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Would You Use Ad-Supported Windows?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-if-you-paid-me dept.

Windows 643

An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet reported earlier this week that Microsoft was thinking of offering an Ad-Supported version of Windows. A blog post by John Carroll offers some reasons why Ad-Supported Windows makes sense. From the article: '4. More revenue through targeted marketing: The holy grail of marketing is to target an audience with the sort of ads that most appeal to them. Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for breast enlargement isn't terribly useful. Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for a four hour extended version of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is useful.' Is there any situation where you can see yourself open to the possibility of using an Ad-Supported operating system?"

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Two good uses (4, Interesting)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063819)

A good use of an ad-supported version of an operating system would be as a file server or an embedded controller.

I've done this with Windows, although not with an ad-supported version, for my church. I wrote a simple VBA program to show announcements by displaying PowerPoint slides (using the free viewer). It also ring bells on a schedule to signal the beginning and end of classes. It is still running on a 166 MHz clunker.

Re:Two good uses (1, Insightful)

thuh Freak (725126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063866)

from the advertisers' perspective, ad supported server software would be stupid. servers, in theory, aren't looked at very often.

personally, i wouldn't support any kind of ad OS from ms. they are a mega huge monopoly. they don't need additional sources of income.

Not yet ad-supported (5, Funny)

Nikademus (631739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063894)

Windows is not yet ad-supported??? Does that mean that all these porn and viagra ads popping around when I use winodws are not normal?

Re:Two good uses (5, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063936)

Even though you can try to justify it and I am sure there are some isolated usefulness, I'd say NO, at least for work PC. We have enough trouble with email and IM itself (there have been a lot of stories on those on /.); the last thing we need is some ads popping up when someone is trying to work especially in crunch time. It might work for home editions or home users, but professional uses - NO. I don't care how contextual the ads are, they are a distraction and I bet they will be flash based or something more silly and obnoxious or at least they will evolve in to those.

Re:Two good uses (5, Interesting)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064002)

I am gonna go out on a limb here. Isnt this the ideal way for MS to get consumers to adopt Palladium (or whatever they are calling it this week)? I mean, isnt it much easier to avoid liability for product performance, restrictions, etc... if there is no charge? This sounds like the MS of old -- give it away for free.. keep em / get em hooked, then unleash the dogs (in the form of DRM etc...). Just my 2cents.

OMG!!! (5, Funny)

kc32 (879357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063820)

There's a 4-hour version of Wrath of Khan?

Re:OMG!!! (2, Funny)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063872)

Yup, two extra hours of Kirk mourning the loss of his son...


Re:OMG!!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063924)

Kirk's son doesn't die until Search for Spock. Get it right.

Re:OMG!!! (5, Funny)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063918)


A true Slashdotter would know there is really a 6 hour version of the Wrath of Khan and already have the DVD, both a copy from P2P obtained before the release date, and the official one with the hologram cover and an autographed picture of the Enterprise (but such a person would NOT be wondering how the Enterprise signed a picture).

Re:OMG!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14064030)

There's a 4-hour version of Wrath of Khan?

Yes, if you stare at this for 240 minutes:

http://www.khaaan.com/ [khaaan.com]

Hoth! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063823)

> Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for breast enlargement isn't terribly useful.

Breast reduction, on the other hand...

no (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063834)

hell no windows must go

Never (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063835)

I would never use windows anyways.

ALL MS Activities are Evil and Corrupt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063836)

Open Source only - every thing else is evil. -RMS

Ummm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063841)

I think I already am...

Obvious... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063842)

No, that's not my porn. It's just an ad.

Re:Obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063963)

The only obvious thing is that you are an A-1 grade fucking moron. Go back to study hall, dipshit, before I come over there and shove you in your locker after administering a fierce atomic wedgie. Nice try, Napoleon, but you fail it.

Loss of Sanity. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063843)

Ad supported sucks, just think of the loss of sanity.

Free Windows? (1, Funny)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063845)

Ad-Supported Windows + Ad-Aware = What, I wonder?

Re:Free Windows? (2, Interesting)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063989)

Ad supported software can be done perfectly legitimately. Take for example Google. And ummm, ok, let's take for example Google, 'cuz I can't think of any others the do ads without raping your PC.

