News
News
7/28/2006
06:30 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Brief: Microsoft Patent Envisions Free Hardware, Software

Microsoft's latest patent application describes several possible applications for a targeted online advertising system under development.

In its showdown with Google for online advertising, Microsoft is contemplating giving away computers and even operating systems for people willing to view ads, a patent application filed last week shows.

The patent application, "Profitable free computing resources leveraging the advertising model," describes several possible applications for a targeted advertising system under development. It details the possibility of free or cut-rate computers for Microsoft's online customers, provided through a phone company, Internet service provider, or leasing company, with Microsoft presumably working with those partners to subsidize the cost and share online advertising revenue.

Most tantalizing is the idea of an entirely ad-supported operating system. "An operating system may be provided by an operating system developer for free," the patent application says. "Users may then receive advertisements for use of the free operating system." It goes on to detail how someone who doesn't want ads would purchase a full license, and someone who tolerates some ads may buy a "limited license or subscription." A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment further on the patent application.

Microsoft is serious about online advertising. This year, it bought Massive, a developer of technology for delivering ads inside video games, and last week it projected its online services revenue would grow between 7% and 11% in the coming fiscal year, to between $2.5 billion and $2.6 billion.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.