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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Virtualised Advertising

Paid-upgrade prompts within software are generally accepted, and you might be OK with getting the occasional promotion for add-ons or directly-related products, but this ad slightly overstepped the mark for me:

Parallels Kaspersky promo

What made it so irksome? Well, I was running Windows XP within a virtual machine on my Mac, and Parallels had used its device drivers to insert an ad into an operating system I’d never even bought its products for.

It might seem like a meaningless technicality or semantics, but I think using drivers in this way is rather dubious and could raise issues of trust, privacy and security, especially if the user is trying to keep the VM as self-contained and isolated as possible.


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