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Microsoft Patent Envisions Free Computing

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the free-is-a-variable-term dept.

157

Dotnaught writes "A Microsoft patent application published on Thursday shows the company contemplating free computers and software for its customers. It suggests 'a service provider such as a telephone company, an Internet service provider, or a leasing company may provide computer systems or components to users at a reduced charge or for free in exchange for targeted advertising delivery.'"

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They tried this already (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#15802092)

And it won't work until computers are even cheaper than they are now. I mean hell, you can't even give away unlimited internet access and still make money.

Re:They tried this already (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 8 years ago | (#15802222)

Actually, I like everything about this idea except for the words "targeted" and "advertising".

Seriously, if the offer is that someone can data-mine everything on my PC and send me lots of pop-ups, spam, and flash banners, then no thanks. If computers are really cheap enough to make this business model viable, then I'd just as soon buy the really extra-cheap computer myself anyway (if it's cheap, why not?), which means the business model still wouldn't be viable.

Breaking the Chain (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 years ago | (#15802358)

Seriously, if the offer is that someone can data-mine everything on my PC and send me lots of pop-ups, spam, and flash banners, then no thanks.

On a positive note, it may break some people of their Internet Addiction.

omg noes!!1 every reload brings more suffering!

The pr0n Adds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802398)

Seriously, if the offer is that someone can data-mine everything on my PC and send me lots of pop-ups, spam, and flash banners, then no thanks.

Yeah, but, think of all those porn ads that will be streeming in! I can't wait!!!!

Cellphone market (1)

sacbhale (216624) | about 8 years ago | (#15802584)

You can buy them. Just like you can buy cellphones in the US.
But even then they could make it so that ur non trusted computing OS and apps dont work with the network.
I say this in light of the fact that with the merging of the Telcos soon there will be a monopoly or at least an oligopoly like the cellphone companies. Where u can only run their apps(with spyware on them) on your PC or u dont get on the(non neutral) net. Sounds far fetched? I know but thats what RIAAT&TMicrosoft wants. And they have lots of money and lawyers.

Re:Cellphone market (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 8 years ago | (#15802800)

"...from my cold, dead hands."

Re:They tried this already (2, Funny)

Andy Gardner (850877) | about 8 years ago | (#15802585)

Actually, I like everything about this idea except for the words "targeted" and "advertising".

I like everything about this idea except for the words "Microsoft" and "patent".

Re:They tried this already (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802678)

This is incredible! I think it is absolute genius to take ownership and control away from the consumer and put it in the hands of big business!

Why should you own your own computer, your own OS, your own software, your own data, etc. when you could be told what to use, what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and allow others to basically own your personal data!

Anyone else here old enough to remember when the PC was about decentralizing computing, taking control of your own data, and empowering yourself? This was Micro$oft's big selling point against IBM.

This is also why cell phone applications suck even though phones have multiple megabytes of memory, high resolution color screens, etc. that computers didn't even have a decade ago.

Now things have gone full circle and we are back to handing everything back over to big business. Only today that also includes a lot more personal data, choice, control of one's destiny, etc, etc.

Then again the general public doesn't seem to care about protecting their personal information, personal life, DNA, etc.

Re:They tried this already (2, Informative)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | about 8 years ago | (#15802880)

by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com>

Actually, I like everything about this idea except for the words "targeted" and "advertising".

I can't stand the irony here. Gmail wouldn't exist if it weren't for targeted advertising.

Re:They tried this already (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#15802233)

Aren't there mobile phones which cost hundreds of pounds to buy normally but come free on a contract?

As long as the perceived gain outweighs the cost, people will suggest such ideas.

Re:They tried this already (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#15802363)

Aren't there mobile phones which cost hundreds of pounds to buy normally but come free on a contract?

Yes. Your phone bill is padded out enough to pay for your phone upgrade every year. You pay for a phone upgrade whether you get one or not, which should be motivation to get a new phone every year. Some providers will even give you the subsidy codes, so you can unlock your old phones, and sell them. (Better to tell them that you're going to use it out of country.)