No, But I Will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063849)

No, but I will happily use Linux and watch as Microsoft's revenue growth continues to decline as their two core monopoly revenue streams are decimated as the two products they are based on become commodity items.

Linux + OpenOffice for the win.

let me think (3, Funny)

TheEmpyrean (788742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063851)

... oh hell no

don't we have spyware blockers to stop annoying ads popping up on our desktop already? and now we want to make it part of the OS?

Ah games (1)

genkael (102983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063852)

I can see it now, in the middle of an RTS with 3 other people and all of the sudden an add for Viagra pops up (no pun intended.) Wouldn't that be fun?

Re:Ah games (1)

fimion (890504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063975)

hmmm, counterstrike would become more interesting....


No, I wouldn't. (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063863)

I wouldn't use Windows if no advertisement is in it, so that doesn't make a big difference for me.

No, it's just not my kind of system. Also, there is enough adware in windows already after a while spent using the Internet from that kind of operating system, why add more?

IF someone wants to use Windows, he/she buys it, pirates it, or simply uses something else. Advertisement-supported windows would be the remaining few percent maybe.

Deceptive advertising (0)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063868)

What they don't tell you is that the entire extra four hours is just Captain Kirk saying "...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..."

But if I had both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063870)

Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for breast enlargement isn't terribly useful. Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for a four hour extended version of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is useful.'

Ah, but if I had BOTH, I'd never leave the house.

umm.. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063871)

good that the summary didn't use 'penis enlargement' as a counterexample, as it was my first thought - 40% of spam is about that.

I prop my windows open with a brick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063873)

In University, I had my mattress supported on a bunch of bricks & books, so I don't see why I wouldn't support windows with bricks either. Air flow is good.
I keep calling that Jim Morrison guy for help with my Door problems also, but he never shows up...so I've just put in some powdered carbon to lubricate the hinges.


I would still be funding the empire (1)

VaderPi (680682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063877)

Even if it were free to me, by using such a product, I would be providing funding for a monopolistic corporate empire. And that I will not do. I do not use Windows for daily use at home, and I long for the day when I do not use it at work either.

Sounds like a potential security issue... (5, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063878)

If there is an ad-supported version of Windows, the ads would be intergrated on the level of the operating system (like a rootkit). Doesn't this sound like a bad idea? What will happen when a less-than-well-intending firm finds out how to use the ad system and hijack it? It would be almost, if not impossible, to remove.

Let's not make assumptions here... (0, Troll)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063882)

Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for a four hour extended version of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is useful.

He assumes all programmers like stupid bullshit like Star Trek.

Fluck that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063883)

I spend too much of my time dodging ads as is.

Would Windows then be free? (5, Insightful)

CommiePuddin (891854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063885)

The American computer-using public is used to "ad-supported" meaning "free to me." We're also used to "ad-supported" meaning "not going to last very long."

Would the OS be crippled? Could a purchase un-cripple it (and remove advertisements)?

And how intrusive are these ads? Is this a thirty second video commercial while the OS loads, or am I going to be receiving pop-ups every 30-45 seconds? Am I sacrificing monitor space to keep a banner ad on the screen at all times?

Not so much (2, Interesting)

j_cavera (758777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063886)

It's not that I would use it given any choice in the matter. At issue is if M$ will be able to sell it to the PHBs of the world. And I'm afraid that the answer is "yes".

Internet Cafes (2, Insightful)

subl33t (739983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063887)

If a business like an internet cafe could get a break on liscensing and initial payout they would probably jump all over it.

I already am... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063888)

...using ad-supported windows on my other partition. No anti-spyware/anti-adware and voila!

Isn't terribly useful because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063893)

Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for breast enlargement isn't terribly useful because they don't have girlfriends to buy the product for...

Not at home (1)

Flaming Babies (904475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063895)

For my own computers, I'm willing to pay to keep the ads off.
I could see this catching on at large companies.
A few dollars here and there can add up fast when you're working with 100's or 1000's of computers.

existing feature (5, Funny)

mcraig (757818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063896)

Isn't it already ad supported within like 10 minutes of being connected to the internet ???

