Windows Ad Edition Could Be Free

Talk of a free edition of Microsoft's Windows OS isn't anything new: the idea has been around since 2005 at the very least. However, Stephen Chapman of MSFTKitchen seems the think the free edition is closer to reality than ever before, especially with businesses pushing to move software into the cloud. After a little digging, he discovered that an actual ad-based version of Windows has actually been created.

The latest finding stems around the LinkedIn profile of a senior program manager at Microsoft. In her "resume," she lists a prototype for advertising model in Windows called "Project Madision," and is supposedly not the same code name used for SQL 2010. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley added her two cents to the speculation, pointing out that Madision (and yes it's misspelled, probably on purpose) may be derived from Madison Avenue in Manhattan: the name of this street is "synonymous with the American advertising industry," says Wikipedia.

If Microsoft is still pursuing the ad-based version, this could alleviate some of the problems with Windows-based piracy, or consumers intent on spreading their one license across multiple computers (via crack). But how would this work? How would Microsoft make revenue out of a free edition? "In theory, you could use a "Windows Ads Edition" or something where you’ve basically opted for ads to stream to you in exchange for your usage of Windows," Chapman surmised.

The idea isn't farfetched. Businesses would certainly scramble to get their ad on millions of Windows-based desktops, and Microsoft would simply float in a sea of money. Naturally, consumers who actually purchase a version of Windows wouldn't receive the ad-based input. Instead, it would be locked on to those individuals who can't afford-- or refuse-- to purchase a copy of Windows, but still want to use the OS in a legal, non-pirating sense.

Would you use a free, ad-based edition of Windows?

  • mrdrinkinglysol
    I wonder how long it will take people to hack it and remove the ads.
  • The Dark Wall
    ^Isn't hacking the ad version pretty much the same as downloading illegally a non-ad version? Why go with the ads in the first place then?
  • jakew120
    When buying a manufactured PC your OS is already has a ton of advertising on it.
  • jasonz001
    yes i would use it. Its free windows.
  • SAL-e
    I wonder, if Steve Jobs going to sue MS!? If I remember correctly Apple got a patent on the AdWare-OS.
  • gmarsack
    I would use it.. I just spent 300 bucks on my copy of Win7 Ultimate... and I have 5 other PC's in the house I want to upgrade. I'd take a free version any day!
  • dimar
    MS can make a really basic windows OS for free. They can remove stuff such as themes and other apps. Maybe leave the most basic networking features.
    They can limit the number of applications it can run at once to 5, if you enable adds, you can have more features, like Home Basic edition...
  • pythy
    Who really looks at the ads anyway? I've never in my life bought anything from the ads on websites and........ Office 2007 Home and Student for $150 bucks!! I'm in!!
  • ptroen
    Possibly too little too late. For instance, Reactos is a open source Windows clone and ad free. Also, google has their own OS coming out and of course you have the many flavours of BSD/Linux. The big question is who would benifit from a ad version of windows?

  • salimbest83
    AddBlock Plus is our savior ;)