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Windows 7 Desktops Will Host 3rd-Party Ads

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

Windows 7 will get 3rd-party advertising by way of desktop themes and IE8 add-ons.

Is it a step towards a free OS? That may or may not be the case with a decision by Microsoft to sell desktop real estate in Windows 7. The advertisements, announced over the weekend, will come in the form of sponsored desktop themes from the likes of Twentieth Century Fox, Porsche, Coca-Cola, Infinity, and more. Currently the upcoming program is in beta, with plans to roll out the official version in October 2010.

There will be two versions of the advert-laced themes. The first type, Windows Theme Experience, is a collection of add-ons and gadgets for Windows 7 and Windows Vista; it can also apply to Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft's websites. This program allows the advertiser to offer backgrounds, audio, and gadgets. Windows Personalization Gallery, the other advertising program, lets advertisers provide OS specific items such as slide shows, borders, desktop backgrounds, and application audio elements. 

"The new Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery in Windows 7 allow consumers to customize their technology to reflect the things in life they are most passionate about," said Darren Huston, corporate vice president of the Consumer & Online organization at Microsoft. "These are great examples of Microsoft innovation and technology coming together to enable top global brands to reach audiences in new and interesting ways."

Microsoft said that the Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery are available globally, and various themes can be viewed by heading here. Obviously Microsoft isn't forcing advertisements down the throats of its consumers.  However, this may be a step in that eventual direction.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    pocketdrummer , November 17, 2009 1:36 AM
    I'll never obtain a copy of Windows legally again if they put ads on my desktop without my consent, or if more apps have ads due to this than those that do not...

  • 12 Hide
    ElectroGoofy , November 17, 2009 1:12 AM
    When I read the headline, I thought "Oh man, they better not..." but when I read that it was through optional themes, as in wallpapers and stuff, that is completely OK with me. I don't like the idea that it could possibly lead to mandatory ads, though.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    winner4455 , November 17, 2009 1:08 AM
    Wait... Are you telling me that we can now get wallpapers for your favorite game/band/etc OFFICIALLY??? =o
  • 12 Hide
    ElectroGoofy , November 17, 2009 1:12 AM
    When I read the headline, I thought "Oh man, they better not..." but when I read that it was through optional themes, as in wallpapers and stuff, that is completely OK with me. I don't like the idea that it could possibly lead to mandatory ads, though.
  • 0 Hide
    WINTERLORD , November 17, 2009 1:25 AM
    well once everyone buys it and they rake in there profit maybe they will just give it free toeveryone and instead of having a uac it will be an add pop up yes or no choice... wtf
  • 14 Hide
    pocketdrummer , November 17, 2009 1:36 AM
    I'll never obtain a copy of Windows legally again if they put ads on my desktop without my consent, or if more apps have ads due to this than those that do not...

  • 6 Hide
    SAL-e , November 17, 2009 1:49 AM
    If I remember Apple got the patent for that! It will be interesting to watch the fight from the side line! LOL
  • 7 Hide
    seraphimcaduto , November 17, 2009 1:54 AM
    You mean the couple hundred we pay for the OS isn't enough?!
  • 2 Hide
    JMS3096 , November 17, 2009 1:59 AM
    Jeez, RTFA....this is about optional wallpapers and stuff for a product you like- for example, I LIKE my official, high-resolution Ferrari theme.
  • 0 Hide
    cabose369 , November 17, 2009 2:00 AM
    They can't do that! They would be sued by Apple because Apple patented putting ads in their OS remember???
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 17, 2009 2:04 AM
    It's already set in stone, it WILL be forced on you eventually... Linux FTW IMHO...
  • 1 Hide
    yrmoma , November 17, 2009 2:04 AM
    Is it ever enough?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 17, 2009 2:32 AM
    Just MSs way of telling Apple what every 1st year patent lawyer knows: Apple's patent is (laughably) unenforceable.
  • 1 Hide
    wira020 , November 17, 2009 2:36 AM
    SAL-eIf I remember Apple got the patent for that! It will be interesting to watch the fight from the side line! LOL


    yerp, as i remember apple was applying for the patent... dont think they have it yet tho... but it could be different in terms of application... apple could have something else to do in their mind...
  • 3 Hide
    gayan , November 17, 2009 2:53 AM
    A world without ADs.... I m a dreamer...
  • 1 Hide
    DjEaZy , November 17, 2009 2:58 AM
    ... it's time for adblock the windows7 edition...
  • 5 Hide
    gsacks , November 17, 2009 3:59 AM
    Well, I use Ubuntu Linux on 2 out of 3 machines in my house. If this is really the direction that Windows is going, then it will be 3 out of 3 pretty quickly.
  • 4 Hide
    Glorian , November 17, 2009 4:13 AM
    Why does everyone assume its going to become mandatory, they only made that statement at the end to get all the dumb asses panties in a bunch. If you don't want don't get it. Windows 7 will run fine with out it.
  • 2 Hide
    dreamer77dd , November 17, 2009 4:36 AM
    people get all up in arms so quickly it makes me laugh. If they did that I think they loose more customers and they know that. They don't need vista and more problems with customers. I think of it as, Call Of Duty T-shirts with Windows logo on them stuff like that. The more people see people using windows 7 the more they think it is ok or a good piece of software.
  • 0 Hide
    archange , November 17, 2009 4:47 AM
    Well, if themes and wallpapers are concerned, it's OK by me - they are optional anyway. Should the ads become embedded in the OS, I will wait for the patch that will remove them all :D 
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , November 17, 2009 4:49 AM
    There is no requirement to download and install any of that stuff. Everyone will be just fine without it.
  • -1 Hide
    cyberkuberiah , November 17, 2009 4:49 AM
    gsacksWell, I use Ubuntu Linux on 2 out of 3 machines in my house. If this is really the direction that Windows is going, then it will be 3 out of 3 pretty quickly.


    yes , brother , this move is a step closer to captive advertising .
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