Re:existing feature (4, Funny)

TommydCat (791543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063970)

I thought that too, though Microsoft may wish to check with their partners. I'm slapping my monkey as hard as I can, but I still haven't seen my free iPod or PS3 :-(

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063897)

Do I have a choice?

Seriously? (2)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063898)

Is there any situation where you can see yourself open to the possibility of using an Ad-Supported operating system?


Not that an ad supported browser wasn't bad enough, now we can get an OS that spams us constantly no matter what. Imagine writting an email then a big popup comes up the same time you hit space so the popup thinks you want to goto the site and opens IE to take you there...wow, that would be sweet if the OS could take over my life!

Learn from Juno / Netzero? (1)

JackPo (653955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063899)

An ad-supported windows will never work. If one thinks about where the majority of computers are deployed / used; I can see no fortune 500 companies that would appreciate their employees bombarded by ads while doing their work. Netzero and Juno both tried this model and they couldn't even get email / internet to work for ads.. let alone ads all the time..

Ad Free Ad based Windows? (1)

guice (907163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063902)

Free Windows. We all know the security in Windows isn't all that great. I suspect if they went this route, the ad schema would be cracked and removeable almost immediately.

I already do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063903)

Gotta big spyware problem here.

Garnish with your spam? (1)

KodeJockey (928302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063907)

Thats the most craptastic proposal I've heard all week.

1) Have you heard of Linux, John?
2) Can we pick up a copy before we go to the movies where we now have to sit through ads not targeted at us to see how much better the ad-enhanced Windows experience is? Have you heard of Tivo, John? I know trendspotting is an art, but...
3) All your base are belong to us.

Great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063910)

I think an ad supported version of Windows and other Microsoft applications is an excellent idea! I know a few people that, if given the choice between an ad supported OS and a completely free OS, would gladly choose Linux. ;)

NO (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063911)

I won't use non-ad supported Windows. But I'm bombarded with ads everywhere. The last place I want them is on my desktop. Leave us alone already. I don't want any of your crap anyway! I'll gladly pay for a copy of my OS just so I can have it and be left alone. Maybe people would pay more for your OS if it was worth the money.

What's next? Ad-Supported automobiles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063912)

Is there any situation where you can see yourself open to the possibility of using an Ad-Supported operating system?


On the other hand, if the operating system took security seriously and did not use anti-competitive tactics, well, ... but we already have solutions to those Microsoft problems. So, no.

This only means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063913)

... the end of pirated Windows and the end of the dream of making Linux the desktop SO of preference.

Four Hour Extended Version of 'Wrath of Khan'? (4, Funny)

dgrgich (179442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063915)

If anyone knows where to get this, let me know. :)

Um....no. (4, Insightful)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063921)

WHY? Ads have been tried by the free pc people and how many of those are around now? I am convinced that we must be in the beginnings of another nutty web bubble. 2 million to Revision3 and another 2 million to podshow. VC money going to REALLY wacky ideas.....crazy ideas like AD supported OS's? Stupid. A OS is supposed to allow you to run programs and manage the hard stuff that programmers used to have to do when writing for bare hardware. It should not have anothe rlayer of crud on it.

Depends (5, Insightful)

aaron_ds (711489) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063927)

A non-intrusive Google-Ads-like system I could live with. A bar containing seizure inducing banners and annoying "Catch the monkey and win a gazillion iPods" flash ads would be intolerable. It depends on how it is implemented. Of course, why not just use a prexisting free OS?

Yes (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063928)

I have a machine at home that is an old system running Windows 98 - because of a couple apps that I have to use and they only run on windows. It is flaky as all get out and last night as I dealt with its hiccups and what nots I thought, 'I would love to run XP on this, but there is no way I'm paying for it'. If I could upgrade the OS but not shell out any cash, I'd be all over that.