Re:They tried this already (1)

Basehart (633304) | about 8 years ago | (#15802390)

"Aren't there mobile phones which cost hundreds of pounds to buy......."

Depends on what you're using to barter with. Hundreds of pounds of flour won't buy much in this neck of the woods, but hundreds of pounds of small carved novelty items would buy several "mobile phones" I'd wager.

Re:They tried this already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802663)

Who cares if it won't work? If the history of computing has shown us one thing it's that Microsoft can line up suckers^h^h^h^h^h^hpartners, for failure after failure with the promise that they'll eventually get it right. And as long as Windows and Office continue to shovel money in, it doesn't matter if they demand that you wear a free propeller hat while you compute. They own you. Until somebody with balls inhabits the US DOJ, they will continue to own you.

I think they know that already... (2, Informative)

Browzer (17971) | about 8 years ago | (#15802680)

[0004] Other prior art service providers, such as Internet service providers and e-mail providers, have offered free or reduced charge services when users are willing to accept advertising in a portion of the window space allocated to the process supporting that service. Advertising delivery was restricted to the time when a user was connected to the particular service and only on display elements, such as a browser window, associated with that service.

Prior Art (3, Funny)

femtoguy (751223) | about 8 years ago | (#15802094)

I seem to remember about a zillion companies in the 90s that did this. A good example is PeoplePC. Does this patent things have no sanity.

Re:Prior Art (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 years ago | (#15802383)

I seem to remember about a zillion companies in the 90s that did this. A good example is PeoplePC. Does this patent things have no sanity.

Ah, but this is Microsoft. They've just invented it so it must be be new. They even have the Buckets o' Lawyers necessary to make that true if they so desire. Wouldn't be the first time they threw billions down a hole, probably won't be the last.

Re:Prior Art (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802387)

And the I-opener was subsidized in a similar manner.. That was a wonderful success.

I say go ahead MS, give us free machines to install Linux on..... Hee Hee

Free as in... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802097)

It's newspeak. Microsoft free, free as in prison.

Re:Free as in... (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 8 years ago | (#15802194)

It's newspeak. Microsoft free, free as in prison.

Well lets see, prisoners get more free time, more television channels, better food, more sex, more movies, and better workout equipment than I do/have, all at the cost (to them) of zero dollars. -sounds pretty good to me --maybe not the sex part

They've invented the Wayback Machine!! (1)

davmoo (63521) | about 8 years ago | (#15802100)

Didn't People PC and a few other companies try this already...and give up on it after it didn't work?

Re:They've invented the Wayback Machine!! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 years ago | (#15802256)

Didn't People PC and a few other companies try this already...and give up on it after it didn't work?

Yes, something like that at Fry's. PC's for about $200 back in the late 90's because you had to sit and look at all the avertising that came with it, since you had to connect with a internet provider as a condition of purchase. Later came eMachines which were inexpensive, but required a longterm contract with AOL or sommat.

Re:They've invented the Wayback Machine!! (1)

kosmosik (654958) | about 8 years ago | (#15802316)

Actually it did work - think adware which in my opinion falls under this description of patent - giving computer resources for free - software is computer resource/asset. Many companies did it and do it on daily basis, think Google (you are using their computer resources while reciving their ads). Etc.

The patent description goes then to specific implementation when the system downloads targeted ads to use locally or untargeted when it does not know the target.

The only thing in it that is just not-so retarded is the fact of storing adds localy (cache anyone?). I am sure loads of adware programs did it before.

In summary - retarded patent aiming at Google, so retardet that it is pathetic and funny actually. I wish MS to spend more resources on shit like that. Good way to go for them (not like they have an major operating system release on due which is like 3 years late and still in early beta) . :)

hello? (4, Funny)

gmack (197796) | about 8 years ago | (#15802102)

Hey microsoft it's the year 2000 calling.. they want their buisness plan back.

Seriously. Wasn't exactly this done already? How can they patent this?

Re:hello? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#15802191)

maybe the submitted the patent in 1998?

Re:hello? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802357)

Seriously. Wasn't exactly this done already? How can they patent this?

Because the patent system is useless except for employing lawyers and extorting innovators. It isn't that this is innovative, but because it is now a patent it can be used to sue a smaller company that does not have billions to defend itself.

