Friday Rant - Windows Live Messenger ads

Friday Rant - Windows Live Messenger ads

Summary: I hate Windows Live Messenger ads ... really, really hate them!

SHARE:
TOPICS: Windows
14

It's a Friday and it's rant time again! 

This week has given me cause to rant and rave about a number of things – well they say that choice is a good thing!  I could take this opportunity to get off my chest the hassles that we've had over at the PC Doc HQ with video codecs on Vista, or how pretty much every video editor in existance seems to have troubles running under Vista (even if it says Vista compatible on the box, and especially when you're working with QuickTime .MOV files).  I could moan about how Adobe seems to want you to have a dedicated PC for each of their applications to run on if you want any kind of long-term stability.  I could moan about how a digital SLR will fire instantly all day long on the IR trigger until you get to the one shot that you can't repeat.  I have so many potential moans to choose from, but I'm not going to choose any of these because what I want to rant about today winds me up more than all the above combined - the ads that appear at the bottom of the Windows Live Messenger application. 

OK, I'm not allergic to ads in any particular way.  Over the years I've become used to ads on webpages in much the same way that I became used to TV ads or how magazines became more ads than content (much more if you discount the idiotically large and mostly irrelevant image from articles).  I look at ads and occasionally I will act on something I've seen in an ad.  So overall I don't have a problem with ads. 

However, when it comes to the ads that are shown in Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger application, they seem to get on my nerves almost instantly.  The ad's not all that big plus it's at the bottom of the screen so its effect on me should be minimal, but that's far from the case.  The quality of most of the ads displayed (or at least the ones that stick in my mind) seems to be on par with the kind of ads that you see spawned by low-quality adware - casinos, gambling, that kind of crap.  Not the kind of ads that I want to have in my face for eight hours a day and certainly not the kind of trash that I want my kids exposed to. 

But what's worse that the overall dismal quality of the ads is the fact that advertisers seem caught up in a competition to develop the most annoying ad possible.  Some of the ads are now pretty much on par with those Japanese cartoons that gave some viewers seizures but the race to perfect the most maddeningly obnoxious animated image continues.

Before someone points out that there are ways and means to get rid of these ads (and many other Windows Live Messenger annoyances), I know that these tools exist, but I'm really not all that thrilled about having to turn to a third-party tweaker, not to mention the fact that I have to run it on all machines and then update and re-run it every time Microsoft pushes out a new version of Messenger. 

No, I've paid for Windows Vista Ultimate (and Windows XP Professional) and as a courtesy I'd like an ad-free Windows Live Messenger in return for running the genuine copies of the most expensive versions of Windows.  Heck, since decent Windows Ultimate Extras are thin on the ground, how about releasing an ad-free version of Messenger for Windows Ultimate?  Given the dreary assortment currently on offer, it might go some way to making me feel slightly less ripped off for having expected some decent stuff.  Failing that, how about a way to pay a small fee ($5 or so) to have the ads removed?  Yes, they're so bad I'd pay to be rid of them!

Thoughts?  And remember, since it's a Friday, you can vent your spleen about anything tech-related that annoys you!

Topic: Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

14 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • This is one area you have to give Apple credit for.

    Apple would never consider this approach with any software they control. They don't litter your computer with crapware either.
    ShadeTree
    • No?

      Try getting Quicktime to only run when you need it. Touch it once and it propagates all across you system. I'd prettymuch define Quicktime [i]as[/i] crapware.

      Next?
      slopoke
      • By default, yes

        but by disabling the autostart capabilities and making sure my preferred player plays non-Apple media, I've had no problems.
        Michael Kelly
  • Considering IM products are a service

    more so than a software product, I doubt the companies running the servers would be willing to give up a constant stream of income in exchange for a one time payoff. Unless that payoff was pretty big, and I doubt the the cost of an Ultimate "extra" is big enough.
    Michael Kelly
  • Another great reason to use Linux.

    GAIM works great and no ad's. There is much to be said about the Linux desktop as a better trash free environment. With all the bells and whistles Vista wish it had.

    I share your loathing and stopped wondering why I pay for software that gives me wads of trash applications ad's and pop-ups. Oh yeah and worms. Nothing is perfect and each to his or her own. Like ahh.. ya get what ya "pay" for?

    I know.. games. Well I am not much of a game head. But I pushed myself to explore. With Wine installed, I downloaded the "free" version of Anarchy Online. It was easy to install once I figured it out. The patches for the game took forever and there was a bug or two. But over all the game works great. Wine is very cool! and has a long list of win app's that work well.

    One would think that the free software would be infected with ad's? Go figure..
    xstep
    • Newsflash

      Pidgin (formerly GAIM), being built with the GTK toolkit, is portable, and as such has a [url=http://pidgin.im/pidgin/download/windows/]Windows port[/url].

