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Microsoft contemplating free ad supported Windows

     
1:30 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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CNet article [news.com.com]
Although no specific plans have been made, executives within Microsoft are examining whether it makes sense to release ad-supported versions of products such as Works, Money, or even the Windows operating system itself
...
An ad-supported version of the operating system could make some sense, the Microsoft researchers argue in their Thinkweek piece, noting that the product reportedly earns $9 per year per user.

"It seems possible that we could match that revenue via ads, but there are difficult UI (user interface) issues to solve, since the OS does not have a natural way to display ads that does not annoy users," the Microsoft workers said in the paper.


As the article clearly states this is just an idea being thrown around at MS brainstorming sessions. However it does show that future versions of Windows may not be offered the same way they always have. The threats from the Open Source community are clear here. MS may not be able to remain competitive with its current business model for much longer.
2:12 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Certainly ads in the browser would work ..lot of people used operea before it went free ..here in France we used to have an ISP that gave free connection subsidised by ads ..it didn't last but then it didn't have Bills money ..

page 2 of the article is very interesting ..

7:23 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Please...no! IoI...
7:59 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It doesnt seem like a bad thing, unless thats the only way they will offer the programs (which is highly unlikely).

If you dont want the ads pay for it, if you cant afford the program deal with the ads. Makes perfect sence to me.

8:02 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Good idea - no more license worries and I can just block the ads from appearing.
8:08 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting...and no doubt related to the Google Effect.

To make this work, I would think they would need to 'own' the advertisers so they could avoid giving up the X percent on the backend to a provider. If it's going to work, then the new MSN PPC advertising product is going to have to be a success first.

How long until I can get a 'free' advertiser supported laptop or PC?

-bB

8:48 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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no way. I rather pay once, instead of seeing 1000 ads a day.
9:07 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What's so different this time which makes everyone think that FREE stuff would survive?

Manay ad supported services which were launched in 2000 did not survive for long.

9:42 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well most would pay, but it would have a massive effect on the piracvy industry.

Mack.

10:36 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can just block the ads from appearing
it would have a massive effect on the piracy industry

:) yeah, very massive. I wonder how many days later there will be a program available (hehe, could be also ad-supported) that will just block ads out.

10:56 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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piracvy industry

Love the "typo" mack ..whom were you thinking of?..;)

1:21 am on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think most people would go for this, since teh typical windows user is riddled with pop up ads from spyware anyway. Now they can at least save $120 on licensing their ad-infested OS ;)

Chip-

11:06 am on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I hope they make Powerpoint ad supported :) 2006 may be the year of mr. softy....
12:28 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How long would it be until we get adware/spyware which not only shows it's own popup ads like they do now but also takes over microsofts ad mechanism?
10:44 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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With the announcement today from MIT about the $100 laptop due sometime 2006/2007, the Windows license alone could be more expensive than the entire PC. And because this would be targeted at education in developing nations, you'd have a whole generation of educated low-cost labor who don't necessarily assume Windows needs to be part of a PC.
12:05 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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BostonBeans --

"If it's going to work, then the new MSN PPC advertising product is going to have to be a success first."

I think if Microsoft actually deployed an ad-based Windows, advertisers would flock to it, to a degree unprecedented in human history. Such a platform would ensure the success not only of the ad-based Windows but a thousand other systems that would spin-off and use the same advertiser network. (Just like Google is doing with their stable of advertisers.)

3:31 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But if your targetting ads at people to stingy or poor to afford the OS or other basic software then you aren't going to have much luck getting them to buy something online are you?

as for ad supported office...

Hi I'm clippy the paper clip.
I see your writing a letter...
perhaps you would like to shop online for a microsoft keyboard or a more comfortable chair?

11:56 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's about how stingy the audience for this type of Windows would be. I think it's about how low the price point is being driven for hardware. Eventually, the OEM software license will be driven so low right along with it that Windows would have to be as good as free anyway. So, for Microsoft to recoup some of the losses, they'll need an alternative revenue stream. Don't underestimate the socially transforming power the $100 MIT laptop is going to have.
1:26 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think MS is preparing for the eventual free, high quality OS that is surely in the offing from Google.
3:00 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> free, high quality OS (from Google)

Easier said than done.

Let's be honest: Windows has gotten so much better. I just bought a new computer and I'm amazed at how easy it is now. Maybe because I remember the days when I had 16 disketes with Windows 3.1. Now whatever gadget I add, is recognized and added automatically.

1:08 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think MS is preparing for the eventual free, high quality OS that is surely in the offing from Google.

So, will they call it Googlix or Googlux? Will it come with or without spyware?

In 1994, IBM made a huge mistake. If they had chosen to give OS2 Warp away free, they'd have all but killed Microsoft. I'm not sure that the opportunity will arise again.

Kaled.

1:13 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Great idea (as long as I can still buy ad free commercial versions).

TJ

6:06 am on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oh no, that's just another idea along the same lines of 'free internet,' anyone remember the days?

Here we go again, I feel it coming, a few more years and it's dot BOOOOOOOM all over again...

sigh...