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Microsoft Seeks Another OS-Level Adware Patent

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the why-share-the-revenue dept.

Patents 195

theodp writes "Microsoft has just published a patent application for advertising triggered by sequences of user actions, which describes how to interrupt game playing, music listening, and photo viewing with pop-up ads ('the components may be integrated directly into the operating system'). So will this ad technology get a free pass from Windows Defender?"

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Have a big ol' nice mug (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20590781)

Of some crisp, refreshing frostyness.

Re:Have a big ol' nice mug (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590841)

Interestingly, in response to this article, parent is not a troll.

Ummm... what? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590785)

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1385/1370980934_bc3b2fc882_o.jpg [flickr.com]

Can anyone tell me what this picture is supposed to do with "how to interrupt game playing, music listening, and photo viewing with pop-up ads"?

Re:Ummm... what? (2, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590911)

Maybe the fact that there's a pop-up text ad for snapfish, walmart, and shutterfly photo developing hovering over the thumbnails?

Re:Ummm... what? (2, Informative)

Lanu2000 (972889) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590951)

This image represents a file window (item 700) displaying pictures (item 702) with the ad window (item 704) shown.

kdawson fud of the day. (0, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591325)

Our dear kdawson can't let pass a day without his anti ms fud. Ad-sponsored software is not inherently bad or automatically spyware . There are many applications that have been ad sponsored (Opera was such an app, eudora was another, and I'm sure there are a lot more). The think is, Windows Defender has nothing to do with this. Those who don't want to use an ad sponsored app, just don't use it.

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (5, Insightful)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591461)

Ad sponsored software is one thing, but when I pay for a program and and updates to that program insert ads that I did not agree to view that is not acceptable.
Opera didn't just one day start showing ads when there were none before.
And ad sponsored software is usually free (beer) software. You cannot sell something, and then add ads to it with a service pack or update.
That's just wrong, and informing us of it is not FUD.

You sir, are an idiot.

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (1, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591567)

May I ask why you seem so certain MS is going to put this in a for-pay version of windows?

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591705)

because MS as a corporation with shareholders is required to maximize profits. This would include MS doing things like charging people money so that MS can charge other people money too.

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (3, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591877)

because MS as a corporation with shareholders is required to maximize profits.


That argument actually favors MS not putting this in payed windows (or at least, full-price windows)

1. Keeping existing user base is also important to making profit.
2. Gaining user base is important to making profits.
3. Users don't like advertisements, especially when they didn't ask for them.
4. MS is aware of #3 due to their creation of an anti-spyware/adware program.
5. Users tend to move away only when they have active dislike, not when they don't notice somthing.
6. The less than moral advertising agencies on the web have no low to which they will not stoop.

Combining these facts, we can conclude Microsofts next actions will most likely consist of:
1. Full priced Windows will not have these advertisements
2. A reduced price and/or free Windows may be released, with advertisements of varying invasiveness
3. Microsoft will sue any advertising agency violating this patent on Windows, to keep such advertisements off Windows, keeping the user base happier
4. Microsoft may or may not sue agencies violating this patent on other OSes - if they do not, then that's more encouragement for users to use Windows, where they don't have such a hassle.

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (4, Interesting)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592129)

I don't disagree that this is how it will start, but the tin-foil hat me says that based on the past performance of MS, they will ultimately end up doing both: charging for windows and selling ads for that same installation. It may not be on "purpose", but I believe it will happen.

The reality, as I see it from under my shiny, crinkly dome shaped lid is that *everything* is subject to being plastered with ads and the computer desktop is not exempt. Someone somewhere will eventually pay enough to get their ad on MS's desktop. period.

I also wouldn't put it past MS to "accidently" serve up ads to those who have paid to avoid them. As we all know, these kinds of things happen all the time. And many people have been "trained" to believe that this is just the way computers are. Sometimes they just don't work the way you tell them to... MS has spent decades teaching people that computers sometimes do random things for no reason and that's apparently totally acceptable to most. So why not the same with the ads?

MS will integrate this technology into the OS directly and then "turn it off" from some server, so even those who have the "ad-free" version of Windows will have the adware running on their system, it will just be checking to see whether it should serve up the ads or not. When that server goes down, it will "default" to serving up the ads until MS gets around to repairing it.

