One way or the other, you will pay!
Hmm agree with jimbo if it is anything like my new Samsung phone it is so irritating and I suppose like TV the ads will get worse until there are more ads than program / air time.
Me I will get paid for if it avoids this crap as long as it is reasonable current OEM prices are ok
Actually, guys and gals ubuntu unity linux actually did that in way. There was a backlash from that. At least now they warn you about Amazon search and tell you how to disable it. In fact, it caused other Ubuntu flavors to be created. As long as the ad is not intrusive (doesn't get in the way of what you are doing) or does not contain malware then I wouldn't mind it at all.
Lots of free software states something like "free for personal use only".
As for a free OS paid for by ads being a far-fetched idea, isn't that how a significant number of websites work?
The Start Screen has always been a perfect location for ads, with its "singing and dancing" Live Tiles.
It's the same when they question politicians about their latest brainwaves:
"Isn't your plan costly and unworkable?"
"Of course it isn't and here's why ... "
Off topic comment
I never could get Linux Mint & Xfce desktop to work on my system. I did get lubuntu 14.10 LTS & Xfce desktop to work though. Maybe its because I have Linux installed on logical partitions only.
Those flashing signs while on a freeway are quite irritating and if you aren't a regular driver in the USA can be quite dangerous as they are incredibly distracting -- well I suppose that's the point of advertising - there's no point in commercials if they AREN'T noticed.
However it does get funny when those electronic ones aren't maintained properly -- I was recently driving on an English Motorway (Freeway equivalent in the USA) and saw this large flashing warning sign saying : DON'T THINK AND DRIVE. !!!!! The electronic bulbs had got themselves hosed up obviously for a warning about (I assume) DRINKING and driving. I'm surprised they even have any in the UK - limit is HIGH (80 mg in England, 50 in Scotland). In Iceland it's ZERO (and that's one law the police REALLY DO enforce -- foreigners too -- penalties are SEVERE so if you visit don't even THINK of drinking and driving - even one tiny beer. IMO a good thing too this law is rigorously enforced).
I really though don't see at least at a desktop level an OS supported by Ads -- of course the OS might come with much more Bloat and trial ware initially installed which might be hard to remove --that IMO is much more likely.
Hope everybody had a good new year and recovering from those stupid "Black Fridays ", "Manic Mondays", Moronic Tuesdays, Imbecellic Wednesdays, Frantic Fridays, Boomerang Thursdays or whatever other nonsense the retail stores dream up for us.
I think my HDD partition setup was: XP, W7, Programs, Ubuntu, Files, Music, Videos, Downloads.
Maybe it had something to do with my triple boot setup (i.e. an Active Windows partition for GRUB to be installed to).
Linux Distros aren't as fussy as Windows.
You can install them to external HDDs and USB sticks.