No, I Don't Want Your #^$% Toolbar
I’ve been well known to rant about software companies who trick users into downloading additional unwanted software. One of the most annoying is the Ask.com toolbar which even comes along with some security programs. In almost all the situations, the option is pre-selected so unless you’re paying attention you’ll get yet another toolbar and more.
toolbars will change your search preferences without asking
In January 2008 I wrote about my invitation from Ask.com to include their toolbar in my WinPatrol program. Would You like Toolbar with your Software Order?
“I crunched the numbers and sure enough the revenue I could receive by including the toolbar would be huge. My overhead is low and the free version of WinPatrol has many thousand downloads even on the slowest day. If I chose to include the Ask.com tool bar I could probably retire comfortably by the end of the year.
Unfortunately, a number of people think I’m a good guy and I respect their opinion. For the last ten years WinPatrol has had a flawless reputation. I know myself, I really hate companies that install additional software that I didn’t ask for. It’s not only rude, it’s just wrong.”
I’m not alone. You can find a list of vendors who have partnered with on the web site, Calendar of Updates. Click on Installers Hall of Shame.
Apparently, if you remove the check you lose some functionality.
At least Trillian allowed me to cancel the install but check the
terms of service. "... the right to add additional features or
functions to the existing Toolbar....the Toolbar periodically
communicates with our servers.... the update may occur automatically."
So, I was surprised when I received an Email from Ask.com yesterday inviting me to partner and again consider including the Ask.com Toolbar.
It sounds like I could generate more revenue but at what cost to WinPatrol fans? I think if they wanted yet another toolbar, they’re smart enough to find one. Thanks for the offer John, but this is a bonus I still don’t want.