Part of me would really like to highlight Microsoft's recent filing of a second adware patent (after the first, here) as evidence that desktop advertising is going mainstream. But honestly, I would be several years too late. AOL's IM client has shown popup ads for years now, and every other serious IM client makes money from embedded banner ads. IAC's Fun Web Products division (aka SmileyCentral) accounts for a very large chunk of the $700MM annually that IAC's "Media & Advertising" brings in. The industry number that gets tossed around is that Google makes about $12 on each install of their toolbar. Miva's Direct division (owner of ScreenSaver.com) accounts for more than a third of Miva's $120MM in annual revenues.
The only frustrating thing about this is the ongoing double-standard across the industry. Everybody in the world would hate it, but it would prove my point exceedingly well, if the scanning apps suddenly started removing every piece of advertising-supported software that didn't abide by the same level of opt-in and consent that Zango does. Just so we're clear, this would include every single company and application that I mention above. It would drive home to a whole bunch of folks, very quickly, just how hard Zango has worked to make sure that users who get our software really want it.
This goes back to what I said in my last post, about the need for all "socially generated knowledge" to eventually bump up against reality. It will, eventually. But it sure takes a long time, sometimes.