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.
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.