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The Ad-Supported Operating System

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the these-files-brought-to-you-by-pepsi dept.

330

An anonymous reader writes "The appearance of an ad-supported operating system is probably not that far off. This article takes a look at some of the finer points behind an OS which is financed with ad views, and more specifically the logic behind a free version of Windows which could make this a reality. There are a few issues which must be resolved first, but with Microsoft refining Windows Live and shifting some of their focus to advertising, many of the pieces seem to be falling into place."

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330 comments

Never in a million years (5, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#15844996)

...would I consider an ad-supported OS. Linux is free, and ad-free. Why bother?

Good Idea but not practical and too annoying (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845004)

Just in case windows wasn't slow enough, Microsoft decided it would be good to also have the software also worry about what ads are running. Just in case you didn't mind windows phoning home already, they added the benefit of logging everything you do so that they can better tailor ads toward you. Ohh, and don't think about having a computer running without an internet connection because Microsoft needs to verify you have all the latest adds running. I'm so glad I bought that widescreen monitor. That way after the adds arrive, I will still have the usable screen space of my old monitor. Forget about uninstalling other peoples adware, after windows, it isn't soo bad anymore. Unfortunately, this is a good idea to cheapen Microsoft products for those who have trouble affording them. The problem is those people will probably also have slower machines which this will place a burden on. Also, I don't want to have to pay a higher premium to get the non-add supported version.

s/windows/google/g (1, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845024)

Would you complain then? Free stuff in exchange for some ads is common and, when done tastefully, seems to be popular with end users. gmail anyone?

Re:s/windows/google/g (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845040)

> gmail anyone?

Accessed via POP3 using the free Thunderbird? Don't mind if I do...

Re:s/windows/google/g (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845230)

But Google is ads that you visit to get. Windows will load it for you. In countries that have small data caps on their broadband accounts (Aus/NZ) this will definitely cost more in the long run.

Re:Good Idea but not practical and too annoying (3, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845029)

Just get a plain old CRT and adjust the control to clip the ad toolbar off the screen. Space problem solved!

Re:Good Idea but not practical and too annoying (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845051)

Well, if pirated copies of the ad-free premium versions are so readily available dirt cheap (or even freely shared), why would anyone care about the ad-supported version! :P

Re:Never in a million years (1)

rhianor (979793) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845013)

Because is windows, and is free.

Re:Never in a million years (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845016)

So you are just going to make Bonzi starve like that? :-(

Re:Never in a million years (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845032)

"...would I consider an ad-supported OS. Linux is free, and ad-free. Why bother?"

That would depend on the features of the OS. Linux is free, but I paid for Windows. Why? Several apps I use are available on Windows but not Linux. Therefore, Windows (sadly) has value to me.

This isn't a rebuttal, though. You're right. They've got to answer the 'why bother' question. I probably wouldn't ahve bothered replying except for the "never in a million years" bit in your post.

Re:Never in a million years (4, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845173)

Depends on the advert too. If the system was written to download advert material in a similar fashion to Windows Update, and then display it during boot up, or even on the Login screen, I don't think I'd have a problem with that at all. I might even put up with adverts replacing my desktop background.

In essence, so long as they don't actually get in the way then I'm happy with them. As soon as they make a noise, stop me accessing my PC immediately, or sit on top of windows I'm using, then I'd get irritated by them. The key to Google's ad success is that they're easy to ignore. Well, consciously ignore at least, we all still read them even if we don't realise it.

Re:Never in a million years (1, Flamebait)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845041)

Because I don't want to have to figure out a whole new operating system, and I don't want to have to worry about configuring EVERYTHING, and having to try and find drivers for stuff. I'm sorry but I want a literal Plug and Play type setup, and because I can't do everything I want to with Linux. And that is use all of my windows programs to their fullest extent. Yeah, I can try wine, and all that but I don't want to have to worry about that. I just want to install and use.
It may be adware, but considering all the adware and spyware that normal windows boxes have... I don't think anyone would really notice.

Re:Never in a million years (1)

killspice (948173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845158)

Ok, i'm not a Linux person, in fact I can definately be labelled a pro-windows person (since I am a big PC gamer, and a windows developer by trade), but I have yet to build a windows system that is a "literal Plug and Play" setup, and if you mean "I want a pre-configured dell and don't want to have to do anything to make things work" then linux is as good a choice as windows since everything is preconfigured to work anyway. Seriously, linux is just as easy to set up for normal use as windows, in many cases a hell of a lot easier (download a ubuntu image, burn to cd, viola), and can do virtually anything you want from a plug and play system except for gaming, and very specific applications.

Re:Never in a million years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845237)

Because I don't want to...try and find drivers for stuff. I'm sorry but I want a literal Plug and Play type setup..

You don't get anything like that with Windows, so why is your criteria different for Linux? Linux has many faults, but "hunting down drivers" is not really one of them.

Re:Never in a million years (3, Interesting)

kolme (981304) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845048)

Yeah, right, that's what I think. Also I'd never use MS Messenger because it's full of ads, and there's a lot of free (as in speech) and ad-free alternatives. But in spite of it, people don't seem to care.

