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Microsoft's Hidden Windows 8 Feature: Ads 635

Posted by timothy
from the let's-call-it-a-feature dept.
MojoKid writes "Despite the fact that I've been using Windows 8 for the past three weeks, I somehow managed to overlook a rather stark feature in the OS: ads. No, we're not talking about ads cluttering up the desktop or login screen (thankfully), but rather ads that can be found inside of some Modern UI apps that Windows ships with. That includes Finance, Weather, Travel, News and so forth. On previous mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android, seeing ads inside of free apps hasn't been uncommon. It's a way for the developer to get paid while allowing the user to have the app for free. However, while people can expect ads in a free app, no one expects ads in a piece of software that they just paid good money for."
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Microsoft's Hidden Windows 8 Feature: Ads

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  • Just... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:04AM (#41919117)
    send Microsoft your monthly Internet bill, so they can pay for the bandwidth those ads use.
  • Who cares (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:04AM (#41919123)

    It's all of those silly Bing! apps that nobody wants to use anyway. Stop being a crybaby.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:10AM (#41919189)

    You paid MS to license Windows8. You didn't buy a copy. Ergo, you are agreeing to pay MS a specified sum of money to view ads which happen to come with programs that you can also use.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:10AM (#41919191)

    Is there, or has there ever been, ANY reason why you would put Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop? There's not a single positive new feature or advantage of it that I've heard of. And I'm being serious, I really haven't heard one thing it does new or better than 7.

    Phones/Tablets, I can understand, but why would you on a desktop or laptop?

  • Re:EULA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:12AM (#41919233)

    I can hardly believe this article was posted without researching the EULA. I would imagine it addresses this new feature. If it does, that's not news (other than the usual EULA hilarity). If it does not, that's news.

    The only thing that's "news" here is the rather unbelievable concept that you actually think people read EULAs anymore. Even if it did address it, chances are the words "built-in ads" are summed up inside three paragraphs of legalese that no one understands anyway.

  • by Farmer Pete (1350093) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:15AM (#41919271)
    You paid money for the OS. When an OS component has an ad, feel free to get angry. In the meantime, get over it. You don't have to use Microsoft free software. You can choose to download your own. Hell, this is Slashdot, you should be making your own, releasing the source, and publishing it to the Microsoft Store. Anyone who's unboxed a new computer will know that this is true. You just paid ______ computer company $____ for a computer! How dare they install advertisements, trialware, and crap software on your computer! Same issue, different company.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:16AM (#41919289) Homepage Journal

    Is there, or has there ever been, ANY reason why you would put Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop?

    Because the store no longer sells computers with Windows 7 perhaps?

  • Re:Kind of sleezy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WilliamGeorge (816305) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:17AM (#41919299)

    Disclaimer: I don't like ads; in fact, I generally hate them.

    However...

    Do you think Apple doesn't 'embed' a music store in their OS? Doesn't iTunes come pre-installed on both MacOS and iOS?

  • by Shrike Valeo (2198124) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:17AM (#41919319)

    This gives me a gut feeling all the programs you install could be used for ads more targeted than ever before....

    Forget your search history, these could use data from your whole internet history, downloads, desktop, start menu...

  • Re:Kind of sleezy (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:18AM (#41919325)

    Like the frog in the water, the gradually increasing temperature seems forever just barely tolerable. Jump out, my amphibious friend! There is world outside the pot!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:29AM (#41919495)

    "You paid money for the OS. When an OS component has an ad, feel free to get angry. In the meantime, get over it. You don't have to use Microsoft free software."

    "You paid money... Microsoft free software"

    "paid money... free software"

    "paid... free"

    ?!

    You just paid for it... how is it free?

  • Re:EULA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Capt.Albatross (1301561) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:30AM (#41919501)
    Covering it in the EULA does not necessarily make it either reasonable or unremarkable.
  • Re:M$ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Huggs (864763) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:43AM (#41919723)

    However, while people can expect ads in a free app, no one expects ads in a piece of software that they just paid good money for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:44AM (#41919749)

    No, "(GBP)inux" and "Appl(EUR)" aren't quite the same as "M$". Microsoft started out as a publisher of interpreters of the line-numbered BASIC programming language. Names of string variables in early BASIC always ended in $, making LET M$ = "Microsoft" valid code. What language are you talking about that uses the symbol for GBP or EUR?

