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Advertising Businesses Microsoft Windows

Microsoft To Add Ads To Smart Search 169

Posted by timothy
from the eyeballs-for-sale dept.
Vanderhoth writes "Today, Microsoft said its advertisers will be able to target users not just on Web search results pages but directly inside Windows Smart Search. David Pann, general manager of Microsoft's Search Advertising Group, said in an interview that advertisers don't have to do additional setup to participate. The Smart Search ads will feature a preview of the websites the ad will send people to, as well as click-to-call info and site links, which are additional links under the main result that direct users deeper into a website to the most likely page they might want."
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Microsoft To Add Ads To Smart Search

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So Microsoft wants to sell advertising on your desktop now??

    Greedy cocksuckers.

    • What, this is surprising?

      Even before XBone's DRM clusterfuck, they'd guaranteed I wouldn't buy their next-gen crapbox the moment they put ads on my Xbox dashboard...

      • Re:Douchebags! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:11PM (#44167653) Homepage

        Even before XBone's DRM clusterfuck, they'd guaranteed I wouldn't buy their next-gen crapbox the moment they put ads on my Xbox dashboard...

        Yeah, that was what prompted me to disconnect mine from the network too, and even though they've backed down and require only one-time, I'm still not buying the new one.

        But if Microsoft is going to start doing this stuff in the core OS, they're really going to further piss off their customers. The last thing I want is advertising embedded in the OS -- because you pretty much have to conclude the OS is spying on you.

        In doing this, Windows has more or less become something you simply can't trust, because those advertising hooks will pretty much be into everything.

      • Re:Douchebags! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @03:53PM (#44170251)

        The difference between MS and Ubuntu here is that:
        1) MS expects me to pay money for a license and then pay again by being subject to ads, and
        2) Ubuntu gives me the OS for free, and lets me turn off the ads (or, even better, just install Kubuntu, which doesn't have the ads and works better.)

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)

          Just saying, MS isn't the first one to the party here at all. Not sure if you can or can't turn the MS ads off either, but I'm pretty sure the ads come free of charge.

          • by pla (258480)
            I'm pretty sure the ads come free of charge.

            Sweet! Where do I sign up to have them display my ads on your desktop for free?

            Note: Sometimes "free" still means "less than zero".
    • by Hsien-Ko (1090623)

      So Microsoft wants to sell advertising on your desktop now??

      Greedy cocksuckers.

      Channel Bar says hi.

    • Not bad enough that Windows 8 (a Turd) and Windows 8.1 (A highly polished Turd) doesn't work right on an average desktop,now ads with search ON THE DESKTOP? Micro$oft needs a punishing backlash for this type of crap.
      Need any more reason to migrate to Linux? I don't

  • LOL! (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:54AM (#44167393) Homepage Journal

    Is Microsoft trying deliberately to lose its customers?

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Seems like. "Smart" Search on windows 8.1 preview already has a habit of spitting back very sketchy sites when doing searches for windows feature type things, this is just going to make it worse.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Search for "stratodoober" in Google and Bing. Google returns four results, Bing returns five pages of results. The first four are the same as Google's, none of the rest have the word in them at all. The fifth result is an ad for Dick's Sporting Goods, most of the rest are also ads and none have anything at all to do with the search term.

        Bing: Because It's Not Good.

    • This is all just a PR plan to have every third story on Slashdot be about Microsoft.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      we're almost heading towards freefall. so, that's a yes.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Microsoft has gone crazy. They've gone batshit insane. They're completely cannibalizing their stable (in terms of market), core OS product for a whisper of a dream that is the mobile walled garden.

      Year of Linux on the desktop might not be so far fetched after all.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        2002 was the year of Linux on the desktop at my house. Windows lacks too many features and is way too user-hostile.

    • by Issarlk (1429361)
      Where have you been? They have been trying to crash all their products into the ground for years now.
  • Did the creators of Metro UI consider that ads would be some of the smart tiles? Look, iOS's spotlight search may be boring, but at least it doesn't show me ads along with my apps/music/contact results. Even Google doesn't put ads on your Android homescreen.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:00PM (#44167497)

      What makes you think that was not the idea all along?

      Have you seen Xbox home?

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        I think you nailed it. "Welp, we expected a huge backlash for running ads on our paid service that Sony gives away for free... but somehow we got away with it! Let's do the bait and switch with our desktop market and see how well it works there"
         
        I'm sure there'll be a third party plugin to disable it on the PC side, but if even 1% of users don't install said plugin, Microsoft comes out way ahead. Not that I agree with this idea...

        • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @01:50PM (#44168955)

          I think you nailed it. "Welp, we expected a huge backlash for running ads on our paid service that Sony gives away for free... but somehow we got away with it! Let's do the bait and switch with our desktop market and see how well it works there"

          Apparently they didn't consider that what the gaming demographic is willing to put up with, serious businesses might not be. Gamers don't have to worry about HIPAA, PCI, SOX, or other privacy/security requirements.