Or perhaps Microsoft is making mockery at the patent system? Or maybe Microsoft is getting ready to create it's next virus infected spyware trojan adware (Vista) operating system and want to protect it.

Re:hello? (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | about 8 years ago | (#15802550)

Maybe they're getting the patent now so they can go back and sue all those people from years ago...?

Re:hello? (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | about 8 years ago | (#15802828)

I want to know how this could be patented anyway, as it's an idea or business plan? How can that be protected by patent?

Re:hello? (1)

Moofie (22272) | about 8 years ago | (#15802877)

Buisness? Strong Bad, is that you?

That's never been done before????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802103)

I guess you'd have to go over the claims in great detail to find something novel here. At face value this business has been tried before.

Sooo... (2, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | about 8 years ago | (#15802109)

I'm taking bets on how many minutes this'll take until it's cracked to show no ads.

Re:Sooo... (1)

durnurd (967847) | about 8 years ago | (#15802419)

-x Where X = number of minutes between time the "Format C:" command was invented and the time the business model is executed.

Re:Sooo... (1)

Kijori (897770) | about 8 years ago | (#15802556)

It's not that simple. You don't have to break the computer program, you have to break the legal system backing it up. If their 'tamper proof' system detects that something is wrong, they come and check nothing is. If you're using the system without seeing ads, they sue your ass out of existence. Whether it's difficult to break or not is largely irrelevant.

Trusted computing (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 8 years ago | (#15802572)

It depends on whether or not some version of trusted computing is involved to ensure that the underlying OS isn't tampered with. Otherwise, it's only your favorite distro's Live CD away from being a completely ad-free system.

If I were evil and designing it, I'd apply some of the Xbox 360's security provisions into the machine to ensure that no OS other than a trusted MS OS with TCPA protections was running on the system. I'd then make much of the functioning of the OS contingent on being able to contact certain ad-servers over the same channels used to fetch ads & report back private profiling info -- say a simple SSL connection so that stateful firewalls can't risk blocking it.

It's really possible to lock down such a system, and MS holds enough related patents to make it happen.

Re:Trusted computing (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 8 years ago | (#15802682)

If I were evil and designing it, I'd apply some of the Xbox 360's security provisions into the machine to ensure that no OS other than a trusted MS OS with TCPA protections was running on the system.
Why would it be evil to lock down a system that you're giving away? Richard, is that you?

Yeah, right. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802111)

Patents are never filed because someone plans on doing something.

they're filed because someone wants to stop someone from doing something else. this is the case here. I hope it doesn't get accepted.

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | about 8 years ago | (#15802746)

Bingo. I agree with you. MS wants to stop these kinds of things happening. This would not generate business for them. Companies can use Free OS on those machines to keep the cost low. This is a defensive patent from their point of view. They would not attempt to get into this kind of business. But in case google or some other company tries it later for targeted ad, here is how MS will fight.

Didn't we have this already? (3, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 8 years ago | (#15802116)

CompuServ + Circuit City. PeoplePC. Altavista. Walmart.
Free hardware and/or online access.

Didn't work too well last time, either. Once you let the marketing guys fingers into it, they screw it up, by pushing too much.

Re:Didn't we have this already? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 years ago | (#15802309)

CompuServ + Circuit City. PeoplePC. Altavista. Walmart.

Better yet, ABC, NBC and CBS they've used this business model for years.

Re:Didn't we have this already? (1)

Moofie (22272) | about 8 years ago | (#15802912)

That's funny. I've never seen a free TV from a television network.

Patent Claims Start Out General (1)

jmcharry (608079) | about 8 years ago | (#15802379)

You can't read just the first claim or two in a patent application. Those always include life, the universe, and everything. They start out with the general area, then focus down to what is really being claimed as new. Nobody really expects the first several claims to be valid, although the hope of the filer is that the edge of validity is nearer the top than the bottom of the list. That is what makes reading the beginning of a patent or a filing for one often so outrageous.

Unbelievable (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802118)

People give away a free service and make money on advertising. I'm sure nobody ever though of that before!

