Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Apple Patents Putting Ads Into the OS

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 70 comments
Tags :

Buckle up, 'technology fans'! While Microsoft launches Windows 7 today, Apple may be quietly working on an ad-supported Mac OS X.

The concept of advertising-supported services are nothing new. Magazines that you buy and television shows that you watch are largely subsidized by advertising. Even the web publication that you're reading now is supported largely through advertising (thanks our wonderful sales team who leaves editorial completely independent).

But what about ad-supported software? That's also nothing new, as some of the free software we use today on our computers feature ads in some form. Apple could be exploring uncharted territory with an ad-supported operating system.

In a patent originally submitted last year, Apple details a system where ads are presented to the user of the operating system. Unlike ad-supported applications, the ads are pervasive throughout the OS. The end result could end up being the ultimate nag ware, but the tradeoff is an OS that's at a reduced cost or completely free.

The abstract reads:

Among other disclosures, an operating system presents one or more advertisements to a user and disables one or more functions while the advertisement is being presented. At the end of the advertisement, the operating system again enables the function(s). The advertisement can be visual or audible. The presentation of the advertisement(s) can be made as part of an approach where the user obtains a good or service, such as the operating system, for free or at reduced cost.

Macnn has some diagrams that show that it may be possible for users to control when the ads display, along with the option to delay them. Crafty hackers would probably find a way to disable ads altogether, but such an ad-supported system could lead to more affordable public internet terminals and kiosks.

Discuss
Display all 70 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 35 Hide
    dlux , October 22, 2009 5:52 PM
    Good Lord, it's bad enough that every website on the internet is basically flooded with ads on the top, bottom, sides, pop ups, pop outs, and whatever else they use on the page, but now they want me to see ads before I'm bombarded with them?

    Where does this end? Sorry but no thanks, I'd pay full price for an OS before this ridiculousness.
  • 31 Hide
    hixbot , October 22, 2009 5:58 PM
    Well, if they hold a patent for such a nuisance, perhaps that will deter other Operating Systems from following suit.
  • 30 Hide
    magicandy , October 22, 2009 5:51 PM
    As if I need another reason to keep not buying their OS...
Other Comments
  • 30 Hide
    magicandy , October 22, 2009 5:51 PM
    As if I need another reason to keep not buying their OS...
  • 35 Hide
    dlux , October 22, 2009 5:52 PM
    Good Lord, it's bad enough that every website on the internet is basically flooded with ads on the top, bottom, sides, pop ups, pop outs, and whatever else they use on the page, but now they want me to see ads before I'm bombarded with them?

    Where does this end? Sorry but no thanks, I'd pay full price for an OS before this ridiculousness.
  • 23 Hide
    dlux , October 22, 2009 5:54 PM
    p.s. (obligatory) Apple sux lolololol
  • 31 Hide
    hixbot , October 22, 2009 5:58 PM
    Well, if they hold a patent for such a nuisance, perhaps that will deter other Operating Systems from following suit.
  • 9 Hide
    cyberkuberiah , October 22, 2009 5:58 PM
    ubuntu anyone ? pure computing ! it runs Godspeed on my pentium 4 2.4 ghz , 512 ddr1 333 ram and 80 gb sata hdd and compiz fuzion on an old nvidia 6600 agp 4x. no ads , no viruses , i use it for online banking exclusivel y . but yes i took a while to get used to linux environment !
  • 16 Hide
    dedhorse , October 22, 2009 6:00 PM
    Awesome, Apple rules. Cause our lives aren't filled with enough annoying morons trying to sell us crap, lets pile on more.

    "...but such an ad-supported system could lead to more affordable public internet terminals and kiosks."

    Lol, cause there are no free OS's today, right? L.I.N.U... Someone finish the rest, I'm tired.
  • 22 Hide
    falconqc , October 22, 2009 6:01 PM
    Apple is the devil.

    You will first need to pay the apple tax to get their hardware, just to have the privilege of having your computer show you ads. Good luck with that.

    Good thing they patented it, wouldn't want others getting a hold of your ridiculous idea.
  • 4 Hide
    Honis , October 22, 2009 6:05 PM
    I do not believe Apple will ever put ads in their OS. This will probably go in the vault to be pulled out later to troll any competing OS that tries to support itself with ads. In other words, some guy on the patent team looked at the obvious and sent in a patent to see if it would be accepted.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2009 6:13 PM
    "could lead to more affordable public internet terminals and kiosks"

    Linux?
  • 0 Hide
    gekko668 , October 22, 2009 6:14 PM
    If apple does that I can see their stocks plummeting immediately.
  • 11 Hide
    i_like_pie , October 22, 2009 6:14 PM
    yup, we see enough advertisements in our daily lives - how about those hyperlinks that are tagged onto random words on a page!!! It's like navigating a mine field!
  • 11 Hide
    buwish , October 22, 2009 6:26 PM
    At least Apple got to it first; won't have to worry about it with Windows for awhile.
  • 5 Hide
    tester24 , October 22, 2009 6:27 PM
    Yeah but when commercials pop up during shows I can change channels I can't just change OS's because you can't have a Mac virtual machine. Its bad enough that I have to deal with crappy advertisements that pop up when I'm trying to read an article or waiting to go to a site but I can get away from it by clicking away. This sounds like it wont let you do that...
  • 5 Hide
    Camikazi , October 22, 2009 6:39 PM
    I so hope a program that works like AdBlock and NoScript gets created if this becomes popular.
  • 6 Hide
    ssalim , October 22, 2009 6:43 PM
    I should patent having fruit-look as a logo... or more than 2 colors for a logo.
  • 7 Hide
    njalterio , October 22, 2009 6:47 PM
    Wow....and we are not supposed to hate Macs?

    Quote:
    Among other disclosures, an operating system presents one or more advertisements to a user and disables one or more functions while the advertisement is being presented. At the end of the advertisement, the operating system again enables the function(s). The advertisement can be visual or audible. The presentation of the advertisement(s) can be made as part of an approach where the user obtains a good or service, such as the operating system, for free or at reduced cost.


    So you can be working or whatever on your computer; then have to stop what you are doing and listen/watch the advertisement before you can continue using whatever program that was interrupted.

    Am I reading this right?

    If Apple actually implements this; I think it will be settled that Apple is NOT providing competition to the other vendors and Microsoft, but rather leading the way for making the computer restrictive and expensive for the user.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2009 6:51 PM
    I guess Apple is really trying to give people a legitimate reason to despise them now.

    I for one, would never stoop to using an Ad supported Operating System.

    As another user put it, I would rather pay Full Price for it.

    All this is going to do is open the flood gates for the Hackers to openly start hacking OS-X and not only that, but it's going to provide an extra push to the OSx86 project.

    So what we'll start seeing is More OS-X (Hacked) running on Intel (non-Apple) Systems.

    Let the Rebellion Begin!!!
  • 5 Hide
    jellico , October 22, 2009 6:52 PM
    This is what passes for innovation at Apple? And their fanbois have the audacity to denote Microsoft as "M$"?! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. And, they patented that piece of crap of an idea?!
  • -2 Hide
    Onus , October 22, 2009 6:56 PM
    This is so inane, that perhaps we shouldn't rush to judgement until the other shoe drops. I can only hope they patented this to prevent others from doing it (maybe cheap linux competition?), although I am fearful that might be naive. We'll see. I will say that any company that did this would immediately go on my "Do Not Buy" list.
Display more comments