Microsoft patent to make ads disable computer

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

On December 29th 2005, Microsoft applied for a patent that allows the operating system to require users to pay attention to ads shown on their computers. According to the patent, a user will be asked to identify her / himself to a webcam or provide some data regarding the advertisement to be entered. The technology that is part of this patent is meant to give Microsoft the right to repossess one's computer if one does not pay attention to advertisements.

According to the patent, the technology will be used so that the

delivery of paid advertising to a user may involve asking a question about an advertisement or requiring data about the advertisement to be entered. In one embodiment, a human presence indicator, such as stylized letters, may be displayed during or after the presentation of an advertisement to be copied by a user to indicate presence during the advertisement. When the challenge relating to ad viewing is correctly answered, a value associated with viewing the ad may be credited to a user account, either locally or at a clearinghouse or other repository. [...] When the allowable number of incorrect answers has been exceeded, several response are possible, from noting a user's record but taking no action, to a follow up communication with the user, to disabling or even repossessing the computer ...

The stated aim of the technology is so that telephone companies, internet service providers, or leasing companies, can provide computer systems etc. to users either free or at reduced charge and recoup the cost of the system through sale of advertising.