Is there some sort of prizes for most ridiculous alleged "invention" or are they just working within to destroy the whole patent system? What the hell is the invention supposed to be?

Re:Unbelievable (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15802744)

Is there some sort of prizes for most ridiculous alleged "invention"

In the Been There; Done That catagory - Peanut butter sandwich still in the lead, with the cat exercise "device" following closely and putting toys out for kids to play with coming up in third.

Microsoft will have to work in seamonkeys somehow if they want a shot at standing on the podium.

KFG

Re:Unbelievable (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | about 8 years ago | (#15802925)

Haven't seen the ones on peanut butter sandwich or putting toys out for kids to play with. I still vote for US patent 6368227 "method of swinging on a swing"

"A method of swing on a swing is disclosed, in which a user positioned on a standard swing suspended by two chains from a substantially horizontal tree branch induces side to side motion by pulling alternately on one chain and then the other."

What a novel idea! (-1, Redundant)

glindsey (73730) | about 8 years ago | (#15802123)

Nobody [wikipedia.org] ever tried that sort of thing before and had it fail spectacularly!

MS wants its OS monopoly tied to telecom monopoly? (1)

Burz (138833) | about 8 years ago | (#15802128)

Thats what it sounds like to me.

Also sounds like a return to the old Bell system.

Umm (0, Redundant)

utopianfiat (774016) | about 8 years ago | (#15802134)

This is completely non-unique and there is so much prior art behind it.
Hey, let's look at qdb.us, they provided a service in exchange for adwords revenue! What difference does it make if you serve computers for ad revenue?
Not to mention the huge implication of legitimized monopolism implied in patenting a fucking business model.

Commidization (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | about 8 years ago | (#15802150)

This shouldn't be surprising - computers have almost become as commoditized as cell phones, which are often given out for free by phone companies. I don't know if Microsoft is the best one to pull this off (I'd put my money on someone like Dell which has the infrastructure and logistics in place), but it's going to happen sooner or later.

I want to patent a software monopoly (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 years ago | (#15802155)

And then charge Microsoft money.

Seriously, next thing you know, you'll be telling me that information just wants to be expensive and that spam is good for me.

But I'd trust Microsoft offering free hardware and software about as much as I'd trust someone "accidentally" phoning me and leaving me a message about this insider stock tip she just "happened" to pass on ...

SPAM IS good for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802257)

and that spam is good for me.

I is good for you: See [claremont.edu]

Let me be the first to suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802157)

"A method of filing trivial patents out of sheer boredom."

I think patent examiners should be given a large wooden mallet to whack people who come up with this crap.

Network effect (1)

DJ_Perl (648258) | about 8 years ago | (#15802205)

We're not helping Microsoft fast enough. So they say, "let us help you help us better". The more people are online, the better for everyone, especially a company like Microsoft. Read "What are Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffett up to? [livejournal.com] "

targeted advertising delivery (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 8 years ago | (#15802208)

oh god, not desktop banner ads again ... no no no ....

People like paying for hardware, not software (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 8 years ago | (#15802211)

People are used to buying a computer and getting free applications. They simply won't be happy getting free hardware and then having a huge bill for software.

Consumers aren't that dumb, they don't like printer ink prices and use alternative brands where possible. So this idea will arouse suspicion.

Distributed computation? (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | about 8 years ago | (#15802225)

Just a thought: Microsoft isn't paying for the electric bills, might they not want to sell/donate extra CPU cycles to get extra revenue/reputation?

Obligatory (2, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | about 8 years ago | (#15802231)

This is patently absurd!

Seriously, consumers need a lobby just dedicated to patent law reform. First step, outlaw patenting business plans and most intellectual property. Second step, open up the process so anyone can prove prior art and throw out a patent application on those grounds. Third step, go back to requiring a working model of anything physical to be patented.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Threni (635302) | about 8 years ago | (#15802814)

> Seriously, consumers need a lobby just dedicated to patent law reform.

I need some beer. Are you going to get me that, or do you have your work cut out suggesting that other people should do something else you think is a good idea?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 8 years ago | (#15802972)

I have the time to form a lobby but not the money.