          There's got to be some group policy setting to disable this 'smart search' and its corresponding ads, and have the search tool conduct local searches only. (Group policy editing is available only in Pro, but you can generally get the same results on the Home version by manually setting a corresponding registry key.) Even this management team at Microsoft couldn't be dumb enough to not realize that businesses need an opt-out. Could they?

          • by Hadlock (143607)

            I suspect Win 8 Enterprise Edition will have an option to turn this off, the same way that RDC Server is enabled in Pro and disabled in Home.

  • by omnichad (1198475) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:57AM (#44167447) Homepage

    Any time ads are added to a purchased program or device post-purchase, you can expect a big backlash.

  • Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:00PM (#44167501)
    While this seems like a good idea to MS and advertisers, I don't want Bing ads when I'm searching on things inside my machine or to let MS know about the searches I'm doing on my own files. I also can't see that enterprises want this feature turned on. For example if you are working on a proposal to expand your company's presence in a particular Asian country next year but can't find the document that you saved earlier, do you want MS to send information to advertisers about expansion in that country? What if they proposal shouldn't be divulged yet to people inside the company much less to people outside of the company.
    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Todd Knarr (15451) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:18PM (#44167753) Homepage

      Worse: where I work we're subject to regulatory requirements about data disclosure. Having an external entity (Microsoft) be made aware of what we're doing before it's officially disclosed is a violation of Federal securities regulations. Having an external entity be made aware of private consumer credit information (which I work with regularly) is a violation of Federal privacy, consumer-protection and banking laws. The day this goes in, there's going to be a directive from Legal come down: this feature must be disabled completely or we must cease using Windows.

      • by psybre (921148)

        Perhaps they will offer a super premium ultimate for workgroups edition that comes with this awesome feature unbundled.

      • by LandGator (625199)
        See above suggestion to have your IT folks edit your HOSTS.TXT file to include the line

        127.0.0.1 bing.com

        along with 127.0.0.1 references for all the other adservers and nosy websites.
    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:18PM (#44167757)

      Agreed.

      If your local search had a button to "also search online" after local results were found and that online search returned ads, that'd be one thing -- its just another interface to an internet search engine and we pretty much expect ads.

      But to automaticlly push local search online is bad enough, to return ads with that is just demented.

        Nobody wants this. Absolutely Nobody.

      • by cyborg_zx (893396)

        Advertisers and those who sell their billboards apparently do.

        But they're scum so it's to be expected.

    • by tapi0 (2805569)
      Unconfirmed, but I'd expect a group policy setting or perhaps defaulting to off when on a domain/non 'home' version. Extended search (along with pretty much anything else in the OS) has always been manageable by GPO so I can't see this being any different
    • by LandGator (625199)
      Then I'd suggest editing your HOSTS.TXT file to include the line

      127.0.0.1 bing.com

      along with 127.0.0.1 references for all the other adservers and nosy websites.
  • That with a good firewall, you could block SS from doing anything not local, and solve this issue.
    But I'm sure I'm missing something.
    But really, how out of touch with reality do you have to be to think putting ads on a user's desktop is a good idea?

  • Just copying. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:00PM (#44167511)

    Ubuntu did it first.

    • and there was a huge backlash against it and even more users migrated to mint and/or debian

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Also, didn't Ubuntu add an option to opt-out of the advertising after the backlash?

        • Re:Just copying. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:29PM (#44167873)

          Also, didn't Ubuntu add an option to opt-out of the advertising after the backlash?

          yup they did, also they anonymised the searches as i recall from the forbes article a ms exec is quoted as saying;

          The goal, is to give advertisers access to consumers across a broader variety of their daily activities, not just when they’re overtly conducting a search.

          so they are not only seeing you search but from a detailed analysis of you computer daily usage.
          they are literally baking adware and spyware into their core OS.

          • Given the rate of success at de-anonymizing all sorts of allegedly-anonymized datasets of any particular interest, it's best to treat 'anonymized' as a mere weasel word, even if it is used in clueless good faith(and it often doesn't even go that far).

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            they are literally baking adware and spyware into their core OS.

            At this rate, the only safe way to run your computer is when it's disconnected from the network.

            Microsoft isn't a trustworthy entity.

            I also predict this will run afoul of European data laws, and any country with privacy laws should be looking closely at this.

        • You can already opt out on 8.1: http://i.imgur.com/UY2RgUo.png [imgur.com]
          • by JDG1980 (2438906)

            That's good to know. I'd double-check the traffic on the firewall, though, just to make sure it's not going ahead and sending your search terms to MS anyway...

