The ward is a factory for the Combine
surely, setting to the opensource one of Ozh so that “you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade to either turn the ads off” is a matter of five minutes (with testing). however, I think it would’ve been a pretty safe bet to say that this upgrade will never happen. out of hand, without sending inquires to support*.
just in case: it will never happen. rolling up such an upgrade would be a direct acknowledgement that wordpress.com is not exactly a free service (unlike my.opera.com, Tumblr and Blogger) but rather a venture whose model is somewhat more close to the SUP’s LJ.
also, the second clause of that famous Tony’s covenant “…or show your own ads and make money from your blog” is not going to happen any time soon as well. not only because “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“, but mostly because Google does not need yet another sploggy Blogger. you know, it already has one. and .com fits just perfectly into its back pocket as it is now. yeah, ain’t broke ;-)
*) that forum thread is now marked as “Topic Closed” (although it’s not Deleted at all as it could be, sic!), must be because “We’ve considered this approach on WordPress.COM, basically opt-in ads, but (like Brad) I really really dislike advertising on personal pages.”