Wait a sec... (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063946)

isnt that what we have already? Isnt this a violation of their monopoly? I mean building adware and malware into windows, isnt that leveraging their monopoly to monopolize another industry? I wouldnt use a non-ad supported windows, why would I use an ad supported windows?

they could just make better products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14063948)

why dont they make just better products ?
like apple ?

btw: open source rox0rz.

frightening (1)

Jtf (545570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063949)

Given that people use computers for taxes, shopping, and other personal activities, how much of this information would be picked up by the Microsoft Ad Servers? Personally, I would rather pay for Windows than take even more risk of my personal information being exposed in this manner.

New Poll (2, Funny)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063950)

This should be a slashdot poll, and these could be the response:

Hell No!!!
Wait, that adware isn't suppose to be their?

Ad supported OS? Never! (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063956)

No way am I going to tolerate my HL2 session being sent to the taskbar for some c1@lis popup to gain the focus in the background .... no F'n way ...

Obligatory statement (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063958)

Geez, with all the adware, spyware, and rootkits, you would Windows is already an ad-supported operating system!

No. (2, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063960)

> Is there any situation where you can see yourself open to the possibility of using an Ad-Supported operating system?


Now that that's out of the way, I wonder how well "Windows Defender" (the Microsoft "anti"-spyware offering) would work on an ad-supported version of Windows. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that Microsoft purchased Gator^H^H^H^H^HClaria.

I wonder about these things, and I change my original opinion.

"Fuck, no. Not if you managed to throw a chair through Brin's head. Not if you manage suffocate Torvalds by stuffing his head up a penguin's ass. Not if you travelled back in time and shot the parents of Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, and Steve Wozniak before any of them were born."

On the other hand... (1)

h_benderson (928114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063962)

Sending a bunch of male programmers advertisements for breast enlargement isn't terribly useful.
If they make sure they add enough 'before-after' (especially after) pics in the advertisment, I am sure they will get attention.

No. (1)

wuie (884711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063964)

Ad-supported operating systems? Give me a break. I want my OS to manage my hardware resources and programs, and I want it to be fast, secure, and reliable. I personally cannot stand advertisements, and even if I wanted to see advertisements, I'd go to the many other mediums that advertisement has creeped into, such as television, radio, internet, etc. I personally can see no use in typing away happily at my computer, programming or writing in an attempt to be productive, and being distracted by banner ads on my desktop or my programs.

OMG... Microsoft's Google envy (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063965)

I see this as a direct result to this previous /. article [slashdot.org]. Microsoft is scrambling to get some entry to the online advertising market, to compete with Google on their home turf. And, as they have done with every battle in which their products win, they want to tie it into the OS.

This is not innovative or interesting, hell NetZero/Juno/Opera have done this to death with their advertising-based browsers (to limited success). What would make this different is that it would remove any way of avoiding the advertising... built into the window manager (OS in MS terms).

I don't see this as very attractive to many users, since it'd probably be much easier to just get a pirate version of windows (even an older version will often do).

Hmmmm (1)

slushbat (777142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063972)

Which free os shall I use? I could take the ad supported one which will bombard me with junk offers to ignore and be as secure as a rickety wooden shack surrounded by zombies. Or shall I use the one which is just plain free and secure? Nope, I just can't decide.

No Thanks (5, Interesting)

Zobeid (314469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063974)

No. There is no situation where I would be open to using an ad-supported OS.

My philosophy about an OS is that it's merely a functional component of my computer, like the processor, or the RAM, or the hard drive, or the keyboard, etc. Would you be open to using ad-supported RAM?

Anyhow. . . I'm sick of ads. Even my tolerance for ad-supported TV has almost run out. The only thing that keeps me watching TV is the ability to record shows on my DVR and skip over commercials when I watch later.

No thanks (1)

Tester (591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063980)

I'll keep my Free (as in speech) community supported operating system.

Its funny how the ad supported idea comes back every once in a while. I remember the ad supported ISPs like Netzero... wasn't a great success. People dont want so many ads.

Sure (1)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063985)

Is there any situation where you can see yourself open to the possibility of using an Ad-Supported operating system?"

Yeah, the situation in which it is offered for free and I can find a patch to disable the ads.

Invalid Target (1)

Teese (89081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063988)

One big problem I've always felt about targeted advertising is making sure the intended target is the actuall target.