Re:Never in a million years (4, Insightful)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845088)

The article didn't consider that many people don't buy Windows - they have it pre-installed. Now, I suppose that hardware manufacturers could sell their computers with an ad-supported Windows for a lower price. And maybe it would catch on, but I doubt it. If the average computer still has something like 1024x768, even if the ads would be text only, they would take screen space. Now, I'm sure most people have no problem of ads taking some of the screen space, but when you start to have ads from the OS, ads from the browser, ads from the IM application etc. there will be a limit. People just have enough.

This idea has also some serious privacy and security implications [slashdot.org] . Will the average user care? Probably not. But if he knows that the operating system was free, he might go on and try out Linux. He won't consider losing money, if he never paid anything for it in the beginning.

Anyway, this ad-biz is getting ridiculous. What's next? Ad-supported games? Oh wait... [slashdot.org]

PS. I downloaded my Windows XP professional ISO for free from Microsoft. What do you mean you can't get legal Windows for free?

Re:Never in a million years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845155)

Err ... where did you happen to get that legal ISO?

Re:Never in a million years (4, Informative)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845211)

Microsoft has an academic developer program [microsoft.com] , where they give all kind of software for free. I downloaded Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and some other software as well. You get an ISO image and your own serial code for the software by downloading from this website with an unique login. Other software that I remember being available was the Visual Studio and SQL server. I don't remember the specifics, as I rather use my Mac. Microsoft Office could not be downloaded.

I believe this is just a way for them to try to keep new developers using Windows, rather than switching to Linux or OS X. Some membership fee is paid by the school, but I don't see any of it.

Re:Never in a million years (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845249)

That sounds vaguely similar to the Windows XP that was available while I was at university - it cost about $5 to get a legal copy of it as long as you were an IT student. They also had Visual Studio and a few other things ultra cheap too.

Re:Never in a million years (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845280)

It's not free, your school pays for their membership. Tuition spikes? NO WAI!?!?!

Tom

Windows already is just what TFA speaks about (3, Funny)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845093)

Never in a million years [...] would I consider an ad-supported OS. Linux is free, and ad-free. Why bother?

Ok, you wouldn't. But the vast majority of people use Windows, which in actuality already is an ad-supported OS. Many (most?) installations of Windows are (1) pirated, hence 'free', and (2) infected with adware, hence 'ad-supported'...

TFA even hints that the point would be to move the ad revenue from the adware companies to Microsoft:

This is no doubt why there was news about MSFT buying a adware company, probably so the operating system could essentially be infected with the most permanent adware possible, though at this point the term "adware" would not really be appropriate.

So, Windows would remain free and ad-supported, as it essentially is right now, but MS would get paid and not the adware companies. An interesting thought, but it's just speculation on TFA's part. MS will probably want both kinds of revenue, licenses (enforced by WGA), and integrated ads.

Re:Windows already is just what TFA speaks about (1)

eMbry00s (952989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845261)

but MS would get paid and not the adware companies
Disregarding all other aspectes of this, I'd say that's a good thing. I'd rather most people's punch-the-monkey gaming brings revenue to a company doing something "constructive" rather than something destructive.

Now, wether the adware companies are more constructive than MS are, considering monopoly pushing and such, is a question for another day.

Re:Never in a million years (2, Informative)

Zelbinian (992687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845157)

And how! I mean, anyone who actually thinks this is a good idea, please, for the love of all that's holy, go rent the Corporation. Then come back and read this article. And then die a little inside like the rest of us.

Re:Never in a million years (2, Insightful)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845179)

Linux is free, and ad-free.

It's also free [gnu.org] , an important distinction. :) It doesn't matter if it's free as in zero-cost, as long as it's free as in the-freedom-to-copy-it-to-your-friends.

Re:Never in a million years (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845203)

Who in their right mind would ever want to use an add-invested Windows, even if it is free? I wouldn't want it if they gave me money to use it. I fear, however, that if MS would decide to do this (and I doubt they have enough goodwill left to dare it) the price of the non-spamming version would rise drastically.

Re:Never in a million years (2, Informative)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845209)

I assume that an ad-supported version of Windows would most likely involve some type of tracking and loss of privacy. Perhaps some type of spyware would monitor your browsing and searching habits so that advertisers could send you targeted advertising. Is that how it would work?

I already use a free OS, I use Linux. I do not need an ad-supported version of Windows. I like the fact that most common spyware won't run on Linux. Viruses and worms won't either for that matter. I value my privacy and don't want more spyware or ads.

Despite being free and having no ad-revenues, Linux has done surprisingly well at getting better every year. If fact many of the new "innovative" features Microsoft has been bragging about for Vista are already available for Linux. Linux even has some of the features that were cut from Vista so that it would be released on time. Vista will have "Instant Search" while Linux already has the Beagle desktop search program. Vista will have its new "Aero" graphical interface while some versions of Linux already have XGL graphics. Instead of everyone in Windows usually being an administrator, Vista will have more of a Unix/Linux style security. Linux has always done it that way. Vista will have desktop widgets, Linux already has SuperKarama. I could go on.

I admit there actually are various pros and cons in the Windows vs. Linux argument, but my point is that, there already is a good free operating system that is doing just fine without having to resort to ad-supported revenues. No, never in a million years for me.

Re:Never in a million years (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845265)

Some people might consider it.

By that I mean the same people who make life decisions based on television advertising, worry about characters in soap opera's as if they were real people, and think a family outing to macdonalds is a treat (I'm not joking, I know people like that).

