP and the new music app were completely unable to play FLAC files anyway. I can't see how MS isn't going to get in trouble for this one. If they got in trouble for doing it with browsers, which were mostly free anyway, even before they started including them, just think of how Apple is going to react to MS embedding a music store in the OS, or Steam is going to react to adding a games store in the OS.

Re:Kind of sleezy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919249)

Games are available via the Apple Apps store, why shouldn't MS be able to do the same? Steam's support for OSX is pretty lame and I can see where MS wants to get away from that culture.

Re:Kind of sleezy (4, Insightful)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919299)

Disclaimer: I don't like ads; in fact, I generally hate them.

However...

Do you think Apple doesn't 'embed' a music store in their OS? Doesn't iTunes come pre-installed on both MacOS and iOS?

Re:Kind of sleezy (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919351)

Do you think Apple doesn't 'embed' a music store in their OS? Doesn't iTunes come pre-installed on both MacOS and iOS?

Yeah, but neither the iTunes player nor the store show me ads.

You launch the music player, you play music. You launch the music store, and it will show you stuff to buy.

This is ads embedded in the native apps ... which is a whole different thing.

Re:Kind of sleezy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919387)

Apple isn't legally a monopoly.

Apple v. Samsung (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919503)

Apple isn't legally a monopoly.

It is on touch screen smartphones. Apple v. Samsung.

Re:Kind of sleezy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919409)

Apples and oranges. When I open a music STORE app I expect a few ads.

When I use a paid office or finance app I shouldn't have ads, especially ads that interupt my train of thought and slow down my work.

Re:Kind of sleezy (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919411)

Yeah, but I can use iTunes, I've used it often. It has the feature to buy music. It has not once shown me a full screen ad asking my to buy music. In fact, at least as I recall from using it on Windows, if you don't click on the store, which is a small thing on the left hand side, you never see the store. Whereas the "Music" app from Microsoft, is basically a store with the added feature of being able to play some music. If you want to listen to your own music, you have to scroll the screen to the left, which for most people is completely unintuitive because most people would assume you already start out on the far left of a horizontally scrollable interface, not some weird place in the middle. Also, Apple is not in a monopoly position, and Microsoft is, so that changes the rules a bit.

Re:Kind of sleezy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919431)

There's quite a bit of a difference between opening an app to buy music or apps and seeing ads. I very much expect a store front app to have ads.

I don't expect a music player to have ads. I don't expect a stock app to have ads. I don't expect a weather app to have ads.

My favorite bit of all of this? Half the ads I've tapped on lead to an error of some sort or another.

Re:Kind of sleezy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919325)

Like the frog in the water, the gradually increasing temperature seems forever just barely tolerable. Jump out, my amphibious friend! There is world outside the pot!

Valve's reaction to Windows Store (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919405)

just think of how Apple is going to react to MS embedding a music store in the OS, or Steam is going to react to adding a games store in the OS.

Valve has already published its reaction to the Windows Store in Windows 8. See stories from late July [slashdot.org] and late October [slashdot.org] .

Operating systems have come a long way (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919143)

I guess Tanenbaum will have to add a new chapter to the next printing of his Operating Systems textbook.

Re:Operating systems have come a long way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919607)

He could add it to the security chapter. Maybe point out that ad servers are the number one source of javascript exploits, so it's maybe not a good idea to be downloading them automatically.

Or he could add it to the networking chapter; maybe a section explaining how to block the ad servers [davidginn.com] .

Cable TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919149)

Sounds like cable TV.

Well, on the bright side, maybe you didn't expect ads in software you paid for, but next time you will. You sound like someone in 1993 complaining that Windows sucks, and that's ok. Nothing wrong with that. But the guy saying the same thing in 1998, even if it's equally true, sounds like a moron because he didn't have any expectations of it not sucking. Don't be that guy in 2017.

Let's get back to ignoring that irrelevant company, now. More than enough time has been spent covering their newest product.

No one expects ads in paid software (3, Interesting)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919151)

Re:No one expects ads in paid software (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919259)

Or like how Steam tries to bombard users with popup ads anytime they want to play the games they've already paid for?

Re:No one expects ads in paid software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919385)

The difference of course is that steam pops up the add after the game has finished playing.

Microsoft is popping up the add WITHIN the application itself.

If steam injected adds inside the games I paid for, then frankly I'd not be using steam.

I'm using this same logic and won't use Windows 8, unless dragged screaming with no other choice with business needs or until Windows 8 changes their practices and design.