I now doff my recyclable metal head covering.

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (2, Insightful)

Shadowmist (57488) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591479)

Interesting examples. As I recall the ad-funded model didn't work well for either Opera or Eudora. I'm not sure what the present buisness model for Opera is, but Eudora was recently released to open source and is now being developed as the Penelope project with the Mozilla folks.

Re:kdawson fud of the day. (0, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591593)

Works or don't work that's not the point. I hate ad sponsored software, but hell, if tomorrow Adobe releases a full featured Photoshop with some ads, I'm sure that thousand of people will be glad to use it. I mean, there is nothing that can touch Photoshop (please, don't even mention GIMP, don't make me laugh on my ass), so for some ads there will be a lot of people that will be glad to use an app that cost several thousand bucks. So ad sponsored apps is a OK model, that works some times for some people. So, yes, the article is FUD as almost everything our dear kdawson offers to us.

Re:Ummm... what? (3, Interesting)

antarctican (301636) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591871)

While having something like this built in to the OS would be a scary prospect, and the potential inability to disable it.

But I see an upside to this technology. If we're lucky, M$ will never get around to implementing these technologies, and thanks to their patents, no one else will be able to implement such invasive advertising tactics.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm completely against software and business model patents, they're the worst of the worst when it comes to patent trolls. But if the upside of a broken patent system is bad business practices don't get implemented, at least there's some benefit.

Actually I think as a community we should become a little more proactive on such things. Let's think up some other invasive technology ideas, things we'd never want to see implemented in the wild, and patent them. And never licence these patents. Keep the evilness out of software by making it defaultly illegal.

Re:Ummm... what? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592187)

But I see an upside to this technology. If we're lucky, M$ will never get around to implementing these technologies, and thanks to their patents, no one else will be able to implement such invasive advertising tactics.

No, if we're lucky Microsoft will implement it and everyone will finally get fed up and ditch Windows for Linux or OS X.

Now we read ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590811)

... about prior art, patenting the interrupt, yadda yadda ...

CC.

Re:Now we read ... (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591181)

Absolutely.

Whoever has the patent for interrupting an application or process with another one can claim prior art here, no?
But it's in the operating system! My God!

I mean, can I now write another patent for interrupting a game or program with a telephone call? A tv show? A doorbell signal? Oops, there goes my whole business plan.

Adware to interrupt games??? (5, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590813)

I'm dying to see the reaction to this.

"Quick, get to the health fountain.... What the.. My character DIED so I can learn about Diet Caffeine Free Tab??"

Or, alternatively... (3, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591097)

Perrier Spring Water, "The Pause that Refreshes!"

Guiness -- FOR STRENGTH!

{The preceeding message was brought to you by Dikken's Apple Cider, because remember, on a cold winter's day, nothing beats a hot Dikken's Cider.}

Re:Or, alternatively... (1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592169)

Yeah, I can see it now:

OMG, Onyxia's almost down! /oom Heal the tank for the love of... Would you like to refinance your home?

Re:Adware to interrupt games??? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591119)

There's that option... But another option is possible too...

"Oh, you are spamming ads at a series of actions - we own the patent. Here's your cease-and-desist, and we are sueing you for your profits. Have a nice day."

Give how much that could interfere with users using the OS, I can see this as being Microsoft's more likely use. The exception being if the start making advert-to-use OS subsidisation.

The real plan... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591141)

HEHE, just because you could pop-up ads during a game doesn't mean you could sell any product....

I would be surprised if it wasn't a net loss pissing off more than they gain...hey look MS invented the anti-ad :O

They plan to sell the ads to Sony and Apple!

The only thing that disturbs me . . . (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592061)

I'm an alpha tester for Vista's new ad popup feature. The only ads I've been seeing are for penile enlargement. HOW DO THEY KNOW???

Re:Adware to interrupt games??? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592173)

"Quick, get to the health fountain.... What the.. My character DIED so I can learn about Diet Caffeine Free Tab??"

Don't take this the wrong way, because you earned that +5 Funny but ... man, that's not funny. I'd be torqued into a pretzel if my OS did that to me.

This is becoming more and more analogous to product placements in TV shows, movies and yes, video games. They know we're skipping past the traditional advertising so now they're literally embedding it into the product, no way to get rid of it. Of course, we're buying into it, hook, line and sinker. Microsoft would just love to start making money from ads that are fully integrated into our "computing experience" and cannot ever be blocked, skipped or otherwise eliminated.