In short, the very poorly informed people who have no proper understanding of the consequences will jump at this.

Will that be enough people to allow this to succeed? I don't know about that. All it has to do is break even and the likes of microsoft will keep it going, claiming huge success.

I wouldn't ever have such a system, but I'll probably be forced to use one at some point to send email.

I can't wait (5, Funny)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#15844998)

I can't wait to have Explorer force me to view an ad for ten seconds before I can access the hard drive.

Or play "Punch the Monkey!!!" on my task bar.

No thanks. I've been sticking with Free Software lately because I like it better for research, but if this advertising crap ever happens, I might just become a convert to the philosophy.

Re:I can't wait (4, Insightful)

utlemming (654269) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845021)

I can't agree with you more.

The problem with an ad-supported operating system is that people expect the computer to work. And when they sit down to do their taxes, balance the check book or write an email they do not want to be hindered with ads about the latest tax, accounting software or email client that is available. Sure, this model may have some people who will do it. Heck, the reason I watch so little TV is because of the ads (and yes I know about Tivo), and the last thing that I want is to be attacked with ads while using the computer; I use the computer when I want to be entertained as is, why would I voluntarily invite it on to my computer? This is just the realization of ad folks that people are starting to spend inordinate amounts of time on the computer and they want to encrouch on where people are spending time. AOL is switching to an ad context, and they are going to offer free service. I think that many people would happily pay for an operating system just to avoid the ads.

Besides how much do you want to bet that an ad-supported OS would make the malware guys overly happy? Think about it. If a malware guy could take over the ad-subsystem on Windows, then the user might not even know it. So instead of getting reputable ads they start getting penis enhancment products and the like.

Re:I can't wait (2, Informative)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845038)

I think that many people would happily pay for an operating system just to avoid the ads.

Isn't that a good idea, given that they can try it for as much as they want first and make sure it's worth the money. I am more worried that the pay option will not be there.

Re:I can't wait (1, Interesting)

daeley (126313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845071)

I think that many people would happily pay for an operating system just to avoid the ads.

If the day ever comes where I have to choose between paying to use an adless operating system and using one with built-in advertising, that's the day I turn off the computer for good.

Re:I can't wait (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845216)

why?
If you choose to pay of the OS how is that any different from the situation today?

I mean i can understand not wanting to use an ad suported OS but not wanting to pay for a copy of Microsoft Windows just because they also make aviable an ad supported version.

If it is because you prefer Linux, then rest assured no adds are comming in Linux - the hackers would never, ever let that happend.

like email spammers.... (2, Interesting)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845151)



So instead of getting reputable ads they start getting penis enhancment products and the like.


Or, if spam email is any predictor, the hijackers will advertise their services promising to reduce the OS-planted ads. Oh, and also how you can get your ad planted in 10,000,000 people's OS.

Isn't it just like Microsoft. They rarely try to entice people to purchase their products because they're good. They always are looking for ways to MAKE people by their products because they have to. I'm saying this in relation to the likelihood that an ad-based windows OS would be the one bundled with OEM computers. It's doubtful the ad-OS would be in a box on a store shelf anywhere.

Re:I can't wait (3, Funny)

landattack (993189) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845033)

I think I have already seen one of these ad supported machines at a friends house.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845167)

teh kewlzorz! I wanna monkey too! Sign me up right away!

At least I'll have something to do while the POS worm infested pile of bloatware thashes my HD to pieces
rumaging through my personal files to send to the NSA.

It'll never beat the Pirate version. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845001)

Honestly, if all you want is a free version, the pirated version is the one to get.
No more crappy ads, and you know you're not getting the lamest of all the versions.

Y'arrh, matey, enough of that bilge.

Mindless rambling at 3am.. (-1, Redundant)

Fluffy_Kitten (911430) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845009)

it would seem that this would allow for an operating system which would be available for a reduced price
I think that this already happened.*GIANT COUGH*
it would be ideal for libraries, internet cafes, and in the homes of casual users
LIBRARIES? I thought those stayed away from windows and used some obscure sun operating system (I got proof)
And internet cafes?
FR... AD ...EE... AD ... INT... AD ...ER... AD ...NET!
Why does it always have to be microsoft? why not OSX? I would love to try that out on my PC for free if it included ads, and I may pira... er buy it in the future.
and using some sort of ramped up Active X or a rootkit to interact with local files this could be the future of the ad-supported operating system.
sonyOS anyone?
I am against ads anywhere on my computer unless:
A. It supports a good* cause
B. Is text based and only on the internet
C. Is nessesary*
*vague terms

Re:Mindless rambling at 3am.. (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845025)

Why does it always have to be microsoft? why not OSX? I would love to try that out on my PC for free if it included ads, and I may pira... er buy it in the future.

You bring up a good point. Wouldn't an ad-supported version of an OS drive up piracy rates? Would Microsoft (or Apple), while theoretically being against such things, not care so much because they're getting their pockets lined with ad impression cash?

Also, the arms race between OS vendors and ad-blocking software makers would be interesting to watch. I wonder whether more people would be driven to try to pirate the retail version or to try to block ads on the free version...

Ad vs Subscription, but... (5, Interesting)

Ninwa (583633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845010)

Ads in place of a subscription make sense, but how do you justify ads for something with an exact value? When you see enough ads to have payed the price of the OS do they go away? I don't understand.