      Also the reason it is free is because they do not run the servers. Take a look at the LiveJournal nowadays. GPL software yes, but the free service is ad supported now.
      Michael Kelly
  • Agreed. And here is the solution.

    http://apatch.org/

    A-Patch for Messager. Lets you remove not only the pic ad at the bottom of the main messenger window, but also the text ads that appear at the bottom of chat windows. Also lets you remove useless toolbar icons, useless panels, etc, etc ... there are options galore. Definitely have a look - i think it'll make you very happy.
    ross2000
  • Did you pay for teh product or is it ad subsidized?

    If you have an issue with a company releasing a product effectively free and using ads of one sort of another to offset the costs, do you have the same problem with public TV or radio also using ads (given that you are probably not paying for it as a service)? Do you for some reason think that Microsoft is special in that they can afford to eat the cost of development so you can go without ads with what is given away to (or dumped on) the consumer? If you really have an issue, change IM clients or stop freeloading off of Microsoft developers and shareholders!
    B.O.F.H.
  • This is where you and I are most different...

    [B]OK, I?m not allergic to ads in any particular way. Over the years I?ve become used to ads on webpages in much the same way that I became used to TV ads or how magazines became more ads than content (much more if you discount the idiotically large and mostly irrelevant image from articles). I look at ads and occasionally I will act on something I?ve seen in an ad. So overall I don?t have a problem with ads. [/B]

    I can't stand them. I hate billboards and I refuse to listed to the radio, too many ads or watch TV, same reason. I have stopped reading magazines as well. Too many ads and crap in them to be worth my time. As for web I use Ad Block plus with NoScript and disable images (unless I am going to a site that has images I want to see. I also have flash disabled too. Why? I want to go to a site, be it CNN, BBC, Discovery, ZDNet... and read the content. I pay for my internet connection so I feel I have paid for the access to the content.

    I recently succeeded in dropping cable TV completely and managed to keep my cable internet connection. Took a hell of a lot of arguing back and forth and a couple of threats, but I finally got my way. When asked why I wanted to drop my cable service, my answer was to the point: I pay for access to watch specific programs. I don't mind 1 or 2 20-30 ads in a 30 minute period. But when I watch a 30 minute program and it's actually 12 minutes of program and 18 minutes of build up (ads) and advertisements for drugs, erectile dysfunction and whatever else... well I didn't pay the money to see that. So until you start showing fewer ads and more QUALITY programs, I am not going to waste my time or money. And no TIVO is not an option.

    I shouldn't have to do anything to avoid ads at all. Guess I am an odd duck like that, eh!? ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • Not so odd

      Hey Talkback9, I'm with ya! Gave up ad-supported media long ago. Somehow, agreeing to allow your mind to be infected by some commercial virus seems really strange.

      A while back, I went to a IQ test site and found my score had lowered by 20 points as I slog past the epileptic banners. I used to go to Wunderground for weather, until their ads started turning repugnant. Recently, the NYTimes prompted me to use an ad-blocker and, more often than not, I go the BBC for my news.

      There are exceptions ... I used to work in interactive advertising 15 years ago, when you had to insert a floppy to see it. Some ad writers are poets and some agencies know how to make visual poetry. A recent fave is from Demi9 - DM9 DDB, that produced Luhrman's vid 'Sunscreen'. But, I would never find this on my TV, let alone a messaging client.
      warren@...
  • Thoughts? ... You ain't seen nothin yet.

    Just wait till Microsoft drenches the whole OS and and all of it's apps in adware...they're already planning to do it, question is...how long can you wait....?

    Sounds like they are planning on pushing it out ASAP.

    Can't wait to hear your Friday rants then...
    Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
    • Just wait till Microsoft drenches the whole OS i think you need to stay

      Just wait till Microsoft drenches the whole OS i think you need to stay away from what ever it is your smoking.

      this is about msn messenger. yahoo messenger does it all so aim does it.

      if you don't like it download a patch. or do like me i just open the main messenger window when i need to click on a contact to start a conversion.

      as far as Microsoft putting it in there whole os give us a break.

      you might try staying away from the conspiracy sites for awhile.
      SO.CAL Guy
      • Hmmm, I think it is you that needs to come back to reality.

        Microsoft isn't interested in adware for nothing.

        Microsoft said to be mulling purchase of Claria
        http://tinyurl.com/2h65k8

        Then conveniently, Microsoft denies its antispyware favors Claria
        http://tinyurl.com/3c9g4e

        Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems
        http://tinyurl.com/yq92kx
        Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
  • If you have Norton Internet Security or 360...

    For the 2007 editions of Norton Internet Security and Norton 360, the customer can download the add on pack for free which has the ad blocking feature which is global on the operating system, it works on all browsers, chat programs, and even messenger live. Older editions of these programs already have the ad block feature that can be enabled by the user. So since 1999 Norton firewalls have had ad block included, with the exception of 2007, which you need to download the free add on pack. This works for Windows Vista, and XP all editions. Here is the url: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/custserv.nsf/docid/2006092616462646

    Hope this is helpful.

    Have a nice day.

    Sincerely,

    JTN
    newcs