Patents...heh (2, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 8 years ago | (#15802236)

So, a patent. Wonderful. Has it occured to anyone that they might not use it? That they might not have any intention of using it? Perhaps it's just so, that if anybody tries to do it, they will have to pay royalties? Did anyone think of this before they said "stupid...never work..."?

Re:Patents...DUH (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | about 8 years ago | (#15802412)

No, because what immediately occurred to me was that this is anoter one of those patents that should never have been issues because it's old hat. Prior art. Whatever.

This is not MS's plan (4, Insightful)

jeffsenter (95083) | about 8 years ago | (#15802239)

My guess is Microsoft is just patenting vague advertising-revenue stuff to block others from patenting it. This does not mean Microsoft actually plans to move to advertising instead of paying for software.

Re:This is not MS's plan (1)

lannocc (568669) | about 8 years ago | (#15802443)

You may be right, fortunately. Or, unfortunatley: whatever happened to the original intention of patents that, you know, you would actually follow through and build the "invention"?

Only microsoft can give away computers? (1)

aersixb9 (267695) | about 8 years ago | (#15802242)

Does this patent mean that only microsoft can give away computers and computer software that is paid for with advertising? As much as I would love free PCs for everybody (and microsoft could probably afford to give away free PCs) it seems to me that any company should be able to manufacture computers and computer software and give them away, then make money from advertising...giving away computers, perhaps with a second screen built into the first one to show ads, could allow 100% of humans to have access to the two-way information networks. (as opposed to the one-way information of traditional medias, such as the television, movie, and print medias) Including software with these free PCs could even bring about a new, error-free computer, since installation and testing could be done on a much more standard platform, although disk space could be a limiting factor, since not every kind of software could fit on a stardard size modern hard disk! In addition, if 100% of the people in the large manufacturing countries, such as mexico and china, had computers with internet, we could and perhaps should see a new way of large scale coordination beyond the current way called capitalism. Although it does appear capitalism has mostly died...money still has value to people, although the idea that a person can trade money for goods is still strong, it appears as though people no longer trade goods for money. Perhaps this free PC will bring about a new way of trade, through some kind of teaching/coordinating/manufacturing/shipping/distr ibuting/mining software that everybody could access?

In Other News: (-1, Offtopic)

RoffleTheWaffle (916980) | about 8 years ago | (#15802244)

Microsoft continues to play catch-up with Google...

Pre-emptive strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802265)

They have no plan to do it. They just want to make sure nobody ELSE can.

double-take (2, Funny)

bersl2 (689221) | about 8 years ago | (#15802272)

Anybody else read that as Microsoft Envisions Patent Free Computing?

Re:double-take (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802512)

I'd prefer "Patent Envisions Microsoft-Free Computing."

Re:double-take (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 8 years ago | (#15802672)

I'd prefer "Patent Envisions Microsoft-Free Computing."

Not if Microsoft holds that patent. I'd hate having to pay them for not using their software!

hrm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802288)

Like most of the comments so far this patent is very redundant.

This has already been done (0, Redundant)

tacokill (531275) | about 8 years ago | (#15802300)

This has been done before, hasn't it? I distinctly remember a company who offered a free computer and dial-up ISP in exchange for "targeted advertising". I can't recall the company name but it failed miserably.

I remember seeing screen shots of the system and a good 1/3 of the screen was ads -- all the time.

So, yea...ok, let them apply for this patent. I don't care if they apply for it. But I will raise bloody hell if it's granted because there is CLEARLY prior-art for this. And not just in the computer world either.

Re:This has already been done (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 8 years ago | (#15802365)

I remember seeing screen shots of the system and a good 1/3 of the screen was ads -- all the time.

Way back when, I tried the Altavista 'free' dialup service a few times. On a P133 laptop (average at the time), the service was totally unuseable. The modem and the CPU could not keep up with the constant downloading and refreshing of ads.

Re:This has already been done (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 8 years ago | (#15802686)

Well, after RTFA, I see it's all about the software and methods. Not the hardware.

But you were thinking of i-Openers, weren't ya?

That worked out well. I had two. My GF and her daughter *lived* on those things until they both found online dating the same week.