Re:Ad vs Subscription, but... (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845045)

"Ads in place of a subscription make sense, but how do you justify ads for something with an exact value? When you see enough ads to have payed the price of the OS do they go away? I don't understand."

I'm not sure why you don't understand, it's not like there are plenty of other services out there that stop showing ads when they hit a certain point. The 'exact value' thing is bunk, anyway. If there were an ad-supported OS, part of the income would be re-invested into improving the OS. You see ads in perpetuity, they update the OS in perpetuity. I'm a little surprised that somebody with a GMail account doesn't get this.

Re:Ad vs Subscription, but... (1)

Ninwa (583633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845050)

I suppose I wasn't considering them continously updating the OS. Good point.

Re:Ad vs Subscription, but... (1)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845077)

I guess you have, because Microsoft is already putting ads in its next version of Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail [betanews.com]
Microsoft refining Windows Live and shifting some of their focus to advertising, indeed.

Ad-OS is already here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845019)

Micro$hit Winblows X-Pee is full of ads for M$'s services. There's ads for Passport, Windows Media download stores, MSN Search, MSN Explorer, Microsoft Plus, and other bloated bullshit. Don't forget the ultimate coercive ad, Windows Genuine Advantage. Loads of false claims of pirated software means more bucks for Satan [microsoft.com] .

Re:Ad-OS is already here (4, Informative)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845098)

Micro$hit Winblows X-Pee is full of ads for M$'s services. There's ads for Passport, Windows Media download stores, MSN Search, MSN Explorer, Microsoft Plus, and other bloated bullshit. Don't forget the ultimate coercive ad, Windows Genuine Advantage. Loads of false claims of pirated software means more bucks for

Not to speak of the last "dell" I got (sorry folks, dual core $700 (not anymore), couldn't resist [dell.com] ). I don't remember half the crap I deleted but trial word perfect, trial mcaffes, plus a shit load of isp adverts, this is ontop of the normal winxp adverts if you click the wrong thing. Fortunatly the crap was easy enough to delete, well except for McAfee's spyware.

Choice is good (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845022)

....but I would rather pay $200 or whatever for Windows (or nothing for *nix) than get a copy of it for free but be forced to watch adds. In fact, I really don't think anyone would want to do that - paying a bit up front (relatively) definitely seems to be the lesser evil over being annoyed with ads all the time.

I suspect that this point of view is not in the minority either. I remember when the ad-powered ISP model was all the rage - even though it was free dial up, it sure didn't last that long.

Re:Choice is good (2, Informative)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845147)

i'd only support advertising driven os if it was
A) run by the OSS comunity and not nosy fuckers
B) go directly to the OSS community
C) i'd have the choice to not watch them.
D) does not contain flash or malicious content or impact the preformance of the system
E) does not collect personal information

thats all i ask

In The Future... (5, Funny)

mac.convert (944588) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845026)

This Blue Screen of "Life" is sponsored by Blue Shield Health Insurance.

Re:In The Future... (2, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845063)

I can imagine trying to use Vista's speech recognition software...

After every time you get "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all" a popup ad for USPS, UPS, FedEx... would popup.

Re:In The Future... (3, Funny)

kolme (981304) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845067)

A critical error has happened: unknown

352ff7: 00000 00000 0000 0000 0000

Enlarge your pennis!

Re:In The Future... (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845306)

Or this:

The application has been terminated due to insufficient ad clicks.

Extensions? (1, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845036)

How long before someone creates an adblock extension for it?

Re:Extensions? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845177)

How long before someone creates an adblock extension for it?

Or just disconnects the connection, or are we talking something that is totally useless if you don't happen to have net access.

Will it allow ... (2, Interesting)

giriz (966704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845037)

... click frauds ??

Malware... (2, Interesting)

RickBauls (944510) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845042)

Right now, I get paid to remove ads from peoples computers

In the future, I'll be getting paid to install an OS with ads preloaded.

/not gonna happen

Dumbest Article I have ever read (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845046)

From TFA:
Another example of this is Microsoft. This company makes most of its money off of software but has made it clear that they want a piece of the advertising game. It seems that some of their reasoning comes from a desire to compete with Google, just like their revamping of MSN Search not too long ago, but advertising offers a lot more than just a chance to take some money from Google.


This article is touting the ad-supported OS like it will have a million entrants, but who are the players that can go for this? Only 3 realistically, Microsoft, Mac OS X, and a company with their own branded Linux.

An ad supported linux will never take off. The good and free versions are just too numerous and the other trillion reasons that won't work. It will never fly on Mac OS X, that is just too contrary to contemplate. But Microsoft...... why would they want an ad free OS?

Right now, they make a set amount from each sale. An ad supported OS will not only lower that intake, it will not have long term gains from all the people who will patch their OS to fix it from the "crippled" version to the good version. Total loss for MS.

This seems to be just somebody's hair brained scheme to "compete" with google, but how does it compete with Google? It doesn't. Google, if they ever release an OS (I doubt), will supply it over the net while MS here just pushes a reduced cost version off store shelves.

Furthermore, the article states:
The ideal of ad-supported Windows makes perfect sense under a number of different circumstances. While it most likely won't be appearing in any offices, it would be ideal for libraries, internet cafes, and in the homes of casual users.


