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Microsoft Seeks Another OS-Level Adware Patent 195

Posted by kdawson
from the why-share-the-revenue dept.
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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Microsoft Seeks Another OS-Level Adware Patent

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  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by porcupine8 (816071)
      Maybe the fact that there's a pop-up text ad for snapfish, walmart, and shutterfly photo developing hovering over the thumbnails?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Lanu2000 (972889)
      This image represents a file window (item 700) displaying pictures (item 702) with the ad window (item 704) shown.
    • Re:Ummm... what? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by antarctican (301636) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:20PM (#20591871) Homepage
      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.
      • 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.

      • ...if the malware is built into the OS on purpose by the manufacturer? I can just see my company's local server farm slowing to a crawl because the OS is trying to serve an ad for new SAN hardware from some outfit in Malaysia as a result of an alert sent out by the current hardware. Of course, that isn't exactly a realistic scenario. The technology will only be used to screw the little guy while the "Enterprise" edition will have the ability to disable the ads.
    • A week or so ago we had probelms of sound playing disturbing network trafric. Inmagine the extra overheads of processing adware.,
  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:25PM (#20590813) Journal
    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??"

    • by StressGuy (472374) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:38PM (#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.}

    • 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.
    • 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!
    • "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.
      • "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. "

        Than you. Slashdot users settled for "Funny" because there aren't mod codes for "torqued into a pretzel".

        But you might have found the next Mac/PC ad.

        Mac Gamer: "Quick! Drink the Mountain Dew Game Fuel!" (Click. Character saved.)
        WinPC Gamer: "Quick! Drink the Nourishing Fountain! ..."
    • Eh, I run WoW in windowed mode most of the time anyway, so a pop-up ad wouldn't interfere with my long stretches of running/riding/flying/boating around the world to gather my next 250xp quest :-(
  • I See (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:25PM (#20590815)
    I see you are rebooting again, click here to burn a Live CD, courtesy of Canonical.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:25PM (#20590817) Journal
    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.
    • by Tackhead (54550)
      > 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.

      • No, that's crap.

        Firefox does not block popups generated by Windows. It only blocks popups generated by websites, and even then, it's not really *blocking* them, it's just refusing to run that bit of code.

        Website: "Please open a new window, size 400x320, and load http://www.doubleclick.net/advertisement.gif [doubleclick.net] in it."
        Firefox: "No. Bugger off."

        Unless the popups are coming from the Firefox browser itself (which they won't be, in this patent... it says "OS level"), then Firefox will not be infringing.
    • 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 i
      • 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?

        Sure! For me at least, (but hardly the mass market example you are seeking). Public Radio and Television! Better content, no commercials. The only problem is that 95% of the public are too stupid to enjoy commercial free content or comprehend the fact that some of us REALLY don't c

        • by Grishnakh (216268)
          Hey, I care about what Britney Spears is up to these days! Not because I like her, but because I like laughing at how badly she's throwing her career down the toilet. It's funny, in a perverse way, watching a no-talent bimbo single-handedly destroy whatever career she had left, which she never deserved in the first place.

          Celebrity news is generally only interesting when they're spectacularly self-destructing.
      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        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.

        That's OK. Firefox may only have 10-20% of the browser market (I've definitely heard numbers higher than the 10% you
    • 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 :-)

      • No. Patent means if anyone else wants to use it, they have to pay the rightful inventor for the privilege. There are billions of ways to circumvent patents; just ask Microsoft. "Recycle Bin", "File-Exit", "Aero", "Gadgets"...just to name a few they ripped from one company alone.
    • by Grishnakh (216268)
      I for one am all in favor of this particular patent; I think it's a great thing, and I really hope Microsoft uses it as much as possible in future versions of Windows (and in current versions by incorporating it in the next Service Pack). Windows users should be stopping every 30 seconds or less to look at forced pop-up windows while they're trying to work, even (and especially) if they're corporate/business users on company time.

      Other posters are right: lots of customers are so stupid they won't change no
  • by bateleur (814657) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:26PM (#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?
  • by dsginter (104154) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:26PM (#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).
    • by StressGuy (472374) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:31PM (#20590915)
      How about "Community Released, Ad Supported Software"?
    • by ericrost (1049312)
      Dude, he said fASS...
    • by drakaan (688386)
      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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flanksteak (69032) *

      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.

      • by homer_s (799572)
        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.

        Businesses would not pay much for an ad targetting that demographic.
    • by click2005 (921437)
      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.
    • by mattpalmer1086 (707360) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:32PM (#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).

    • Or you could choose not to be a cheap-ass and actually buy an OS worth spending money on instead of using a crippled, ad-supported watered-down P.O.S Windows system. Too bad Microsoft doesn't have any offerings in that department.
  • Oh really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PontifexMaximus (181529) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:27PM (#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.
    • by KevMar (471257)
      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! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Altus (1034) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:28PM (#20590865) Homepage
    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.
    • 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 both
  • by Algorithmnast (1105517) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:29PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eno2001 (527078)
      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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by hanshotfirst (851936)
      How soon we forget Clippy -- Now brought to you by Staples(tm).
  • by jgarra23 (1109651) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:29PM (#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...
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      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 u
    • 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
  • Anit-Piracy Use? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by umStefa (583709) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:30PM (#20590907) Homepage
    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?
    • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JCSoRocks (1142053)
      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.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by msimm (580077)
      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 compromi
    • by gillbates (106458) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:19PM (#20591865) Homepage Journal

      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.