I killed the machines shortly thereafter. Her mom bought a Thinkpad asap. Her daughter got a scolding (first), then I gave her something more useful than the i-Opener.

For revenge. And it was sweet, even cold.

-rick

23 worst (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802321)

Pcworld reported in May this year on the 25 worst tech products of all time. Giving away free PCs is 23 on the list. Dan Tynan notes that at least these 'innovative' products earned their place in the H-T Hall of Shame. You must have seen the pcworld report but for those of us that havent seen it, here is what he had to say...

"In the late 90s, companies competed to dangle free PCs in front of you: All you had to do was sign up, and a PC would eventually show up at your door. But one way or another. there was always a catch: You had to sign up for a long-term ISP agreement, or tolerate an endless procession of Web ads, or surrender reams of personal information. Free-PC.com may have been the creepiest of them all. First you filled out an extensive questionnaire on your income, interests, racial and marital status, and more. Then you had to spend at least 10 hours a week on the PC and at least 1 hour surfing the Web using Free-PC's ISP"

Free? (1)

tktk (540564) | about 8 years ago | (#15802332)

Microsoft has a patent on "free computing."

So, am I going to have to pay royalties to give my little sister a computer?

What if I just give her parts and then later put it together for her? Am I in the clear?

Microsoft will make a killing during Xmas and the start of the school year.

No, this is unique and novel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802341)

This isn't yet another foolish "...on the internet" magically making everything new patent. No, it is an "...on the internet ... inside video games" patent. Completely different :-)

Freedom through patents (1)

zo1dberg (939135) | about 8 years ago | (#15802350)

We're obviously talking "free as in beer" here, but still... imagine Richard Stallman reading that headline.

Telus.. (1)

mottie (807927) | about 8 years ago | (#15802354)

In BC (and maybe other provinces) Telus (ADSL ISP/Telco) is giving away a free Dell computer if you sign up for 3 years of High speed internet.. sure the internet is $40 a month, and you have to have a phone line on top of that.. but it's a FREE COMPUTER!

http://promo.telus.com/tm/06/q3/highspeed/?BAC-cs0 6q3HSpeed&link=flames [telus.com]

HeadOn, Apply Directly to Forehead (1)

snarlydwarf (532865) | about 8 years ago | (#15802368)

For $5/month this advertisement can play without sound.

For $10/month we won't run this ad.

um. yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802372)

I would prefer to "target" that "advertising" right up Bill's ass.

Free, new, good-quality hardware (1)

Ant P. (974313) | about 8 years ago | (#15802376)

Pick two.

Wait just a minute... I see whats happening here (0, Redundant)

Gat0r30y (957941) | about 8 years ago | (#15802394)

They just want this patent so that if anyone else gives it away for free M$ can claim patent infringment and put an end to it. Come on, its M$.

uh huh. (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | about 8 years ago | (#15802396)

Yeah they want to be a "a service provider such as a telephone company". Every company wants to be like that. And get regulated into oblivion. No real growth potential. Stagnate. Stale.

I believe them, don't you?

Re:uh huh. (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15802808)

Yeah they want to be a "a service provider . . .

Go read it again. That's not what they said.

What Microsoft wants is to own intellectual property in services, so that anytime anyone does anything, they get a check.

They wish to be a direct deposit bank account.

KFG

Say No To Leasing (1)

wls (95790) | about 8 years ago | (#15802411)

I can see it now... you get the free computer, and it's burdened with EULAs that say hackers can't repurpose the device (remember CueCAT barcode readers), followed by software that monitors what you do, floods you with ads, and collects marketing information about you.

No thanks.

When I slap down money for a hardware and software, I want to be beholden to no one. Ever.

A trifecta from hell (1)

hellfire (86129) | about 8 years ago | (#15802465)

Advertising evils, Microsoft evils, and Patent evils, all rolled into a business plan that has already proven to fail. I can't decide which to flame first!

Finally (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | about 8 years ago | (#15802527)

We'll have a patent on "FREE". Is that a paradox, or an oxymoron?

They should patent open source computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802531)

Then perhaps they have almost figured out where we are headed.