Um, no. Home Users already indirectly pay for Microsoft when they purchase a computer. No win for Microsoft there, either in marketshare or revenue. It would not be ideal for internet cafes, as people pay cafes (at least in Europe) to use those computers, so bludgeoning them to death is neither in the interest of the Cafe owner who sells time (and doesn't get any revenue from said ads anyway) nor their customers. In libraries, again, I have to ask why?

I chalk all this nonsense to a slow newsday. I swear, this is the dumbest fad that is making every idiots eyes light up as if this is the best thing since sliced bread. The advertising market is already saturated, people are becoming resistant to advertising in general, and the pie is only so big.

Re:Dumbest Article I have ever read (1)

Evan Meakyl (762695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845163)

The logic here is that Microsoft is thinking that every one will upgrade each time to the latest brand new OS.
The high number of computers still running Win98 shows that this kind of thinking is wrong.
By adding ads in an OS, if the computer isn't upgraded, the OS will /still/ brings incomes to Microsoft.

Futhermore, if the OS is free, people will be more willing to upgrade and so the argument 'Linux has no cost' will fall off. It is a way to have money *and* market share.

Just a though, but I agree, I don't think something like that will happen in a near futur.

Ads in Linux (4, Funny)

jandersen (462034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845056)

$ ls -l

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am the wife of Dr. Mabunga, the former minister for internal affairs in Nigeria, ...
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3409 2005-12-13 14:35 cpuload.c
-rw------- 1 root root 614363 2005-08-17 19:16 culturalgrammar.pdf
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 456 2006-03-23 17:17 cv
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 27136 2006-02-03 12:08 cv+cover.doc
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 48 2006-08-01 15:56 Desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 33995 2006-03-30 10:26 dilbert2006610630330.gif
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 49672 2006-03-30 10:35 dilbert.gif
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 245760 2006-03-16 15:57 djpenguin.zip
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 2005-11-16 17:44 dlmgr_.pro
drwxr-xr-- 2 root root 336 2005-08-19 15:55 download
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 223 2006-07-13 15:23 DVconfig.ini
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 6461758 2006-06-13 15:07 E1.wma
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 10583 2005-07-19 10:49 endian

Re:Ads in Linux (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845264)

wtf? why are you using root for day to day operations??

Re:Ads in Linux (0, Offtopic)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845276)

You shouldn't be running as a root.

Free OS's have been around for years... (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845060)

As others have said, one can have any number of Linux variants for free if one chooses.

And it's also true that Windows is indeed a big billboard for Microsoft's web services and software, not to mention other companies' offerings.

But what I find incredible is that with all the documented hellish experiences with spyware, anyone would opt for an OS which has it built in!

I'll stick with my Ubuntu, thank you very much.

Re:Free OS's have been around for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845253)

As others have said, one can have any number of Linux variants for free if one chooses.

*nix surely :)

Public Terminals (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845062)

This won't be marketed at home users, at least not to start with. It'll be promoted as an option for public kiosks, and terminals in shopping areas, etc.

The thing is, all the major software makers are desperate to find some sort of subscription or rental model so they can get a guaranteed revenue stream without having to stay on the product improvement treadmill. Improving software is HARD - Vista is a crystal clear example of how hard - which makes it expensive. If a software house can persuade customers to keep giving them money without improving the product, they're on a win.

That's why they're tying software to hardware with product activation and pushing DRM or other methods of artificially obsoleting their products. Almost all of Microsoft's OS sales are with new PCs but even then, your ordinary punter, after paying for the OS for the Nth time, is starting to ask "how many times do I have to pay for this crap? It's barely changed in the past five years, but I still have to fork out the same $$ as I did the first time." Expect to see more of this sort revenue model as software becomes more complex.

What's really needed, of course, is a new way of writing and maintaining software. The programs we use today are essentially bespoke, hand-built items, much the way cars were at the start of the 20th century. The primitive fabrication methods are masked because computer software can be duplicated infinitely without additional cost, but it's still an industry ripe for a new enry Ford to invent the digital equivalent of a production line.

Re:Public Terminals (2, Insightful)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845223)

What's really needed, of course, is a new way of writing and maintaining software. The programs we use today are essentially bespoke, hand-built items, much the way cars were at the start of the 20th century. The primitive fabrication methods are masked because computer software can be duplicated infinitely without additional cost, but it's still an industry ripe for a new enry Ford to invent the digital equivalent of a production line.

You are missing something: Programs are DESIGNS. This is an important point. This is a VERY important point.

Programming is like the DESIGN of the T-Ford, which was never automated. The PRODUCTION of programs has already been automated - it's the compilation and duplication I get when I do "make && make install".

Eivind.

Re:Public Terminals (1)

unoengborg (209251) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845302)

This won't be marketed at home users, at least not to start with.

I'm not so sure abuout that. I think that it will start as sort of crippleware OSes, that when you pull donw a menu and select the "fancy feature" menu item, you will get a pop up saying - Fancy Feature not installed, you can buy it from Os vender, for $$ or you can get the Fancy Feature Enterprise Edition for $$$.

After that it will not be long before, the ads isn't just about OS enhancemets, they will try to sell all sorts of software. I.e. the OS vender may sell advertising space to other software companies. That way you may get a popup ad for photoshop if you open paint.

Sure, there are ads on computers in shopping malls etc, but these ads will most likely be in the running applications, and not in the OS itself, as OSes regardless of vender will be too hard and complicated for this kind of public use. This means that they will be locked down, to run certain apps where the ads will appear, regardless of OS.