Re:No one expects ads in paid software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919437)

Or like how Steam tries to bombard users with popup ads anytime they want to play the games they've already paid for?

[[citation needed]]. The store popups come AFTER you've played a game you've already paid for (or not; this applies to free-to-play games, too), and they can be turned off in the main Steam settings (again, this also applies to free-to-play games, too).

Re:No one expects ads in paid software (2)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919545)

I think you'll find a lot of people really don't mind those ads, because they're games in a games platform in an application where you buy and play games. Often the adds are for ridiculously marked down rates, which the user is happy to be informed of, especially if you're a college student on a budget and that triple A title you couldn't afford 6 months ago is 60% off. It's also one click to get rid of and nobody has Steam, plays games through Steam and frequently launches Steam that doesn't buy games through Steam.

Re:No one expects ads in paid software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919339)

If someone didn't expect the little ads on the pause screen in Angry Birds Star Wars, they've never seen Angry Birds, Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Seasons, or Angry Birds Rio.

Ads everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919179)

people will pay money to be walking billboards, I think that having ads in paid for software is expected.

Been around a while in games (the launchers), print media, TV

Paying for ads is nothing new. Desirable? no, but not unexpected.

You paid for a license (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919189)

You paid MS to license Windows8. You didn't buy a copy. Ergo, you are agreeing to pay MS a specified sum of money to view ads which happen to come with programs that you can also use.

Re:You paid for a license (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919337)

Mod parent +5 insightful sarcasm

OR

Mod parent -5 clueless about the /. consensus regarding this topic.

The deadpan delivery was so successful that I'm not sure which applies.

Whyput 8 on a desktop or laptop? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919191)

Is there, or has there ever been, ANY reason why you would put Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop? There's not a single positive new feature or advantage of it that I've heard of. And I'm being serious, I really haven't heard one thing it does new or better than 7.

Phones/Tablets, I can understand, but why would you on a desktop or laptop?

Re:Whyput 8 on a desktop or laptop? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919289)

Is there, or has there ever been, ANY reason why you would put Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop?

Because the store no longer sells computers with Windows 7 perhaps?

Re:Whyput 8 on a desktop or laptop? (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919371)

Yes, so I can learn it and provide tech support to people who do.

Now, as to what reason THEY would have to put it on other than because that's what was pre-installed on it or because they plan on using it beyond Windows 7's "expiration"/end-of-life date? No, I can't think of any reason.

Automatic Payments (1)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919193)

From Microsoft Wallet.

THANKS! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919195)

I'd almost forgotten why i shun microsoft. This is a good reminder.

Re:THANKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919467)

Next thing you know they will be including Amazon shopping results in your desktop search results!

No ads in Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919201)

I never see ads in Linux, even when using free apps.

Re:No ads in Linux (1)

sqlrob (173498) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919307)

Not an Ubuntu user then I take it.

Android is Linux too (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919331)

I never see ads in Linux, even when using free apps.

I see ads in free applications for Android (a Linux-based operating environment for phones and tablets) all the time. Even Ubuntu 12.10 has Amazon ads. What Linux-based operating environment are you using? And do you play any free games with production values comparable to those of professional games on that version of Linux?

Re:Android is Linux too (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919441)

Slackware .9 ~

Re:No ads in Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919357)

Unless it's Ubuntu.

Re:No ads in Linux (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919399)

Exactly. I expect to see ads anywhere and everywhere, except in apps distributed through my Linux distribution's software repository.

Re:No ads in Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919445)

I'm using a free Linux app (called Firefox) right now and if I scroll to the top of this page I can see advertisement!

How is this a Windows 8 Feature? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919209)

How is this a Windows 8 Feature though and not something that the developer embedded into her app?

"apps that Windows ships with." (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919353)

How is this a Windows 8 Feature though and not something that the developer embedded into her app?

From the summary: "apps that Windows ships with."

"In Windows 8" = "in the out-of-the-box install" (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919487)

For the purposes of this discussion, an app which is shipped with Windows 8 and which is either installed by default or is activated/installed with the Windows 8 "Turn Windows features on or off" control panel is considered part of Windows 8 in the same way that notepad and paint have been considered part of "Windows" for many versions back.

On the other hand, an application installed by a hardware vendor as part of it's "OEM image" or an application whose installer is on the Windows retail DVD or downloadable installation package but which is NOT installed by the Windows installer and which is NOT managed as a Windows "feature" can be considered "not part of Windows."