Really, that company has forgotten to whom this computer belongs. I don't rent it from Microsoft.

I See (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20590815)

I see you are rebooting again, click here to burn a Live CD, courtesy of Canonical.

May be something good will come out of this. (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590817)

One good thing about all these things is that, pretty soon people will be so horrified by the user experience in the Windows, they will be pushed into adopting Linux. After all it is the well integrated pop-up blocker that created the initial mass of downloads for Firefox.

Re:May be something good will come out of this. (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591115)

> One good thing about all these things is that, pretty soon people will be so horrified by the user experience in the Windows, they will be pushed into adopting Linux. After all it is the well integrated pop-up blocker that created the initial mass of downloads for Firefox.

The day after this patent is approved, Firefox may well be subject to an infringement claim. After all, you have to know something about how Microsoft's next-gen operating-system-generated pop-ups in order to block them.

My cynicism leads me to disagree. (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591895)

One good thing about all these things is that, pretty soon people will be so horrified by the user experience in the Windows, they will be pushed into adopting Linux.

Can you think of maybe one counter-example where intrusive advertising was forced on the mass market, and the mass market responded by forever rejecting that form of advertising in both that product and any future products? ...Not just a highly sensitive portion of the market, but the market as a whole?

I can't.

Instead, this will probably just inure the public to intrusive ads while using a computer just like we've become used to ads in every other part of our lives.

After all it is the well integrated pop-up blocker that created the initial mass of downloads for Firefox.

This is true, but I wouldn't rest too much on the idea that Firefox downloads have been massive. Firefox accounts for around 10% of the market as opposed to the roughly 85% that Internet Explorer takes. Users have by and large not bought into the need for pop-up blockers, and if most people were using the blocker pushed onto them in XP SP2, then we wouldn't even see pop-up ads around anymore.

Never underestimate the willingness of the public to put up with ads when the alternative is to spend a little more money or make a trivial effort to defeat them.

Patent means Nobody Else Can Use It! (2, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592093)

Usually I'm against software patents - they're not only usually overbroad, but they mean that if you invent something yourself that somebody else also invented and patented, you can't use your own work.


In this case, I'll make an exception - if MS patents this, then nobody else is allowed to use this kind of annoying interference with user experience :-)

Ideal Ad Opportunity (4, Funny)

bateleur (814657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590819)

advertising triggered by sequences of user actions
Hmm... maybe a Linux ad if you hit CTRL-ALT-DELETE more than three times in an hour?

Hints of a Free Windows (5, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590833)

This probably means that Microsoft is preparing a "Free as in ad supported" version of Windows for the day when FOSS starts taking over (FASS = Free, Ad Supported Software).

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (1)

Halow8888 (1140609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590909)

Oh, if you think your system was slow now.... If they started letting it be free, I can't imagine how much muck they'd claim was "justified" to offset the price you should be paying to use their 'wonderful' software. You try to run s simple game of solitaire: "Hey! You like this game? We have 50 billion other card games you could play, just give us your credit card, SSN, first born child..."

I have a better name than FASS (5, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590915)

How about "Community Released, Ad Supported Software"?

Re:I have a better name than FASS (3, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591049)

I prefer Completely Retarded Advertising Program, myself.

Re:I have a better name than FASS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20591173)

...which comes out of Ad Supported Software

Re:I have a better name than FASS (3, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591229)

Of coursed, that's linked with Binary-Only Web Enabled Libraries

Re:I have a better name than FASS (1)

patrixmyth (167599) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591949)

Of course, first it will have to pass through the Commercially Optimized Layered Operating Network.

Re:I have a better name than FASS (1)

kiltyj (936758) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592161)

But it won't get anywhere unless it squeezes through the Sub-Par Heuristic for Inspecting Non-Creative Technology that Elevates Revenue!

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590945)

Dude, he said fASS...

