We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,721 News Articles

Steve Jobs considered free, ad-funded OS

Free OS would have shown 60-second ads at start up

Apple considered the idea of making Mac OS X ad-supported and even applied for a patent for the idea. The patent application was filed in 2008 and Steve Jobs was listed as the lead inventor, according to Macrumors.

According to the Ken Segall's new book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success, this was indeed Jobs' idea and he in fact considered implementing advertising in a free version of OS 9 back in 1999. (The OS cost $99 in those days).

According to Segall, an advertising executive who worked closely with Steve Jobs: "Steve's team had worked out the preliminary numbers the concept seemed financially sound."

Jobs' vision was for a 60-second commercial to appear during start up. This strikes us as problematic as few Mac users start up their machines on a daily bases, preferring to leave them sleeping.

The patent brings to mind the lower-priced version of the Kindle, availble only in the US, that is funded by advertising.

Read our report on Segall's book for more glimpses into the workings of Steve Jobs' mind, from his 'Willy Wonka' competition idea for the millionth Mac, and his dislike for the iPod's silhouette adverts.

IDG UK Sites

Motorola Moto G2 release date, price and specs: Best budget smartphone gets upgrades

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

How to make an 'Apple iWatch' using an iPod nano and a 3D printer