            • by mwvdlee (775178)

              To be fair, the setting only says "Get search suggestions and web results from Bing". It doesn't say anything about not sending information to Bing, just not getting results.

        • Also, didn't Ubuntu add an option to opt-out of the advertising after the backlash?

          No, the search provider that sent queries to Amazon and included Amazon product listings in the desktop search was always a separate package that could be disabled (and which, IIRC, has a very clear name and description), when people raised issues about it, Ubuntu provided information on how to disable it, but it wasn't a new option, it was there from day one.

    • by solios (53048)

      Actually, Apple did it first with Sherlock, the search replacement in OS 9.

  • Their desktop market won't sustain much more.

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:09PM (#44167607)

    We visit a Microsoft boardroom, where execs are discussing their future plans

    Exec 1: Hey, I've got an idea, you know how on that android-y thingy, you can download free apps but to make their money back on them, the developers serve ads? Why don't we do that?

    Exec 2: You mean serve people ads with software they've already paid for???

    Exec1: Yeah!

    Exec 3: Genius! Let's break for lunch!

    • i can pay 99c for a ad free version of most of those android apps, lets see ms charge 99c for windows

    • Movie theaters have been doing it for decades. Pay to see the film, arrive at the supposed start time, watch 30 minutes of ads and 15 minutes of trailers.
  • dont get scroogled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:09PM (#44167611)
    Hey MS. Targeted ads, pot, kettle, black something or other. Sigh.
  • by Ben C. (2950903) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:13PM (#44167681)
    I could understand this if Windows was a free product with an ad-free pro upgrade but for a full product this is inexcusable
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:38PM (#44167981) Journal

      I could understand this if Windows was a free product with an ad-free pro upgrade but for a full product this is inexcusable

      Even better, it's a feature that the high-willingness-to-pay corporate market will fucking loath(Oh, sure, we don't mind if our strategy leaks to who-knows-who every time somebody searches for an email...), it's a feature that will just help them look trashy and cheap compared to Apple(who already excels at making their competitors look trashy and cheap), and it is closest to the featureset of a more mature product that Google gives away for free with ads(and Microsoft wants you to pay for).

      Should be a big win all around! Then again, though, they've mostly gotten away with it on XBL, so it could be just that bad out there.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        Should be a big win all around! Then again, though, they've mostly gotten away with it on XBL, so it could be just that bad out there.

        Just because dumbass gamer kids are willing to put up with it doesn't mean that business users will be.

      • by LandGator (625199)
        Of course, this is what Gartner said last week 8.1 would win back the corporate market....
        • Unless they are utter morons, they'll have a GP switch to turn this off. Of course, I said the same thing about having a GP switch to 'just boot to desktop, for fuck's sake, there isn't a touchscreen in this entire building', and look how that turned out...

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:16PM (#44167729) Homepage Journal

    holy fuck ball-mer is stupid.
    THIS is the time to introduce this? right after xbox one constantly on fiasco and the nsa leaks? right now? really? REALLY?
    and they're asking money for this? holy bejeezubus even if ubuntu does it that doesn't mean it's a good idea you know. fuck 'em. not going to use it.
    how the fuck are they going to justify paying for the os and getting even more ads on your fucking screen? the metro start screen as you get it out of the box is already a giant fucking grid of billboards and nothing else.

    (at least probably you can turn it off - and yeah you would pretty much be using the search to run anything if you were to use metro.. quite simply, because it's too bothersome to navigate by mouse)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    See: http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/13/05/11/0041224/microsoft-youtube-app-strips-ads-adds-download

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:31PM (#44167897) Journal
    The hell with that crap. If they're going to shove ads right in your face like that, then they should give Windows away for free. If you're paying for the OS then there should NEVER be anything like this. Screw you, Microsoft.
  • This is just awful placement. I actually would have no issue with ads inside the Bing app results (just like you would on the search page). The placement on the Smart Search, visible from the main start screen, is just atrocious. I'd just as soon disable the Bing from smart search anyway. Microsoft made a great impression on my with Metro UI, both in Windows Phone, and in Windows 8/RT in that it always looks clean and unfettered by advertising. They'll be quickly losing that advantage if they steer it in th
  • My Girlfriend has been using Windows 7 on her laptop and trying different flavors of Linux on a spare machine. This just helped her make up her mind that her next machine either won't have Windows (Mac), or will be completely Linux-able.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:38PM (#44167977) Homepage

    We know that adware on lowend PCs was worth $75-90 per unit. I'd assume advertising revenue on the OS would be worth at least a little more. OEM windows 8 + Office was $120. Which means its entirely possible the ad revenue might be enough for Microsoft to make Windows 8 + Office (home) a free (as in beer) OS with the advertising. Or maybe even a slight subsidy like $50 for OEMs on systems over $500.