Not a chance. (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845068)

There is no chance in hell this will fly.

Thing is, there already exists several free (both senses) OSes. The only one you can successfully sell is MS-Windows and even that only works because of inertia and monopoly-effects.

Nobody I know argues that Ms-Windows is so much better as to be "worth" what it costs. Instead, if they use Windows, they argue that they need it because some software they need runs only there. Or because that is what everyone has. Or because it's the only thing they know. In other words, the entire "value" of Ms-Windows lie in network-effects and not in the actual product.

A new OS has none of this value. Infact it will have less of it than Linux. Linux has some software, some recognition, some users. The new OS has neither. Linux can be had for $0.

Selling something that is poorer than Linux for a higher price than Linux is a no-go. (by "poorer" I don't mean primarily technically, I mean from the perspective of network-effects which is the dominant factor, unfortunately.)

Re:Not a chance. (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845196)

Maybe there are other geniuses out there who have also got this figured out. I'm sure the write-up mentioned that it may be a modified version of windows we're talking about. So it will run everything that windows runs.

Useless (1)

D14BL0 (880565) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845073)

There's Linux. Completely free (for the most part), and no ads. And with tons of different distros of Linux, it's not like you've got a narrow selection of free operating systems, either.

Wait a minute (1)

abshnasko (981657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845081)

You mean to tell me all these IE popups aren't bundled with Windows?

Hmm... choices (1)

WWEMTMage (993191) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845083)

So, I'd have to choose between #1: a free w/ ads OS #2: the same OS with no ads and a fat price tag Um...how about #3? What is Numba Three? #3: Pirate the SOB I thought Microsoft was trying to discourage pirating. WTF are they thinking? Even worse, it even encourages the dreaded Numba Four WTF is 4? #4: Install something better Is it me, or is Microsoft run by a bunch of...wait, it isn't just me, is it?

Ad exploits (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845085)

Ad exploits like the latest will be so much more effective, now you can target all the installed base at once! All your base are belong to us?

Did anyone ask why?? (1)

bscott (460706) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845086)

On the one hand, Windows is at most a couple hundred bucks, and pretty much works for millions of people (like it or not)... Linux is FREE, and also pretty much works for most of the rest.

Microsoft has spent umpty-billions trying to make something everyone's happy with. IBM, Sun, Novell and many others have spent more billions trying to perfect another family of approaches - with no small level of success. I simply don't see a niche for an "ad-supported" operating system. What possible effort will $2-$20 of revenue per seat fund, in terms of obvious and tangible improvements over either of the existing alternatives?? (I'm not even bothering to mention MacOS or a slew of other worthy contenders)

Advertising can work to support websites, browsers, games, even productivity apps - but even a numbskull marketing nitwit has to understand that the OS market is already well served.

Isn't this what Google is becoming? (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845089)

Google is admittedly not an operating system in the classic sense, but it is systematically taking over the functionality that users expect their boxes to provide, and it is entirely supported by advertising.

Trying to plug an advertising-driven model into traditional "operating systems" is like trying to glue a Mini-ATX motherboard into a Palm PDA. Some things just don't translate. We have learned to accept Google's ads, because they sit inoccuously in parts of the screen that would be blank otherwise. How can Windows even attempt this?

I don't think Microsoft and Google are competing on the same terms any more, if they ever were. While Microsoft are still selling products that were defined twenty years ago and hit their peak a decade ago, Google is busy reinventing the online world, following its own designs and writing the rules.

Let me give you an example... Office applications. On the one hand, Microsoft is wondering how to provide online access (advertising supported, metered, whatever) to Office. Now, Google are thinking, "in five years' time, people won't want to write documents this way any longer" and they're thinking of how to use the web to create documents, presentations, totally bypassing the Office metaphor (which is ancient, dating to before the days of the IBM PC). The very first microcomputers, running CP/M, ran office applications (WordStar, CalcStar, etc.)

I used to write many documents using Word, then I switched to OpenOffice a few years ago. Today, I edit my documents as text, post them to Wikis, and use text-to-PDF and text-to-HTML conversion tools to produce deliverable output. I don't open OpenOffice any more unless someone sends me a document. The only exception is spreadsheets. I've not yet seen a new online abstraction that replaces spreadsheets, though calculations would be a natural feature to add to wiki systems.

Google gets this, I think.

Re:Isn't this what Google is becoming? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845195)

The only exception is spreadsheets. I've not yet seen a new online abstraction that replaces spreadsheets, though calculations would be a natural feature to add to wiki systems.

Google Spreadsheets [slashdot.org] was made for users to develop and share spreadsheets, and co-develop them in real time. Imports and exports supports CSV and XLS with preserved formatting where applicable, and exports additionally supports HTML. Google Spreadsheets supports IE 6+ and Firefox 1.07 and 1.5+.

Re:Isn't this what Google is becoming? (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845201)

Sorry, bad link... For your clicking convenience: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ [google.com]

Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845102)

PC: "You have just received an advert!" |Ok| |$0.05| |help?|
Me: /Ok/
PC: "What are YOU waiting? Buy blah blah blah...!"

Or

Windows Security Center: "Your Computer might be at risk!" |Ok| |$0.15| |help?|
Me: /Ok/
PC: "Got Milk?"