When a family shares a computer, and little sis sees the ads for Axe body spray and Mom sees the adds for new golf clubs and dad sees the adds for femine hygiene products, well,what purpose is actually served?

Or when the targeted advertising hits somewhat embarrasing subjects and you are using somebody else's computer. Imagine going over to Dad's to help out a computer problem and seeing tons of porn popups, or showtunes, or viagra ads. Or showing mom something cool on your computer and her seeing internet dating, porn, perperation H, whatever.

Or, all this information is collated and 50 years from now when you run for president, and all the information is "leaked" cause your not microsofts favorite candidate and it turns out that you liked politically sensitive pasttimes, like Basetall (who knows what will be politically sensitive in 50 years)

Minus the Ads (1)

morfrog (181974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14063995)

I'd use it, but it wouldn't be long before me or someone else would find a way around the adverts and hence have a free OS. A friend had a free internet connection a few years ago which was advert powered, I simply made a program to hide the ad window, and we had a free connection. If this caught on MS would pull the product. URL blocking would not be enough, they'd simply include the ads in the windows update or something.

Another distraction (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064013)

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No, I already have enough stuff that I need to focus on. If I needed to be distracted I would take off my headphones or check email every 5 minutes. If you could guarantee that the ads wouldn't be animated, flashy or colored in some way to try and draw my attention to it, then maybe. However, this would go against the whole point of advertising, where you want people to notice your ad.

Just my $0.02.

Not unless they shared that ad money with me (1)

petard (117521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064020)

Honestly, from my perspective, Windows is already free. Free as in "comes with the laptop I ordered". Today, when I get a laptop with Windows on it, the first thing I do is erase Windows and replace it with an OS where I am more productive. The only way I'd use an ad-supported version is if they were to pay me to do so, i.e. funnel some of the advertiser $$ they collect from my usage back to me. Even then, the amount they'd have to pay would need to make up for the productivity loss using Windows would impose.

Windows Vista is brought to you by .... Apple (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064022)

Right after you start up your Windows PC and a pop-up box comes up saying "A fatal exception XY has occurred at xxxx:xxxxxxxx," you get an ad for the Quad 2.4GHz Apple G5.

I think this might actually work.

Typical User (1)

ficken (807392) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064026)

Coming from a sys admin standpoint, an ad-supported anything fits right in with the average user base. Most people are willing to put up with advertisements as long as it is free/cheap (spyware included). I don't see this as being any different than your typical ad-supported website anyway.

The perfect storm! (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064027)

Great question. Combination of 'Would you use ad-supported Foo?' and 'Would you use Foo Windows?'. Its not often Ask Slashdot reads like flamebait or trolling!

will this never end? (1)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064028)

My GOD folks, they're putting ads EVERYWHERE these days...

-in video games (matrix revoutions)
-location-based ads (google's wifi service)
-cellphone ads (around for a while now)
-print media
-the SKY
-IM clients
-a rather high percentage of websites

Is there no place that's sacred, no place safe from this? Wherever we go, we are bombarded with ads. Hell, even Churches advertise!

Block the ads at the firewall (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064029)

I suppose it'd be fairly straightforward to use Ethereal or some other packet sniffer to find out where the ads are served from. Then add those IP addresses or server names to your firewall's "none shall pass" list. End of ads.

Of course, no, I don't want any ads ... I don't want the OS wasting cycles even dealing with ads. I'd rather my simulations run faster, fuck you very much.

Spam is still spam... (2, Funny)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064032)

...no matter how "targeted" it is.

Gotta hand it to the Redmond Empire. They've come up with some whack-job ideas in times past (anyone remember 'Bob?'), but this one gives new meaning to 'whack-job.' I can't believe that M$ thinks people would actually be dumb enough to fall for this, even if the OS was offered at no cost (which would, most likely, be the counter-factor to get people to try it).

I suppose the ads will feature characters like Clippy and Bonzi Buddy, doing a song-and-dance for each product. Brrr.....

Answer: no. (1)

Bad Boy Marty (15944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14064034)

I cannot imagine a circumstance or set thereof that would permit me to use such a system. Even a requirement foisted upon me by an employer would only result in them becoming my former employer.
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