    WinRT is much cheaper closer to $30. There we could be looking at something like a $100-150 subsidy which might be almost all the hardware cost. You could be looking at fairly good WinRT systems for $99 or $199.

    I have no information but as idle speculation this might be a very very interesting change of strategy for home / small business.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      I have no information but as idle speculation this might be a very very interesting change of strategy for home / small business.

      You're assuming business strategy change competency from a convicted monopolist that's been coasting for a decade+ on their cash cows? I like your analysis, but I think it'd be very un-Microsoft to actually sell their product for any less than they feel is necessary.

      Aside from the fact that Microsoft won't be doing this, I doubt it's a good tactic after all. Is there something in the water in Seattle? Why are Amazon and Microsoft so gung-ho on selling products (Win8.1, Kindle Fire) that have baked-in un-

      • by jbolden (176878)

        You're assuming business strategy change competency from a convicted monopolist

        To get to be a monopoly requires business strategy competency. They didn't get where they are by accident.

        that's been coasting for a decade+ on their cash cows?

        There big gains this decade have been on the enterprise server side: Dynamics, SQL Server moving up market, Sharepoint. That's not coasting that's growing.

        Why are Amazon and Microsoft so gung-ho on selling products (Win8.1, Kindle Fire) that have baked-in un-remova

  • They can try to push ads all they want, but until they get their search "feature" to work, it will be moot.

    It's faster to go to Google and do a search than it is trying to find the answer through their, supposedly, integrated search.

  • Microsoft still operates as if people have no other options. This is part of their entire scheme right now. They have stated they want to add ads to both xbox 1 and windows 8, go as far to say as they were built with ad delivery in mind.
  • Seems appropriate, since Microsoft seems to be borrowing this trick from Canonical.
  • by fallen1 (230220) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @01:11PM (#44168443) Homepage

    guarantees that Windows 8 / 8.1 will NEVER be utilized inside the medical field. I was already looking to have to explain to my bosses why we should not buy laptops with Windows 8 on them and this just sealed the deal for me -- HIPAA violations start at $50,000 per and go up to $150,000 per. Anything "analyzing" searches on our computer systems or networks is right out.

    Thank you, Microsoft, for making my job as an administrator that much easier! It has now become so that recommending Microsoft CAN get you fired.

  • If MS is going to do this they need to give me something in exchange.
    Free ads to support free services
    - Facebook to support the free social service
    - Google to support the free searches.
    - TV to provide low cost entertainment (debatable)

    What is MS giving us to invade our lives outside our web searches?

  • Mom: "Sonny, remember to buy some milk and cookies."
    Me: "OK mom."
    Ad: "Our voice recognition has picked up your liking for cookies. Grab some snackerdoodles today! Yum, yum, yum makes your mouth go numb! SnnnnnnnnnnnnnackerdOOdles!"

    Then like in Futurama, it will be in our dreams. Long will be the days when you could buy something without ads. "Remember when you could buy a wooden chair from a carpenter without an ad permanently sealed to it? Those were the good ole' days!" people will say....
    • by Sentrion (964745)

      I also remember the day when you could by a T-shirt and the logo was kept hidden on a tag near the neck. Boy, I am an old-timer!

  • This will be the new reason to buy the Professional edition of Windows - it'll give you the ability to disable the ads that you can't turn off in the Home version. Based on the heavily modified versions of Windows you can get for defense and healthcare work I'd say it's almost a given it'll be a configurable setting somewhere in the OS.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @02:02PM (#44169121)

    David Pann, general manager of Microsoft’s Search Advertising Group, said in an interview that advertisers don’t have to do additional setup to participate.

    Well whoopee! Thanks David. Considered your next career move yet?
    Better jump before your guys get the memo from SB saying that "all your staff are belong to us".

    On a more serious note, I've been resisting installing the "update" from Microsoft which wanted to add "Bing search" functionality to my WIndows 7 machine...wonder if this lovely feature will also be thus rolling out to 7 users in the future?

  • Microsoft said its advertisers will be able to target users not just on Web search results pages but directly inside Windows Smart Search.

    I hadn't actually heard/read the phrase "Windows Smart Search" before. From the sound of things, I guess it's "smart" for someone, not sure it's the end-user. Perhaps someone at MS liked the Unity shopping lens...

  • So people are complaining about MS putting ads into something that has been paid for by the customer. Understandable. Yet this same thing has been happening on TV and cinemas for years yet nobody seems to mind.....

    • by advantis (622471)

      Actually, you don't pay for TV. You pay for cable. The copper and the shoving of signal down said copper. There are places in this world where you don't have to get cable if all you want to see is free to air channels. The channels you do pay for don't show ads.

  • What no antitrust suggestions? wow Slashdot members are slipping.

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