Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Jun 2010 21:27 UTC
Microsoft "Microsoft has fixed the distribution scope of a toolbar update that, without the user's knowledge, installed an add-on in Internet Explorer and an extension in Firefox called Search Helper Extension. Microsoft told us that the new update is actually the same as the old one; the only difference is the distribution settings. In other words, the update will no longer be distributed to toolbars that it shouldn't be added to. End users won't see the tweak, Microsoft told Ars, and also offered an explanation on what the mystery add-on actually does."
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RE: Gotta love it
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 12th Jun 2010 03:37 UTC in reply to "Gotta love it"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

So we should forgive them ASAP just because they knowingly went too far, probably on purpose, and then decided to backtrack after they likely received a backlash? Sorry, but no.

They already made this same "mistake" once before. The second time "fixing" it doesn't earn them any more respect. If anything, the opposite.

After they've gone for a decent amount of time not tampering with people's own personal software installations, then they can be commended. Until then, they're still guilty and should be watched closely. I sure as hell don't trust them.

Edited 2010-06-12 03:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Gotta love it
by vaette on Sat 12th Jun 2010 19:53 in reply to "RE: Gotta love it"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

That's just precious. Why would Microsoft "on purpose" install a piece of software that gives them no advantage at all since it does nothing?

I have no idea what made you such a bitter suspicious person, but I think you need to try to get a bit more perspective.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Gotta love it
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 12th Jun 2010 20:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Gotta love it"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I have no idea what made you such a bitter suspicious person, but I think you need to try to get a bit more perspective.

Companies like...

...wait for it...

...Microsoft.

Pay more attention to their actions, read some of their history and past "news" stories they'd rather you not know about, and maybe you too will realize that they can't (or shouldn't) blindly be trusted. At least not completely. IMO, no business should be 100% blindly trusted, but that's beside the point; this just applies to some companies more than others. Microsoft is certainly on this list of companies to watch out for.

Edited 2010-06-12 20:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Gotta love it
by Jokel on Mon 14th Jun 2010 18:23 in reply to "RE[2]: Gotta love it"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Hmmm... what makes you so sure it does nothing?

Have you seen the source? Do you know what exactly this code does? If not - you are only guessing what this code does...

Given the history Microsoft has, it is very unlikely this was "just" a bug. As a matter of fact - how likely it is a "bug" can target a specific application and installs without any hiccup? I would say the suggestion it is a "bug" is very, very, very, very unlikely.

Keep an eye on Firefox thats has this "bug" installed. I would not surprise me to see strange things going to happen after a while. Especially keep an eye on performance, search actions, and an "out of the blue" virus or something...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Gotta love it
by MollyC on Mon 14th Jun 2010 06:37 in reply to "RE: Gotta love it"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Um, this was a bug. A harmless one at that.

You suggest otherwise, that this wasn't a bug, but was instead done for some evil purpose. What is the evil purpose? If you can't provide a motive then you have no case. Every prosecutor knows that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Gotta love it
by phreck on Mon 14th Jun 2010 10:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Gotta love it"
phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

I am curious how to fly so blind as to produce a bug that installs some unasked for extensions to a non-microsoft-owned nor -supported software.

As I understand it, this is a bit like when chimps finally author the next Shakespeare novel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Gotta love it
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Jun 2010 11:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Gotta love it"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

MollyC:

Um, this was a bug. A harmless one at that.


Maybe so, but it is not the point.

phreck:
a bug that installs some unasked for extensions to a non-microsoft-owned nor -supported software


Exactly.

Now that is the point. What is more is that it silently installs, without user permission to do so. Even though in this case the software that was installed was harmless, it still illustrates the existence of a mechanism.

Who owns any given Windows machine, after all? With my own personal machines, all running Kubuntu, there is no doubt about it ... I own the machines. They are in my control.

If I were running Windows instead, that clearly would not be the case.

Edited 2010-06-14 11:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3