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Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, March 01, 2008

IAC may say Good-Bye Ask.com Toolbar

Late last year I attracted a lot of attention by blogging about an offer by Ask.com to include their toolbar with my WinPatrol program. It looks like my choice not to include the toolbar may have been a good business decision after all.


According to Silicon Alley Insider, IAC may be ready to scrap Ask.com, powered by Teoma, and move their business to Google. IAC already signed a 5 year sponsorship deal with Google last November. Given IAC has an advertising relationship with Microsoft they could also to cut a bigger deal with MSN. Either way, it’s nothing I want to celebrate. Other sources report a large number of Ask.com employees have been told to look for new employment by April.


I would really be happy if IAC considered separating their “FunWebProducts” line into separate applications. That way users who ask for one application won’t get a dozen along with their toolbar. Unfortunately, I’m guessing they’ll just replace their MyWebSearch toolbar with a Google or MSN toolbar.


Everyone is making so much money distributing toolbars that consumers have to be careful installing any application these days. I saw yesterday that AVG Anti-Virus is now installing a Yahoo based toolbar calling it a security toolbar.
AVG Installation Screen


Some folks chatting on the Calendar of Updates forums report the toolbar is installed even if you uncheck the option.


Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not a fan of toolbars but my fear goes beyond the obvious. Anytime you install a new peice of software you run “some” risk of a system conflict. By installing multiple programs at the same time, the risk increases exponentially and chances of fnding and fixing the problem becomes more difficult.


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7 Comments:

Anonymous Cel said...

I just hope they never change the free version of AVG. I don't want it to become a suit of programs.

I can see from reading the AGV free forums that a high percentage of infected files found on people's computers are from Malware other than viruses. Just the same though I would rather keep the programs separate.

In regards to tool bars and software deciding we all need theirs. They must be getting a good income from it.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Blake C. said...

Is the toolbar checkbox pre-checked?

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Askicker said...

"... a large number of Ask.com employees have been told to look for new employment by April."

I work at Ask. This is not true.

Most likely the "Good-Bye Ask.com Toolbar" is not true either. As you said yourself: "Everyone is making so much money distributing toolbars" I'm not privy to high-level strategy discussions, but why would they get rid of such a money maker?

2:05 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Save us from Toolbars! I can type Google or Ask any time I need to, and unless I blow away my url history, I won't even need to type the entire url. I'm sorry, but I need the screen space for the actual page!

Thanks for WinPatrol!

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Not too long ago I downloaded an update for Webroot Spysweeper. Their download ALSO included a new toolbar from, I believe, ask.com. You could choose not to install, and unchecking DID work. I failed to uncheck however, but uninstalling was easy. At any rate, it IS very irritating that so many companies are starting to include these toolbars.

Thanks for NOT doing so Bill.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Askicker,
Thanks for stopping by and including your feedback.

IAC did officially announce today that 8% or 40 jobs will be trimmed.
I sincerely hope that one of them isn't yours. I look forward to your future comments.

Thanks again,
Bill

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I got the ask.com toolbar, it just appeared today when I opened up IE. Only thing I changed on my system was install a new driver for my soundcard, audigy 2 gamer. (ZS or something, doesn't matter). Anyway, I didn't ask for it, and it's outta here. And I'll never visit ask.com as a result. I resent that sort of marketing.

9:19 AM  

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