Riiiight. (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845107)

At first thought, *maybe* for the consumer market, but *never* for server-market. I mean, who regularly looks at the screen of a server, anyway? You use remote tools for that.

And as long as their OS comes packaged with OEM systems, why should they worry about selling Windows for less than they're charging already? Win XP is a fraction of the cost of a desktop from IBM, HP, or even Dell.

And that leave Retail boxes, where demand isn't exactly elastic.

what about ad desktops (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845134)

I can see the idea of having ads rotate on your desktop as a wall paper. Anything that *interferes* with the usage and operation of the operating system will significantly harm the OS's value to the consumer. Popup ads and drive by ad IMs is exactly the kind of thing that gave rise to the anti-spyware industry.

However, with the move towards making a visually appealing operating system a priority, I highly doubt MS will, in any forseeable future, introduce ads. The last thing you need is bright yellow flashing boxes with red text asking you to "click."

B.I.O.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845142)

Bad Idea Operating System - vr. 0.6

Could Combat M$ piracy (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845152)

Think about it, there are a lot of people out there who run Windows and Office without actually having paid for it. If they came with ads as default, which required you handing over a credit card num to remove then MS get revenue either way. (Adblocker cracks notwithstanding)

Re:Could Combat M$ piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845184)

Just think if they replaced the WGA stuff with something like an 'Ad Patch'. Now that would be a good use of their pirated copies (as well as the vendor lock in stuff).

yes... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845153)

Yes, and it'll be called "Vista".

Except that you have to pay for it in addition.

Windows has ALWAYS been ad-supported... (5, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845160)

I've got Karma to burn, so here goes.... my true assessment of home-computing. A few of my relatives have home PCs - all running pirated versions of Windows. The ads come in the error messages:

* Program performed illegal operation

Sends the hapless home user scurrying to get a licensed copy of the OS.

* Windows did not shut down properly. Files may be corrupted or lost

And the poor chap goes out and buys a UPS. Never a chance to even imagine that ext3 rarely loses files even during a power shutdown.

* Photoshop Elements may not work well with this Service Pack

So the user pays Adobe for the privilege of being lazy enough not to explore better options.

* Windows encountered an error in lsass.exe and must shutdown

The user buys an upgrade since there's no support for the old OS any more.

And so on, Windows has been a huge advertising platform for anti-virus software, UPSs, Backup-software-that-actually-works-but-is-suppose d-to-be-part-of-Windows, anti-spyware, external firewalls, broadband (modem drivers are clunkier in recent OSes), Flash, Support services etc.

The fact that despite being an antiquated junkpiece several years behind in technology, Windows has succeeded as a platform, proves a coupla' things:

1. User apathy and lethargy is a very potent force. A user would rather patch a buggy junk, rather than learn something better, simpler and advanced.. like Linux, Opera, Firefox, Open Office, Gnumeric etc.

2. It's not possible to release Newer OSes forever, that's still prone to viruses and malware... remember You Can't Fool All The People All The Time...

and so, it appears

Microsoft has patented Web-Service-OSes that can be metered like Electricity and Gas. It's about time, one would've thought. Suddenly, all these lower-life-forms like anti-virus and backup s/w firms who depended on MS for their living.. would become redundant! There'll be hell to pay, since these guys don't die overnight.

Symantec, Trend Micro, Citrix or Veritas wouldn't take such initiatives lying down. Interesting times ahead!

insain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845165)

Just the term ad supported OS is crazy! I should'nt say this because someone will do it but why not make an ad supported toaster and microwave while your at it or maby a dvd player with commercials. You can't treat an operating system like a web browser or a video game, it is an integral part of the machine. i can see an ad supported browser on the other hand though. I dont think i would be able to tell the difference, i get so many ads already.

Popup fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845168)

Easy enough with all that malware out there.

It's been happening for years, to some extent. (4, Interesting)

grrowl (953625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845180)

Has everyone forgot installing Windows 95/98, and going through the process of deleting the bundled AOL trials, CompuServe this and MSN Online that? It's not "Punch the monkey and win a free iPod!"-style advertising, but it is paid product placement and it is advertising. Also in Windows 95 and 98 was a "Sampler" directory on the CD with games and reference utilities, although most were distributed by Microsoft Games, there was a game from Scholastic and another company. In Windows XP, view your My Pictures folder (or any folder you or windows has identified as a photo folder), and look at the task pane: "Order Prints Online" takes you to a list of paid links to photo printers, "Shop for Pictures Online" takes you to a page [microsoft.com] with two microsoft links and one to 'BizPresenter.com'. It's not a new concept! It's just been subtle, but I doubt it'll get too much more obvious (viewing a 10 second advertisement every time you boot up, or "Targeted Media" on your desktop, ala Win98's Active Desktop items but with Coke ads instead of CBS News -- wait, they're both advertising!

Ads are not free! (2, Insightful)

bunhed (208100) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845200)

From the don't-eat-that-johnny-that's-poop-dept:

Ads cost brain cells, time, bandwidth, screen space, cache space, mouse clicks. They accelerate carpal tunnel and dimish visual acuity. They undermine asthetics and camoflage the point of the enviroment they are in. This is the same sell as television is free because of the ads. Cable, sattelite, whatever, costs you monthly just so you can watch "free" television rather then "pay" television. WTF? I doubt free windows will come with a free ISP connection. I don't want ads on my screen, piling up in my mailbox, filling my answering machine or blocking the view to the lake. Ads, no matter what or where they are cost you something directly, everytime! A "free" version of windows will most certainly not be free.