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20590947)

From the background secton of the text:

[0003] Advertising within software applications has become an increasing source of revenue. In particular, many software providers have turned to integrating advertisements within their software applications for the purposes of revenue generation. The revenue from fees paid by advertisers often allows software providers to offer software applications to users at a reduced price or even free of charge in some cases.
Maybe they will give it away. Still doesn't mean I'd ever install another MS operating system.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590991)

You beat me to it. That's immediately what I thought. They can't combat piracy effectively, there are other OSs out there that work just as well, and it's getting harder and harder to sell copies of their software, so this makes perfect sense.

My guess is that the more you spend for your copy of Windows in the future, the fewer ads you'll see (or the more ads you'll be able to disable).

I don't like it at all, and I'd rather have my OS be free as in "free" than add supported (or to pay for it and not see ads at all, in a setting where windows is required), but I can see how it might be attractive to certain individuals.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (0, Flamebait)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591019)

I hope that's what it's hinting at, because the alternatives really suck.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (2, Interesting)

flanksteak (69032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591077)

Agreed. If not for the wealthier markets but maybe for developing countries where the cost of Windows license can't be what it is US/Europe/Asia, etc.

It could also be a move towards a subscription system. Pay your annual Windows fee or not, either way we'll keep updating your box with patches and not worry about WGA. Just watch these ads if you don't want to pay us or while you're trying to straighten out the WGA validation failures.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20591345)

I'm sure MS is highly concerned about FOSS taking over the consumer desktop market. I mean, just look at the growth rate of linux on the desktop in the past 5 years. Also look at all the companies that are now producing desktop software for linux, and all the games now available.... Oh . . .

Not to be anti-FOSS (I use linux on many of my machines), but making statements like this is just stupid. You make it look like any day now FOSS will take over the OS market, and yet if anything the desktop share of linux has decreased due to people migrating away from desktop linux and over to mac OSX. That's not to say that Linux won't find it's place on servers and workstations. It already has, and the more "traditional" unix variants have been hurt significantly.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591539)

Or perhaps this is their answer to piracy.

Run windows with an invalid key.. get ads in your OS.
Run an illegal copy of a game.. get ads in your game.
Download copyright infringing music.. get ads in the middle of your music.

They would then sell their anti-piracy product to other companies... damn.. maybe I have patented that idea.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591573)

maybe I should have patented that idea.

Re:Hints of a Free Windows (3, Informative)

mattpalmer1086 (707360) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592075)

That's certainly a possibility. But if you read the patent, it describes a system that tracks user actions using a component with access to "global system state", across all applications, not just Microsoft applications or in the operating system itself. This means that software doesn't have to be modified to be ad aware - any software used on the machine can be tracked and used for this purpose.

This would allow Microsoft to turn Windows into an advertising channel, through which any software or service advertiser could sell ads, based on the kinds of things you do. The user action information could even be more valuable to them than the advertising for market research purposes (it does say that the user action information can be transmitted back to their servers).

Oh really? (3, Insightful)

PontifexMaximus (181529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590849)

And here I was thinking that was considered 'BAD' by security vendors, et al. Now MS is getting a patent for what looks to me like a OS supported Trojan Horse? Lovely. Yet another reason why I have 1 copy of windows at my house, for games, that's not connected to any network while it's on, and my other 12 systems run linux. Thank Linus for choice.

Re:Oh really? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591405)

People, patenting one technology doesn't necesarly means that you are going to USE it. Not at all. There are a LOT of patents that never get use. They are just: a property, defensive patents, maybe-for-the-future patents, part-of-a-bigger-picture patent, stupids patents, etc... So nothing to ses here... Geee... People need really need to exercise their brains nowdays...

Re:Oh really? (1)

KevMar (471257) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591663)

Honestly, I wish more companies would inovate then patten new adware methods.

Then use that to keep the others from using it.

Its about time! (3, Interesting)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590865)

Man, this kicks ass! I cant wait till MS actually implements this in windows. This is the kind of idea that could really spark a revolution.

Admittedly it would be better described as a revolt... by windows users, but whatever... if MS wants to shoot themselves in the foot they should go for it. And by patenting it the ensure that no other OS will follow suit.

Re:Its about time! (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591037)

I can't imagine Apple putting this is OS X anyhow. Ads are so tacky. If by some chance they did, anyone who wanted to advertise through it would have to hire one of three Apple-approved marketing firms to design the ad and it would have to be personally approved by Steve Jobs as pretty enough. And they'd be so tightly-integrated with the rest of the OS that you wouldn't even notice them there anyhow. Between the high barrier to entry and low clickthrough rate (because no one notices them), no one would bother with them anyhow.

