Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Dec 2013 13:40 UTC

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is considering making Windows RT and Windows Phone free for OEMs, to combat Android.

We understand that any decision to axe the license fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT would be backed by a push for revenue from Microsoft’s apps and services. Microsoft has been experimenting with ads in Windows 8 apps, and any associated revenue from those apps and the company’s built-in Bing search results would help offset the lack of license fees. Microsoft would also push consumers to subscribe to services like SkyDrive, Office, and Skype for additional revenue.

So, let me get this straight. In April this year, a Microsoft-sponsored antitrust complaint about Android had this to say:

Google's predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google's dominant mobile platform.

And we have the whole Scroogled campaign (I felt dirty just for visiting that site).

And now they're considering doing the exact same things they claim Google is doing unfairly? Does this company have any internal consistency whatsoever?

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RE[2]: Is this a seminal moment?
by Alfman on Thu 12th Dec 2013 08:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Is this a seminal moment?"
Member since:


"Microsoft needs to offer their OSes free, no more license restriction, if they want to be still relevant in the near future. Their profit must be for value added services on top of their Windows Operating System(desktop/mobile) and technical support."

This is very similar to the linux commercial economic model, is it not? Don't sell the OS, sell the services... To be honest, I don't think there would be enough consumer service & support money to keep a company the size of microsoft afloat. Many consumers today wouldn't ever pay for support and already expect most services to be free, if not from MS then they'll head over to google or facebook or somewhere else to use their free windows OS and free services.

The most obvious alternative is to fund the OS and services through ads. In some parts of the tech world, the transition to ad-supported business models is already happening, but I question whether this is really all that good for consumers.

Technology devices may become as aggregating to use as american TV programming is to watch. Not only is 40% of air time buggered by commercials, but some channels have the audacity to overlay animated ads at the bottom of the screen on top of the show you wanted to watch for several seconds into the show. Many stations are turning the volume up for all the ads and turning it back down for the show, I guess they figured out that people were getting up and doing something else instead of watching the ads. On demand cable TV services specifically block fast forwarding through television commercials. All this on top of the fact that it's not even free since we still pay for both the service and equipment anyways. The future of advertising on computers will get a lot more annoying & frustrating as the ad technology gets shoved more deeply into core technologies like the OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3

zima Member since:

Many stations are turning the volume up for all the ads and turning it back down for the show

Luckily, this is getting regulated in the EU ...wasn't there also some effort in the US?

Edited 2013-12-15 08:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:


"Luckily, this is getting regulated in the EU ...wasn't there also some effort in the US?"

How about that, I had no idea. I could have sworn I still noticed it this past week but I guess I'll have to pay more attention next time to be positive. I wonder if they try to match the commercials with normal programming volume or if they merely compress all audio into low dynamic range filters to give everything the same overall intensity.

"A new computer in the KDKA-TV master control room monitors and logs all sound levels and before the audio leaves the station, it runs through software and special compressions equipment to keep the sound within FCC specifications."

The way I interpret this quote, it sounds like the later, meaning normal programs will loose high dynamic range audio in order to maintain a constant volume with the ads. Maybe they have a signal to tell them not to alter the normal program's audio?

Reply Parent Score: 2