    Both Java and JavaScript allow the pound sign and euro sign in variable names, there are probably others.

  • Re:Kind of sleezy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgd (2822) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:02PM (#41920005)

    Do you think Apple doesn't 'embed' a music store in their OS? Doesn't iTunes come pre-installed on both MacOS and iOS?

    Yeah, but neither the iTunes player nor the store show me ads.

    You launch the music player, you play music. You launch the music store, and it will show you stuff to buy.

    This is ads embedded in the native apps ... which is a whole different thing.

    Of course iTunes does -- the whole right column in the display is ads trying to get you to buy music related to what you've got, or complete the album the music is from, etc ...

  • Re:Just... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:05PM (#41920055)

    Microsoft will send you the bill for their licensing of Reuters etc.

    This is a stupid non-story. The reason Microsoft has ads (besides a desire to make money) is that these features are delivering content that costs money. Stock symbols don't just magically tell you their value, you have to subscribe to someone who host's live stock tickers. You have to pay Reuters, the WSJ and New York Times to publish their news stories. You have to pay the Weather channel to provide you with detailed hourly forecasts and historical data.

    Microsoft is providing a premium service through the ad supported apps. And these are also applications which aren't a part of the core OS experience. If you don't want them... uninstall and pick another app without ads.

  • Re:Kind of sleezy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:11PM (#41920157) Homepage

    Of course iTunes does -- the whole right column in the display is ads trying to get you to buy music related to what you've got, or complete the album the music is from, etc ...

    Which is trivially collapsed and never seen again.

    TFA is talking about full page ads, and the weather application showing ads for hair products.

    As I said, a whole different thing.

  • Re:EULA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:14PM (#41920199) Journal
    I knew this was coming the moment i saw ads on the new XBox interface and was further reinfirced when MS did everything they could for you to NOT be able to diasable 'Metro'. First and foremost, Metro is there FOR OTHER PEOPLE to use your computers' resources.
  • by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@NospAM.gmail.com> on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:46PM (#41920737)

    I don't believe that hosts is faster than adblock, which blocks content before the domain name is resolved. Firefox goes through a process to decide whether and how to send a request, which ABP uses. Benchmark it for me.

    Also, why should I trust a piece of closed-source software with my DNS records?

    If you're dynamically updating a hosts file, it would seem that you are reinventing the square wheel -- this is what a DNS cache is for. A local DNS caching server is going to be just as fast, and much more flexible. You can run one on your desktop, or have it on a separate machine, and either way you can route all other DNS requests to it, instead of having a script running on each machine. They support dynamic blacklists [wikipedia.org] as well, and you can match wildcard addresses (e.g. *.malwareserver.com). What is the problem with using tools designed for this purpose?

    You mention the home address. The problem with 127.0.0.1 isn't that it it's slower. The problem with it is that it's a valid IP address, usually for a local web server. If there is a server listening, it will process the request.

  • Re:Just... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:54PM (#41922077)

    The OS doesn't have ads; it's a couple built-in (Metro) apps you probably won't ever use after that one time you open them to see what they are. I agree it's an asinine move, but it's one that won't affect most users.

  • by fph il quozientatore (971015) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:04PM (#41922251) Homepage

    you are agreeing to pay MS a specified sum of money to view ads which happen to come with programs that you can also use.

    It doesn't seem much different from cable TV, if you put it this way.

  • A Pathetic Kook (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@NospAM.gmail.com> on Thursday November 08, 2012 @08:25PM (#41927201)

    No, Adblock does not parse the webpage first. It blocks the request before the networking stack even gets involved. Get that one through the mass of granite that passes for your mind.

    We're talking about two small pieces of software that both do one thing very well. That whole Unix concept, you know? Versus your hosts file and associated updating program, which are both larger and slower than their equivalent replacements.