Are MS-users really that dumb? (3, Interesting)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590869)

Can Microsoft really be arrogant enough to put such software into their OS? Is this just a shot off the bow, softening up the user so that when this is put into production they'll have less ability to complain about it?

I'm amazed that anyone would think that e-mail and games are worth have an ad forced into their face. But then, I'd rather be solving problems than trough-feeding.

Re:Are MS-users really that dumb? (2, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591409)

I don't think this is about users. Users aren't going to be Microsoft's main customers in a few years. Advertisers will and users will be the commodity. Microsoft is doing this to position itself as the next logical progression from television to the much talked about "convergence" device. Just because TV is becoming less and less relevant, doesn't mean that ads are going away.

Re:Are MS-users really that dumb? (2, Funny)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591571)

How soon we forget Clippy -- Now brought to you by Staples(tm).

See the forest and the trees (5, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590879)

These patents are being presented with Microsoft's long term business goals in mind- to integrate ads into the OS as they make their shift towards SaaS of the coming years and to integrate with Windows Live among other things... since they seem to think the thick client will go the way of the dodo (what morons, the real killer thin client is a portable pc, laptop, phone, etc.. not one without it's own OS and defined userspace) and they will be able to create a (for lack of a better word) layer or shim for advertising which they will charge for advertising on. Think of the "cloud" crap you keep hearing about from Mr. Ballmer.

The good news is, this will fail miserably similar to Netzero's old revenue model (when they first started). The bad news is, they have a larger money vault than Uncle Scrooge so they will recover and continue to make idiot ideas...

Re:See the forest and the trees (1)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591109)

You mean, the same business model as the G-Phone from Google? Everyone wants ad-supported software these days. It's THE mid-line between the people who want software that "just works" and also want it to be free.

Re:See the forest and the trees (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591389)

I've always thought Software As A Service would work better if you pay them a monthly fee for support calls, software patches, and system upgrades. If you stop paying, you stop getting service and updates, but your software continues to work as it always did. Kind of like amortizing the cost of the software over a number of months, but giving the user the ability to stop paying if they find out your support sucks, or if your updates don't come quick enough. Windows currently isn't a good option for the user, because there's a huge upfront cost, and they offer no support, and upgrades come when MS gets around to it.

Re:See the forest and the trees (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591547)

The good news is, this will fail miserably similar to Netzero's old revenue model (when they first started).

Not necessarily. I tried a couple of those 'free' ad supported ISP deals. I think AltaVista was one. A coupe of main problems with it were that it used far too much screen real estate (about 1/3 of the screen was gone, and that the dialup pipe was far too small to handle the amount of traffic all those big ads sucked up. I had a P133 laptop, and the poor thing couldn't keep up. The pipe and CPU were pegged, just trying to manage the ads. Couldn't do anything else with it.

Having said that, Google seems to do quite well with serving ads to the customer. Done right, and they could make it work.
Of course, they won't 'do it right', though.

Malware heaven (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590885)

Free pass from all OS safeguards, check.
Likely trivial exploit through video driver, check.
Protection from disabling by user, check.

Autoinstall of malware every time someone hits the start button, profit.

Anit-Piracy Use? (4, Insightful)

umStefa (583709) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590907)

My initial reaction to this was along the lines of it being just another possible plan by microsoft to gouge the consumer. However what if this is actually technology to fight piracy but minimize the effect on legitimate customers.

Microsofts current anit-piracy activites (i.e. the Vista Black screen of death) can cause a legitimate customers computer to become virutally in-operable when the malfunction. Imagine the following scenario however.

You can download and install Windows without any sort of licence key for free, but you will need to live with the pop-up ads which effectivly pay for the operating system. You would still have the option of purchasing a licence and thereby getting rid of the ads.

Would this be a legitimate (i.e. not evil) use of this patent?

Not just the good (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591055)

Would this be a legitimate (i.e. not evil) use of this patent?

You think they'll stop there?

Cable TV was supposed to be ad-free too.
(Now I don't watch TV, period.)

