OK, so let me see if I understand this correctly: Apple can install all kinds of crapware on my computer and that’s OK. Google gets to put junk on my computer and no one writes a word about it. Yahoo! installs its toolbar EVEN WHEN I SAID NO and that’s OK. Now, word is that Microsoft silently installed a plug-in for Firefox to allow WPF apps to run in the browser and, suddenly, Microsoft is the anti-Christ? Wow. Plenty has been written about the plug-in because Microsoft said it had a vulnerability. Fair enough, Microsoft does deserve some criticism for doing this ‘silently’. However, this post from Lee Mathews over at ‘Download Squad’ thinks so.
The public comments also struck me as particularly ignorant. While there are a few intelligent comments there, most were of the same attitude as the author. They cite Microsoft’s issues with the Chrome frame plug-in that Google wants to unleash and then turn it around on Microsoft. Yet, they fail to mention all of the other times and companies that have done this as well. Like Google. Install ANYTHING from Google and you get the Google Updater installed on your computer. Yahoo! Instant Messenger installed the Yahoo! toolbar even though I said not to do so. Apple installed Bonjour, Apple Update, two iPod helper apps and QuickTime when I installed iTunes. Except for the whole Safari thing last year, no one has complained about Apple crapware being installed. I’m constantly having to de-crapify my computers thanks to Apple, HP and others.
Yet, because this was Microsoft, we get postings such as this.
Mr. Mathews does make one good point in his post: ALL companies need to get permission from users prior to installing things like plug-ins or services likes Bonjour. Microsoft is no exception and should not get a pass either. And don’t misunderstand the reason for my post here: I am NOT defending Microsoft’s actions, they were wrong and deserve some criticism but lets be fair, they are not the only company doing this.
And, by the way, as one commenter pointed out, Mozilla is just as wrong here: they should not allow any extensions or plug-ins to be installed without user permission. Ditto for those bloody toolbars.
As Microsoft, what the hell were you thinking? You made a big deal over the Google Chrome Frame yet you do what you were saying is wrong…no wonder people get so upset.