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Are Apple and Microsoft Being Evil?

November 19, 2009

Microsoft and Apple have begun embarking on some shady business practice.

It seems as if computer giants Apple and Microsoft have begun experimenting with unavoidable software advertising, as Apple filed a patent application for technology that would plant advertising in its products and test to see whether users were paying attention.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has begun tinkering with the idea as well, announcing plans to release a product called Office Starter 2010 early next year that will include bare-bones versions of popular Office programs, but also include a tiny Microsoft ad in the screen’s corner.

These invasive forms of advertising seem to be the next precursor of spyware and adware, but they beg the question of “Why would a user pay to be advertised something that they likely already have?” Unfortunately, today’s advertisers and technology manufacturers have created a “Next Big Thing” culture that demands consumers buy the newest innovation, ignorant of the price and whether or not it actually offers any sort of improvement.

More often than not, these technologies offer a step backwards for the programs, as they ignore the adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For prove of that, just look at Microsoft’s Windows Vista, which represented a gigantic step back from Windows XP. If the companies are right, though, people will buy the new software, fully cognizant of the fact that it includes these pesky and demanding ads, simply putting up with the demands in order to have the shiniest product.

Unfortunately, they may very well be right. Consumers have begun to define themselves as “Apple” or “PC” people, meaning that they place all of their trust in one of the companies, defending its decisions at any cost and ignoring the actual repercussions of them. Ultimately, though, they end up looking extremely similar in their battle to constantly one up each other, meaning that their competition is little more than manufactured entities to drum up interest in their newest products.

Originally posted at On Popular Culture

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