Re:Anit-Piracy Use? (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591111)

I think that something along these lines is exactly the intent of the patent. People here claiming that this is the end of windows and that Microsoft is planning on integrating this into the OS for paying customers are nuts. Corporate users, power users and novices alike would all hate it. Microsoft may be greedy, powerful, etc, but they aren't suicidal. Sorry linux fanboys... better luck next time! :)

I think so.. (2, Insightful)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591301)

Those where along the lines of my initial reaction. Microsoft embraces piracy to gain market share. Now they are working a little more seriously to stop it but at the same time the field is slowly but surely becoming more competitive. After failing to install a (duplicate) copy of XP on my laptop I simply chose to use Kubuntu. I'm not going to suggest that this would be a typical reaction from an average user right now, but in the mid to near-term it will increase. What you suggest would be a smart compromise that would keep the revenue flowing in the right (from their POV) direction. Annoying the affluent into purchasing products while still providing a revenue stream from users who will not or can not afford the price.

More likely, the cable model... (4, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591865)

More likely, you'll have to pay $19.95 to download Windows Ad Supported.

If you want to get rid of most of the ads, you'll have to pay an additional $189.95. After paying this fee, you'll only see the Microsoft Premiere Vendor(TM) ads. And only every other day.

To go completely ad-free, you'll have to buy a Premier Partner Subscription, with a one-time activation charge of $399.95 and monthly subscription fee of $19.95.

Microsoft's Modus Operandi (4, Insightful)

smclean (521851) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590923)

It's funny to see Microsoft use these same tactics over and over again. No matter who the competitor, they leverage their control of the OS to attack their competition.

Does anyone disagree that this patent is an expression of Microsoft applying this formula to supplant Google's dominance in advertising? I'm a little dubious as to its potential threat to Google, but time will tell.

This stinks like the preparations for advertising-supported Microsoft products.

A benign explanation? (5, Insightful)

jmaslak (39422) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590965)

Just maybe, perhaps, this will give MS a way of going after spyware and malware authors - on the basis of patent infringement.

It might not be a patent that they intend to use, except in the courts...anything that gets rid of Windows malware helps Microsoft, after all.

Re:A benign explanation? (1)

deviantphil (543645) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591701)

Unfortunately, said defendant could ounter-sue to invalidate the patent based on "prior work".

Maybe . . . (1)

homesteader (585925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590971)

Maybe since the US legal system is failing so miserably to protect consumers, MS is going to take down malware vendors with patent infringement cases.

Re:Maybe . . . (1)

homesteader (585925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591053)

In other news, 20590965, 20590971 and 20590979 were all thinking the same thing at the same time.

Maybe It's Defensive (2, Interesting)

yakmans_dad (1144003) | more than 7 years ago | (#20590979)

I'd like to think that they want to prevent anyone from doing this.

It's a thought.

Whitehat patents? (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591001)

While everyone here is thinking about this in a sinister fashion.. could this be a "whitehat patent"? That is, by patenting forms of adware, Microsoft can legally protect their OS from
such software -- giving them ammunition to use against the adware makers.

Riiiiiiiight.... (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591117)

Bill: "This is a whitehat patent, designed to stop evil."
Me: "Here's $50,000,000 if you'll pop up this little picture when the user does certain things."
Bill: "Yeahhhhhhhhhh...ok, so let's redefine 'evil' here..."

Re:Whitehat patents? (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591171)

I doubt it would work in that fashion. To dispute any such claim by microsoft, the adware companies have years of prior art.

Re:Whitehat patents? (1)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591451)

While everyone here is thinking about this in a sinister fashion.. could this be a "whitehat patent"? That is, by patenting forms of adware, Microsoft can legally protect their OS from such software -- giving them ammunition to use against the adware makers.

Yes it could be. No one knows for sure. Patent applicants do not have to disclose the business plans of the assignee. For all we know, Ewa Dominowska, the sole named inventor on this patent application, may have been working as a Microsoft researcher largely doing his own random interests rather than working towards the fulfillment of a sinister Microsoft plan to destroy the happiness of millions of gamers worldwide.

If /.ers are interested in discouraging adware and spammers, perhaps it would be a good idea to patent various methods of sending sending out ads and spamming. Then the people who create new adware and spamming software (not to mention their customers; people who presumably make use of these tools) without researching the patent system would risk stepping onto a patent landmine.