Re:How is this a Windows 8 Feature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919575)

... because the developer of said apps is Microsoft and they come with the OS? Didn't read TFS I take it?

would be interesting to see if you can block them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919225)

does the windows firewall have an exception for this stuff????

or are the ads built-in to the OS?

either case is bad imho - REALLY bad

seriously, the gui alone on win8 is a nail in coffin type of thing, but ads are even more so imho

Re:would be interesting to see if you can block th (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919573)

I think you can uninstall the apps that include the ads, at least for non-"core OS" apps like Finance, News, Music, etc.

You can definitely remove their icons from the main Start screen, but they will still show in "All Apps."

If you remove them from the main Start screen or disable their "live update" capabilities, you can also choose to not run those apps.

Corporate IT is going to hate this (5, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919231)

One more reason to exercise "down"grade rights.

They're going to need the help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919243)

Because clearly they won't be making much money in any other format soon.

Except for XBox 360 owners... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919245)

Microsoft has been putting ads in for quite some time, even though XBox Live is a paid service.

Xbox Live: Silver vs. Gold (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919367)

Xbox Live is both a free service (Silver) and a paid service (Gold). The ads and the Marketplace are in Silver, as I understand it, even though logging into Gold also logs you into Silver.

Re:Xbox Live: Silver vs. Gold (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919459)

Gold gets you ads as well.

Sounds familiar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919247)

Oh you mean nobody expects ads in something they pay for, like I dunno, Xbox Live? Oh wait that's a Microsoft product too....

even more reason to migrate to Linux (1)

1800maxim (702377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919257)

I have dual boot Ubuntu and XP. Ubuntu is taking the spot as my main OS more and more lately, and XP is there just for legacy apps.

My wife likes Linux, though has XP on her dying laptop.

We were considering going OS X and MacBook, but Apple's stringent control is to the liking of neither of us (and she's the opposite of a techie). And the rumour of moving to ARM?

Thus, when her laptop dies, she'll get a new one with either Ubuntu or Mint, and our move to the next, new, modern operating system will bypass the Windows "ecosystem" altogether.

P.S. Oh yeah, both our iPhones will be replaced by Android...

Value Ad Apps != OS (4, Insightful)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919271)

You paid money for the OS. When an OS component has an ad, feel free to get angry. In the meantime, get over it. You don't have to use Microsoft free software. You can choose to download your own. Hell, this is Slashdot, you should be making your own, releasing the source, and publishing it to the Microsoft Store. Anyone who's unboxed a new computer will know that this is true. You just paid ______ computer company $____ for a computer! How dare they install advertisements, trialware, and crap software on your computer! Same issue, different company.

Re:Value Ad Apps != OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919391)

Cool, except not everyone is a bitter slashdot geek. The masses don't deserve crappy adware, they just may not know they have a choice.

Re:Value Ad Apps != OS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919495)

"You paid money for the OS. When an OS component has an ad, feel free to get angry. In the meantime, get over it. You don't have to use Microsoft free software."

"You paid money... Microsoft free software"

"paid money... free software"

"paid... free"

?!

You just paid for it... how is it free?

Re:Value Ad Apps != OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919597)

Those ARE components of the OS, as they shipped with it!

Good money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919279)

The Treasury Department should sell advertising space on currency. Think how much we could raise with "The $20 bill, brought to you by McDonald's."

Hint: You're Supposed to Delete Them (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919291)

Consider it an extra hint about what you're supposed to do with all the crapware they install on your computer the moment you start it up. None of the shit that comes with Windows or OEM bundles is worth the price you paid for it, so just tilt it all into the shredder and go out and find windows ports of all the free Linux apps that provide better functionality without all the bullshit.

Oh! Oh! I know where this goes... (2)

metrometro (1092237) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919305)

They're so targeted to my interests, it actually adds value to the experience? It makes it easier and more intuitive to find the products I need? The costs would otherwise be passed on to the consumer?

Fuck you.

Who bets these ads will use all your PC data? (1, Insightful)

Shrike Valeo (2198124) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919319)

This gives me a gut feeling all the programs you install could be used for ads more targeted than ever before....

Forget your search history, these could use data from your whole internet history, downloads, desktop, start menu...

THIS JUST IN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919323)

867-5309 !!

Ask for Jenny !!

Block these ads the MOST efficient way... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919329)

Via custom hosts files, which are better than other solutions like AdBlock... how so? Ok:

---

1.) AdBlock operates on Mozilla products

2.) AdBlock's written in slower interpreted javascript/perl/python (vs. the IP stack written in C & Assembly languages, FAR faster)...

