Security

Ad-funded software: A potential security vector?

Last week brought news that Microsoft has quietly released an ad-funded version of Microsoft Works. Called Works "SE" -- which stands for "Sponsored Edition" -- the software is available free to PC makers, though they don't get any cut out of the ad revenue. How do you deal with ad software at the moment?

Last week brought news that Microsoft has quietly released an ad-funded version of Microsoft Works. Called Works "SE" — which stands for "Sponsored Edition" — the software is available free to PC makers, though they don't get any cut out of the ad revenue.

Excerpt from CNET News:

Users who run the software see a small ad as they are writing their document or editing their spreadsheet. Although the program has the ability to update its set of ads online, today it runs mostly ads for Microsoft and a few partners, all of which ship with the product itself.

While it is highly unlikely that this software will be used at all in a corporate setting, it is not inconceivable that there will be a deluge of similarly positioned software should this selective experiment prove to be a success. Now, pre-installed ads aren't that much of a security problem. Unfortunately, I just don't see how companies can resist from slipping in a real-time advertisement feed eventually.

It is with this train of thought that I posted this blog — I figured it'll be interesting to see how TechRepublic members in charge of security deal with ad software at the moment.

As users become inundated with and accustomed to ad-funded software, do you reckon this vector will eventually become a major security concern?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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