So it seems like Microsoft is considering an acquisition of Claria. Bad move. Claria basically invented spyware and the "drive-by download" (illegal installation using known security holes in IE). Their adware applications may be ok, but that's not what Microsoft cares about. They're looking solely at the back-end contextual/behavioral systems that Claria has developed. It's rubbish though. Takes way too many people to run it (Claria has more people running their backend software -- manually -- than the next two biggest competitors have in their whole company.) This is becuase it's a decentralized architecture, with the lists of ads and keywords required to be pushed out to the desktops on a campaign by campaign basis. If Microsoft is going to look into this, they really ought to look at some contextual/behavioral systems that are more services-oriented architecture and thin client. They have to if they want to utilize this across all their ad-supported sites/software.