3.) AdBlock operates in SLOWER ring 3/rpl 3/usermode, LAYERED OVER ALREADY SLOWER ring 3/rpl 3/usermode apps in browsers (vs. custom hosts operating in ring 0/rpl 0/kernelmode, merely acting as a filter for the IP stack which is written in C & Assembly language - FAR faster!).

4.) AdBlock also can't speedup your favorite sites via "hardcoded" hosts file entries of your fav. sites.

5.) AdBlock can't protect you vs. DNS poisoning (as well as making access to your fav. sites more reliable)

... and more where it's inferior to custom hosts files...

---

So - IF you don't want to be:

A.) Tracked
B.) Spammed
C.) Speed/bandwidth hogged by ads (as well as electricity, CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O as well)
D.) Hit by malware or malicious scripts (for better "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth")
E.) Hit by DNS poisoning redirection (OR DNS servers being "downed") losing reliability
F.) Blocked out & have even more 'anonymity' (to an extent vs. DNS request logs) + being able to "blow by" what you may feel are unjust blocks (in DNSBL's)... ...& more?

---

APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++ 32-bit & 64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

---

Custom hosts files gain me the following benefits (A short summary of where custom hosts files can be extremely useful):

---

1.) Blocking out malware/malscripted sites.
2.) Blocking out Known sites-servers/hosts-domains that are known to serve up malware.
3.) Blocking out Bogus DNS servers malware makers use.
4.) Blocking out Botnet C&C servers.
5.) Blocking out Bogus adbanners that are full of malicious script content.
6.) Blocking out known spammers &/or phishers.
7.) Blocking out TRACKERS.
8.) Getting you back speed/bandwidth you paid for by blocking out adbanners + hardcoding in your favorite sites (faster than remote DNS server resolution).
9.) Added reliability (vs. downed or misdirect/poisoned DNS servers).
10.) Added "anonymity" (to an extent, vs. DNS request logs).
11.) The ability to bypass DNSBL's (DNS block lists you may not agree with).
12.) More screen "real estate" (since no more adbanners appear onscreen eating up CPU, Memory, & other forms of I/O too - bonus!).
13.) Truly UNIVERSAL PROTECTION (since any OS, even on smartphones, usually has a BSD drived IP stack).
14.) Faster & MORE EFFICIENT operation vs. browser plugins (which "layer on" ontop of Ring 3/RPL 3/usermode browsers & are generally written in slower INTERPRETED languages (e.g. AdBlock = python/perl/javascript)- Whereas by way of comparison, the hosts file operates @ the Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode of operation (far faster) as a filter for the IP stack itself which is written in C & Assembly language...).
15.) Custom hosts files work on ANY & ALL webbound apps (browser plugins do not).
16.) Custom hosts files offer a better, faster, more efficient way, & safer way to surf the web & are COMPLETELY controlled by the end-user of them.

---

* There you go... & above all else IF you choose to try it for the enumerated list of benefits I extolled above?

Enjoy the program!

(However, more importantly, enjoy the results in better speed/bandwidth, privacy, reliability, "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth", & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs & blowing past DNSBL's) + more, that custom hosts files can yield...)

Of course, THIS is NOT going to "go well" with 3 types of people out there online, profiting by advertising & nefarious exploits + more @ YOUR expense as the consumer:

---

A.) Malware makers & the like (botnet masters, etc./et al)
B.) ADVERTISERS - the TRULY offended ones, as it is their "lifeblood" in psychological attack galore, tracking, & more, etc.!
C.) Webmasters (who profit by ad banners, but fail to realize that those SAME adbanners suck away the users' bandwidth/speed, electricity, CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O they PAY FOR, plus, adbanners DO get infested with malicious code, & if anyone wants many "examples thereof" from the past near-decade now? Ask!)

---

ASSUMING that MS has not 'hardcoded' the IP address to host-domain name equations used for their ads in these apps (doubtful, it's 1 thing for MS to do that for say, Microsoft Windows Update Servers, but quite another for independent devs apps for Windows 8!)? Custom hosts files will be a viable efficient solution for blocking these ads!

APK

P.S.=> Lastly - Custom HOSTS files do a BETTER JOB than AdBlock &/or Ghostery (both of those are OWNED BY ADVERTISERS & are crippled in the former by default, + track you via the latter)

AND

It also circumvents Apache's b.s. as well as anything in ANY browser that attempts to defeat blocks (or other webbound programs):

---

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/12/2213233/adblock-plus-to-offer-acceptable-ads-option [slashdot.org]

---

and

---

Evidon, which makes Ghostery, is an advertising company. They were originally named Better Advertising, Inc., but changed their name for obvious PR reasons.