Google (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591027)

Maybe this is just to keep google from coming out with an ad supported os to compete with windows. So now they want to make google either pay M$, give it away for free, or charge people.

Google already has one. Just for phone not PC (1)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591237)

Google is doing ad-supported Operating System as well. They're just starting small with a phone instead of a PC. If they thought they could get in on the OS market i'm sure they would!!! It would be a VERy good idea for Microsoft to actually make an ad-supported version of Windows with access to the "anytime upgrade" feature of Vista. Smart marketing....shareware for operating systems.

Re:Google already has one. Just for phone not PC (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591309)

depends what kind of ads and how they do it. If someone looks at a lot of porn so they get a lot of ads for that type of stuff. Then his 10 year old kid gets on the computer and gets an ad for porn you have a problem on your hands.

I may be asking too much... (2, Interesting)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591035)

... from microsoft here, however it would be really nice if the goal of these patents was to provide annother means in which to legally interfear with future spam delivery methods. By patenting the techniques, they have legal ground to stop spammers using those techniques, even if through other laws the spammers have snuck by.

How to Beat the Patent Expiration Date (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591099)

Year 0: Patent A, a method to show ads.
Year 5: Patent B, a method to defeat A and block ads.
Year 10: Patent C, a method to defeat B and show ads.
Year 15: Patent D, a method to defeat C and block ads.
Year 20: Patent E, a method to defeat D and show ads.
Etc.

(Much like the phone company selling: caller ID - blocker - interceptor - blocker - interceptors). This way in any year you've got at least two pairs of ad showers/blockers available and protected under patents.

Also, patent this overall idea as a business method.

Why Wouldn't People Want This? (2, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591145)

Read my lips people. We live in the U.S.A. Anyone who lives in any other backwards countries need not apply to this discussion. Here in the U.S. we have this system called capitalism. It allows us to have a high standard of living and the best thing of all, it's FREE! We're trying to get the rest of the world to use the same system since it does wonders for the standard of living and politics. The U.S. is brimming with opportunity thanks to capitalism. Anyone can become a millionaire and what Microsoft is proposing is just giving everyone (who matters) a new tool with which to make even more money by showing your service or product to trillions of people on the planet. I think anyone who doesn't see this is probably just some backwards communist or socialist who wants to steal my property and redistribute it to people who don't matter. Kudos to Microsoft for arming capitalist with another powerful way of getting at other people's cash in exchange for our great services and products!

CEO and Christ Figure
of PhilthyLucre.com

Good for them! (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591147)

I absolutely support this. Nobody but Microsoft should be legally allowed to have the operating system spy on users and use that information to load the UI up with ads.

MS? The world will be a better place if they push this to the max and beyond.

os level pop up ad (1)

ralph1 (900228) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591255)

The final nail in microsofts coffin for me and everyone i know i said i will keep linux to my friends they said i will be buying a mac i said cool.

PATENT FOR "AD POP-IN SKIPPER" (1)

Tom Wozniak (1156395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591295)

United States Patent Application

Correspondence Name: FREEDOM, LIBERTY & PURSUIT(OH) L.L.P.;(c/o PUBLIC INTEREST)

Abstract

Skipping advertisements embedded within content based on user actions on a computing device is provided. The skipped advertisements are associated with products or services that disable or distract tasks that a user may be attempting to perform on the user device. User actions on the computing device are uninterrupted, and tasks that a user is likely attempting to perform are completed based on the user's actions. A determination is never made regarding whether any of these likely tasks are not currently enabled or may be enhanced. Advertisements are then plucked out and discarded for all tasks that are not currently enabled or may be detract the user from accomplishing said tasks or interfere with the overall user experience.

Yet another blessing... (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591323)

Every time I read a story like this, I think how glad I am that don't use MS Windows or any other MS product. It's like MS is trying to drive customers away.

Windows in China (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591337)

This would be a good alternative in places where people cannot afford windows.

Re:Windows in China (1)

strobe74 (617588) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591493)

If you can't afford windows how are you going to afford to buy the crap that you will be spammed with?

Food for thought.

Re:Windows in China (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591715)

Why didn't they patent this in, I don't know, China for that matter?
I mean with international treaties, do they need to patent in the us for a technology they don't plan to use there?