Re:Ads are not free! (1)

eWarz (610883) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845207)

Yet, they work :) Recently our relatively young LLC submitted it's ad to google's adwords and we've noted a 9 fold increase in traffic.

Torvalds Tanenbaum Debate (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845226)

So how does the presence of a mandatory ad server at kernel level impact the performance and reliability of microkernels vs. monolithic kernels?

Do all Dark Ages follow the same pattern?

What would you like to buy today (1)

u2pa (871932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845239)

Microsoft would only need to change their slogan a little bit.

I might do it if... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845242)

If the ads aren't too intrusive. Right now, I'm reading Slashdot with a ThinGeek ad at the top. If the ads weren't in the way and if there weren't forced delays to make me look at or click ads I'd be willing to give it a try.

LK

In capitalist Redmond.... (1)

ScouseMouse (690083) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845248)

Hmm, it seems in Capitalist Redmond, even the adware can have adware. someone mod me down please. Its the only way i will learn.

Ads in an OS? What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845277)

The primary cause of unsolicited commerical email (spam), and the dislike of advertizing on the internet in general is capitalism.

There are those advertisers and companies who like to use video ads. Even without the sound they are distracting. Then there are all the other unplesantries and deceptive adverting methods they use such as flashing epilieptic-siezure-inducing advertisment, pop-ups, pup-unders, dialers, flash advertisements that forward them to their website if you click, mouseover, mouseout, mousemove, avoid, or even do nothing (they run some dumb animation that sends you to their website without your approval), to upload dialers, spyware, toolbars, attachments, cookies, images (remember that JPG virus a while back?), viral marketing, or some other malevolent form of unauthorized, unorthodox, and down right evil form of advertizing to repeat the cycle and urge you to consume stuff you don't need that is shady or has the qualities of a timeshare real estate agent, carney, carpetbagger, or a person who solicitist for either the mormons, jehovahs witnesses, or the cult of $centology, by making you feel inadequet, left out, in danger, or entertained.

Greed motivates the entire process. There was a massive water main break near my home yesterday. The road buckled. A hole about 8 feet by 8 feet and nearly a foot deep means that the intersection must be repaired. However, because of this, the gas station next to the hole increased the price of gas by TWENTY CENTS. Never mind the fact that my neighborhood was in a boil order, or the possiblities that the gas tanks might also be damaged amd their may be gasoline leaking into the water supply. (That's ExxonMoble for you!) The point is that some people will take advangate of the misfortunes of others by stealing more than time and resources, but also money. Since most adveertizement lately has appealed to the lowet common denominator, has allowe commerical advertisers to get away with what TV shows cant, waste twenty minutes yelling and flashing images in front of children and teenagers till they have ADD, ADHD, or shock-induced epilepsy, put college and high-school students in debt, and lie, decive, and even use the the money to influnce the thinking of policitical leaders to supporess technology, information, and sound science to contintue spreading what I have caled "The Virus"

Just wait... (1)

Takari (856622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845278)

until my free ad-supported Wonderbread tells me to go pick up some free ad-supported Coca Cola.

Free Windows ! w00t! (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845282)

Even if there was such a thing as people coming over to your house to install a linux distro, and 3 years of free service afterwards, people will stick to Windows for now.

If they're unhappy with the next Windows' performance/price, they'll just NOT upgrade (that'll work for at least a year or so)... after that they'll find a way to crack Vista, or just pay up for a version that'll do.

Ad-sponsored Windows? It'll work if Vista "spartan edition" is sold for 450$, and Vista "the-one-you're-supposed-to-have edition" for 600$.

will work (1)

PipoDeClown (668468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845283)

This idea will work out very well, because thats just how the economy works these days.

WINE (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845297)

So... if some WINE applications work better withn a native Windows install, one could install this Ad-Supported windows, and use the directory as their "Native windows" for running some software.

I'm all for it!

great... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15845308)

"your program has executed an illegal operation. Would you like to enlarge your pe*is ?

by Anonymous lazy.

Why not! web app platform/google killer (1)

Varris (252466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845309)

Indeed, with all this fuz about "Web Operating Systems" a la MyOS, Google application platform. Probably Ad financed.
I think a Windows/ Vista Personal Edition with the following options certainly makes sense:
-Ad financed
-Installable from an image
-Off line storage via webservices (Amazon S3)of Documents and Settings. Computer crashed, image reistalled, Documents and Settings synchronized from webservice, user application installed again and of we go!
-Easy and super fast install and uninstall of applications
-A number of free application (basic version of office), payed by advertising
-Zero admin e.g. non fragmenting hard disks
-Super stable, always use hibernation, almost never reboot.

This takes away about all advantages of a so called Web OS/ Web Application Platform.
And I think this is the way Microft is heading. Google might have the fuzz and the hype on its side, but microsoft still has cards to play. Maybe Linux should go that way too.

Regards,

WTF? (1)

taff^2 (188189) | more than 7 years ago | (#15845316)

I thought Windows was already ad-supported! The money I spend on Viagra goes towards helping starving children, and funding further development of Windows, doesn't it?
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