Despite the name change, let's be clear on one thing: their goal still is building better advertising, not protecting consumer privacy.

Evidon bought Ghostery, an independent privacy tool that had a good reputation.

They took a tool that was originally for watching the trackers online, something people saw as a legitimate privacy tool, and users were understandably concerned. The company said they were just using Ghostery for research.

Turns out they had relationships with a bunch of ad companies and were compiling data from which sites you visited when you were using Ghostery, what trackers were on those sites, what ads they were, etc., and building a database to monetize.

When confronted about it, they made their tracking opt-in and called it GhostRank, which is how it exists today.

They took an open-source type tool, bought it, turned it from something that's actually protecting people from the ad industry, to something where the users are actually providing data to the advertisers to make it easier to track them.

This is a fundamental conflict of interest.

To sum up: Ghostery makes its money from selling supposedly de-indentified user data about sites visited and ads encountered to marketers and advertisers. You get less privacy, they get more money.

That's an inverse relationship.

Better Advertising/Evidon continually plays up the story that people should just download Ghostery to help them hide from advertisers. Their motivation to promote it, however, isn't for better privacy; it's because they hope that you'll opt in to GhostRank and send you a bunch of information.

They named their company Better Advertising for a reason: their incentive is better advertising, not better privacy

---

Advertisters never intended to honor "DNT" (Do Not Track):

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/23/1334258/advertisers-never-intended-to-honor-dnt [slashdot.org]

---

AND, neither do others:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/30/1435231/think-tanks-website-rejects-browser-do-not-track-requests [slashdot.org]

---

The webserver program folks even "jumped on the bandwagon" in Apache, as far as "DNT":

http://apache.slashdot.org/story/12/09/08/0053235/apache-patch-to-override-ie-10s-do-not-track-setting [slashdot.org]

---

Talk about "crooked" & telling 1/2 truths (as well as making software that was ONCE quite useful & effective, NOT QUITE AS USEFUL & EFFECTIVE by default anymore!)

... apk

Slashdot is out of touch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919349)

This is the "new normal". Suck it!

"Suck this"... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919603)

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3239985&cid=41919329 [slashdot.org]

* The "newer normal" is just "the community taking care of itself", per the link above... & of course, "yours truly" too!

APK

P.S.=> So much for "the new normal" you've proposed - I've taken care of THAT, long ago...

... apk

Xbox users have been used to this for months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919355)

Have you turned on an Xbox 360 lately? M$ is already raping me by making me pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription and now they have tons of ads as well. M$ wants the best of both worlds, revenue from their users and advertising partners. The users are getting it from both ends.

Adware (1)

u64 (1450711) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919369)

Microsoft Windows is now adware, in addition to beeing just payware and bloatware.

This is a good thing! (1)

dclozier (1002772) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919443)

It's bad ideas like this that will help propel the Android desktop. Now that Valve is diving into Linux and Nvidia is optimizing for it as well it wouldn't surprise me to see a decent challenge to Windows in the near future. Multiple "app" stores, streamlined gaming, built in virus protection (not that it's _that_ problematic) and familiar with millions of people already using Android on their cellphones. (branding makes a difference in retail)

What ads? (4, Interesting)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919481)

I haven't noticed any ads, myself.

Of course, the first thing I did after I installed Windows 8 was install classic shell and disable metro entirely, so maybe that's why. ^_^.

Not unexpected. (1)

Luke727 (547923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919523)

Straight from the horse's mouth: [microsoft.com]

...we are considering Windows 8 a brand new advertising canvas that offers endless opportunities. The connected user interface and unique, fluid design of Windows 8 will encourage people to explore and discover ads without disrupting their experience.

It's all about profit... (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919533)

Microsoft needs to steadily increase its profits in order to prevent its stagnant stock price from declining. With the diminishing demand for PCs and the resulting demand for the Windows OS, Microsoft needs to find other ways to pull money into the company. Selling ads is one way to do that.
.

The question is --- With Apple and Google cleaning Microsoft's clock in the mobile world, at what point will the value of Windows be reduced to the point that it is just another delivery medium for ads?

Revolt before it spreads to TV. (1)

joekro (1400727) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919627)

This is crazy. The next thing is we'll have ads on TV and radio.
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