If they do this... (2, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591347)

I'm a big online UT player. Imagine the scenario:
You're been working to get really close to the objective, finally you've managed to dodge a whole team of really good defenders, you've only got at most two seconds to get the game-winning shot in and...
Some advertising pop-up appears right over your aiming cross and steals your keyboard and mouse input. You watch helplessy as in that moment you temporarily lose the opportunity to dodge the incoming hail of rockets and get killed.

The you read the stupid advert and find it is trying to sell you some stupid product that is totally irellevant to you.

The only (and I mean only) reason I have windows on my PC at all is for DX10 gaming. I dream of the day that DX10 is ported to Wine/Linux in which case I'll gleefully banish Windows from my PC forever. If MS actually make game-interfering pop-ups happen, that day will just come sooner.

Re:If they do this... (1)

Tipa (881911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591695)

Read the patent.

They wouldn't just lurk around waiting for bad moments to interrupt you. The patent covers watching what you're doing, and when you come to something you cannot do, or something you could be doing better, then the ad comes up.

For UT, it might be -- the game doesn't run or runs very badly because you have a crappy card (and it offers a selection of better cards), or your ping is so high that playing online is pointless (and it sends you ads about new ISP or service plans, or 802.11n wireless cards and routers, etc).

Yes, they will watch what you're doing and pop ads up. But the whole point of the patent is to NOT piss you off; it is to see that you're not having a good time, and they have suggestions on how to improve it.

I'm not a big fan of ads. But take Joe Gamer. He's about as far from hardcore as you can get, but likes shooters, goes online and gets plugged whenever he takes three steps, and lag has him totally unable to hit anything. He might actually be interested in ways to make the game run better.

Debian-based Linux distros have something like this now, though it's not ads and not for money. But if I type 'ssh' in my shell and have forgotten to apt-get it, it will tell me a selection of packages I could install to make 'ssh' work.

This is like the 'for-pay' version of that.

shami is the best (0, Offtopic)

shamii (1152459) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591477)

now its owrking fine i hope u got this message i will try to catch this

Don't want to use WGA? (1)

zen611 (903428) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591543)

Allow us to change your Vista install to Adware!

More kdawsonfud (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591595)

Read the patent. It uses a statistical model to analyze what the user is doing and suggest services the user might be interested in. Kinda like what Google ads does, but within a program.

The picture linked shows this in action. The user is processing images. The ad, which is enabled in the software, suggests photo development services of several clients.

From the patent,

Finally, in the screen display shown in FIG. 7, a user has navigated to a user interface 700 for accessing and viewing photos 702 stored on the user device. For example, the user may have downloaded photos 702 from a digital camera and may be viewing the photos in the user display 700. The system may determine based on these user actions that a likely task that the user would like to perform would be to send one or more of the photos 702 to an online photo development center. Additionally, the system may determine that the user does not currently have any particular online photo development service subscriptions. As such, the system has selected and presented a number of advertisements for online photo development services in a preview pane 704 of the user interface 700.

One particular application. Claiming it is 'adware' 'getting a pass from Windows Defender' is nothing but kdawsonfud, not the first and certainly not the last. All it is, an idea, not all that different from the targeted advertising provided by a certain search engine slashbots seem so quick to defend against all claims.

Consider the source (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591661)

I've learned while here, before freaking out about an article, to see who approved the article to be front-paged.

96% of the time, it's kdawson, which means I can pass it off as idiotic FUD and go about my day.

Thank you... (2)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591723)

This is the greatest boon to Linux I've ever seen.

COME ON. (2, Insightful)

qweqwe321 (1097441) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591749)

I know there's no shortage of Microsoft bashing here, but can we please stop modding the "ZOMG MICRO$OFT WANTS TO SELL YOU ADS ON YOUR DRMED VISTA LOLZ" trolls insightful? If Microsoft starts forcing ads on you, THEN it makes sense to start screaming and bitching and moaning about evil plans. Until then, it's just one more patent.

ahtsham (0, Offtopic)

shamii (1152459) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591891)

asghar

Interrupt game play? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591985)

Will this even interrupt online game play, where the game network keeps on running while your player gets beat to death and you lose all your treasures?

Could be good thing? (2, Insightful)

mobosplash (316006) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592045)

Didn't macrovision patent ways around their copy protection as a way to block their use? Perhaps this patent is a weapon to prevent ad techniques like this from being used.
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