Or perhaps if their patent envisioned patent free computing. Wow, genius.

Microsoft envisions patent-free computing (1)

chmilar (211243) | about 8 years ago | (#15802552)

I would be happier to see the headline:

"Microsoft envisions patent-free computing"

Re:Microsoft envisions patent-free computing (1)

donaldrobertson (990935) | about 8 years ago | (#15802648)

I also found that title somewhat lacking. In my mind, envisioning free computing is not the same as patenting a business model. I guess they meant "free" as in ad-ware.

I'm confused (1)

epp_b (944299) | about 8 years ago | (#15802564)

'Microsoft', 'Free' and 'Patent' in the same sentence? In the same title??

Not so fast... (3, Informative)

rackhamh (217889) | about 8 years ago | (#15802637)

Every time a patent is mentioned on Slashdot, the same misunderstandings crop up over and over and over...
  1. This is not a PATENT. It's a patent application PUBLICATION... which means the application has filed, but hasn't been examined yet (and probably won't be for about 2 more years).
  2. Just because a patent is filed doesn't mean it will be granted.
  3. The substance of the patent is in the claims. This is what Microsoft thinks (or wants the USPTO to think) is patentably novel. Specifically, what they're claiming is:

A computer-readable medium having computer-executable modules for execution on a client computer in association with advertising delivery comprising:
an opt-in module, comprising support for selecting an advertising delivery mode;
a user profiling module for collecting user profile data;
and an advertising delivery module for presenting a targeted advertisement corresponding to information in the user profile data according to the selected advertising delivery mode.

This is what the USPTO will be looking at when they do their prior art search.

Doesn't anyone read the newspaper? (4, Informative)

swordgeek (112599) | about 8 years ago | (#15802650)

How much did your Sunday paper cost you? Maybe a buck, these days. It probably cost the publisher about $3 to print it, factoring in all of the news gathering and publishing costs. However, they also sold about $5/paper in ads, so they're making a net profit.

Advertising is the primary revenue generator for information content providers. TVs, websites, newspapers, radio, and now computers. The only real difference is that once you get the computer, you have the computer and can theoretically do what you want. Of course, you could do that with a newspaper as well, by ripping the ads out.

CueCat (1)

Above (100351) | about 8 years ago | (#15802708)

Give away hardware supported by ad revenue. Never seen that model before.

Everybody is already watching ads... (1)

Browzer (17971) | about 8 years ago | (#15802771)

why not get get paid for watching them?

The ads might not come from a local database, but think of how many unwanted ads you get to see regardless if you want to or not (billboards, train-ads, TV, magazines, web (yes I know about Fedora's abilities)). What is a few more ads, and you actually get something in return.

Wasn't that Opera's business model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802820)

I remember installing Opera and getting banner adds, which they would kindly remove if you paid the license fee. That was almost a decade ago.

Too Expensive (1)

soft_guy (534437) | about 8 years ago | (#15802863)

There is NOTHING more expensive than something that is "free".

Very old business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15802883)

I though for sure this has been done before. Just off the top off my head, isnt this how Television and Radio do business?

Prior art? (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 8 years ago | (#15802890)

isn't there already prior art for this? I thought there were 2 or 3 companies already doing this, many were in South america, so that may not be "prior" art. Also, wouldn't netzero qualify... they didn't give away a whole PC, but they had a model of ads-for-service 5 years ago.

One Windows Laptop Per Child (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 8 years ago | (#15802976)

I tell you, Bill is "retiring" from Microsoft but not from growing them larger. While is wife is off saving the worlds children, Bill will be brainwashing them with Windows and other Microsoft Software crack.

There was that deal with AMD the brought about that little anti-Linux box( forget the name ).

But then, then there was Flexgo ( http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/flexgo/default.mspx [microsoft.com] ) at WinHec and THAT should have been obvious to the press what was going on there.

He may not call it One Windows Laptop Per Child, it might not be called One Flexgo Per Child either but rest assured, Bill Gates is NOT RETIRING. Windows is being threatend by Linux and OSS and there's not way he or Balmer will rest until their job is done and there nothing but Windows. IMO.

LoB
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