Posted by Virus Bulletin on Sep 14, 2007
User behaviour monitors could be used to target ads.
Following a patent application disclosed some months ago, details have been released of another adware scheme patented by Microsoft. This time, the idea is to monitor the behaviour of users to deduce the kinds of advertising that would be most effective at any given moment.
The system is based around a task-oriented view of computer use, with the user's actions watched for given tasks. An example is given of a user browsing to a folder full of MP3 media files - such browsing would alert the adware monitor that the user may need MP3 playing software, decoders, soundcards or other related items, and the appropriate advertising could then be displayed in a popup.
Some adware watchers have speculated that Microsoft could be patenting such ideas in a bid to prevent intrusive adware firms from implementing the techniques described, but in this case the deep level of system access required, and in one instance the words 'components may be integrated directly into the operating system', seem to imply more radical plans.