  • by smclean (521851) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:31PM (#20590923) Homepage

    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.

    • by querist (97166)
      Actually, I see something a bit more sinister...

      Imagine the use of this technology to allow MS to overwrite or replace ads? Now Google's ads will be downloaded but no-one will see them. No click-throughs. Reduced (or no) revenue for Google, and most likely no way to stop it from happening. Microsoft have control of the OS code and could easily make it (nearly) impossible to circumvent this. (OK, I know it is only a matter of time, but what I mean is that it would be quite difficult, involve hidden and chang
  • by jmaslak (39422) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:33PM (#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.
  • I'd like to think that they want to prevent anyone from doing this.

    It's a thought.
  • 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.
    • 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..."
  • ... 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.
  • 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
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:40PM (#20591145) Homepage Journal
    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
    • I guess I'm a commie socialist then... I'm all for capitalism, as long as people making money off of millions of idiots out there don't impose their idiotic schemes on me without my ability to, a) think about the service that is being "offered", and b) flatly reject said stupid offer.

      FTFP (p for patent)...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...

      So am I to presume that Vi

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • If they do this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @12:52PM (#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.
    • by Tipa (881911)
      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
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        Don't attribute to malice what can be accounted for by bugs.

        If it's a Microsoft implementation, massive unintended consequences are to be expected.
  • More kdawsonfud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by everphilski (877346) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:07PM (#20591595) Journal
    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.
    • The user is processing images. The ad, which is enabled in the software, suggests photo development services of several clients.

      How precisely is this NOT adware? The user hasn't asked Google or Microsoft or anyone else for photo processing services. The user may not have any intention of asking for information. The user is simply being interrupted in the middle of working with another program with an ad.

      interrupted

      Google has never interrupted me. No popups. Not even any interstitial ads.

      in another program

      I'
  • 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.
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon&gamerslastwill,com> on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:14PM (#20591723) Homepage Journal
    This is the greatest boon to Linux I've ever seen.
  • COME ON. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by qweqwe321 (1097441)
    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.
    • It's made of lose either way. Either Microsoft loses for getting ready to roll out more crapware, or Microsoft loses for applying for stupid patents.
  • 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?

  • by mobosplash (316006)
    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.
  • Simple solution, and one I've been advocating for years now.

    Never give a Windows box access to the internet. Ever.

    Play your games on it, use MS Word, whatever. But if you must hit the ol' intertubes - use Linux. Or Mac OS. Hell, even your C64. ANYTHING but your Windows box.

  • While you playing a game Clippy pops up and says "I see that you are playing blank to do you want help?"

    replace blank with a type of game Like if you are hitting and holding the shift keys a lot then he may say "I see that you are playing pinball to do you want help?"
  • Will 1337-5n1per kill the other player with one shot?

    Stay tuned! More on this, right after this break....
  • So will this ad technology get a free pass from Windows Defender?

    Of course it will. And expect a fresh dose of malvare on every level your character reaches in your favourite rpg.
  • Digging deeper ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sgunhouse (1050564) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @04:15PM (#20595109)
    Maybe I'm dreaming, but I think I see something different here ...

    When I see discussions involving ads, who do I really think of? No, not MS - Google. Sounds to me like MS is patenting stuff that they expect Google to want.

    No, MS could never sell a version of Windows with OS-level adware in it (unless they plan to give it away and pay for it with the ads, but I doubt it) so instead I see ammuntion for their upcoming battle against the still-mythical GoogleOS. If Google has to pay MS licensing fees for components of GoogleOS, then MS wins no matter which product people use.
  • I highly doubt they want to insert the most annoying ads known into at the worst possible time and ruin the user experience.

    They probably patented it so that adware companies cannot legally create such software.
  • Ad Supported Windows (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @04:56PM (#20595689)
    Personally, I think these efforts are going to result in an ad supported edition of Windows. While it will be the horrific user experience everyone here predicts, I also predict it will be entirely optional.

    Merely, that when it comes time to buy a computer, you can get Vista Home Basic Ad-supported edition for free, or Vista Ultimate for $500.00 with the ability to make proper backups, support for encryption, and no built-in adware.

    It would be an interesting development. How would linux fare in the home market if a version of Windows were "free", and you could install it on as many computers as you wanted without violating the license?

    How many people would pay for the 'ad-free' version?

    Food for thought.

    I don't think Microsoft is being evil. I think its smart, and good business.

    I wonder if someone will release an ad supported linux distro, where the ads cover the cost of providing support. So you can get Linux with community support for free, or ad-Linux with, phone support, and remote-access technicians fluent in your language of choice.

    It will be FOSS, so anyone who wants to can disable the ads, but doing so of course will terminate your support service.

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