    If you don't know how to benchmark DNS requests, what the hell are you doing writing a DNS caching server?
    Firefox's web engine keeps statistics on how long DNS requests take. So do most other browsers. Do three tests:

    1. 1. Control. Load a web page normally (disable browser/file cache). Mark down how long DNS resolution takes, and how long the whole page takes to load.
    2. 2. Test: Block the domain using the hosts file. Mark down how long DNS resolution takes.
    3. 3. Test: Unblock the domain. Install Adblock Plus. The file is not requested (DNS resolution = 0ms). Time how long the page takes to load. Compare to control.

    Repeat 10x. A small hosts file was only 3ms slower per request; I shudder to think what yours is like.

    You keep mentioning "indexing". Maybe because it's a concept you're familiar with. It has nothing to do with anything being discussed, except in your mind.

    How big is your app? How big is your hosts file? How can you say that other solutions consume more resources if you don't now how much you use?

    Adblock is faster. So is a real DNS cache. The combination is more secure -- you can block far more things far more easily. That is, everything that you can do with a hosts file, plus many things that you can't.

    My accomplishments include being able to read documentation and come up with numbers that prove that you've been completely wrong about this for what, a decade now? Hell, you can't even read my posts, you keep repeating the same busted ideas over and over again. I've given you links, benchmarks, and examples, and you've linked to your own posts and yelled a lot.

    Really, everyone knows that you're a retarded troll, and let's face it, you know it too. When the windows desktop dies, you won't even have this rant any more.

    Poor APK. The hosts file is the only thing he knows, and he doesn't even understand that. You know, that's sad. I feel bad, really I do. Like I was trying to take candy away from a special needs toddler.

    Tell you what. I'll take these naughty benchmarks away, and then you can live in your little APK bubble with your little APK friends, and you and the hosts file can play together all day long!

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:33PM (#41928261) Journal

    How about we just cut the "M$" bullshit and speak like adults, how about that? That bit was fucking old when Win95 was new, its even lamer now. If you don't want to type the name or be snarky just use MSFT which is the stock ticker, it lets you be snarky without looking like some loser that figured out how to look up memes last week.

    As for TFA....Is it possible that Ballmer is shorting the stock? or is he just THAT incompetent as a CEO? I know Forbes labeled him worst CEO but I didn't think he was also the most retarded, the kind of shit he's been pulling lately frankly reminds me of the PHB from Dilbert, in fact if you'd have told me about turning the desktop into a giant cell phone, pushing ads onto the paid version, and trying to force touch to be the primary interface when less than 4% of the desktops that ship NOW have touch, much less the hundreds of millions of laptops and desktops MSFT wants to upgrade? i would have honestly thought you were simply ripping off a Dilbert strip.

    I mean Good God, look at the man's "accomplishments" during his tenure, rushing the X360 out with a 2 billion dollar flaw, spending 8.5 billion of Skype thus making sure the carriers treat WinPhone like an STD wrapped in AIDS infected needles, Zune, Kin, killing PlaysForSure and soon Windows Messenger, Windows 8 forcing desktops to have a cellphone UI...its a fucking trainwreck over there, he is making the reign of the Pepsi guy at Apple look good by comparison.

    If the board doesn't get his fat sweaty clueless ass out of the big chair in the next year and a half i could see them becoming another RIM, a company only holding onto legacy markets while the rest of the world forgets they even existed. Hell the ONLY things that are saving his ass on the desktop is that Apple has no desire to own the low end and the Linux devs won't quit futzing with critical subsystems long enough for it to become stable, otherwise they might be in trouble even there.

    I know I've been hearing from a LOT of customers lately just to make sure i could still get Win 7, nobody wants that damned Win 8 and after 2 billion in ads they sold just 4 million copies...that's $500 for every $40 sale. talk about a waste of advertising money! As a retailer I'm just glad Win 7 is good until 2020 and is solid as a rock, hopefully fatass will be "pursuing other interests" before Win 9 comes out so someone with a functioning brain can right the ship. as it is now its as retarded as someone slapping a $100K sticker on a Ford and thinking that means it can compete with Ferrari...nope, it just means you run off the market you had in pursuit of a market that doesn't want your product...brilliant move Ballmer, just fucking brilliant. I can see why they pay you the big bucks.

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