Could Apple be prepping an ad-supported version of OS X? A newly-unearthed patent application shows that they've at least been toying with the idea.
If they do release such an OS, it would probably be for places like internet cafes where the ads could replace a fee for using the terminal; I can't imagine Apple doing something like this for the home user.
In any case, the documentation shows an operating system that could "disable one or more functions while the advertisement is being presented. At the end of the advertisement, the operating system can again enable the function(s). The advertisement can be visual or audible. The presentation of the advertisement(s) can be made as part of an approach where the user obtains a good or service, such as the operating system, for free or at reduced cost."
In any case, the user would have the option to delay ads by 10 minutes or watch ads immediately as to ensure their display doesn't interrupt important tasks, which is nice.
And with Apple's big iAds push it seems more likely than it may have before that they'd want to extend their reach to desktop advertising. But who knows. Even if this does become a reality, it's highly doubtful that most users would ever come in contact with it. [AppleInsider]