As if all the sponsored applications that come with most new computers wasn't enough, Microsoft announced Friday a program to sell ads on the Windows 7 desktop.
According to a CNET News report from Ina Fried:
"Advertisers can buy the right to offer various themes that customize the desktop image and that promote various gadgets and even custom sounds for the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft stressed, however, that users will choose which, if any, of the customizations they want to download. ... The Windows Personalization Gallery offers a desktop branding experience for users throughout the operation of their Windows 7-based PC, including backgrounds, slide shows, borders, and application audio elements."
I understand that no one is forced to download or use a sponsored desktop theme. I also realize most people proudly wear clothing emblazoned with their favorite brand logo. But, something about this program rubs me the wrong way. What do you think?
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.