Thursday 15 February 2007

Software Installed Without My Permission

I use my MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Messenger installations to keep in touch with my clients and a few suppliers that have sales reps into it.

On our client sites, these programs are restricted via ISA Firewall policies for most users.

Windows Live Messenger just nagged me to update, so I did.

I got some sort of EULA for a toolbar of some sort that I denied, along with some indication that they were going to install some other programs.

I was not given the option to say NO to those other programs! I get cranky when that happens. The toolbar at least didn't install when I denied the EULA.

I DON'T like software being installed on my system without my permission. This is especially true since I spent many hours over many years cleaning out client systems of software that surreptitiously installs itself and does bad things.

Today, we have labelled most of those programs that get installed surreptitiously as Malware, or Spyware depending on their purpose.

While I realize that these particular programs are not necessarily categorized as either of the above, it goes without saying that, in principle, software should not be installed on a person's system without their permission.

Microsoft of all companies should know better! 8*O

There are the culprits.

NOTE TO MICROSOFT AND REAL PLAYER (or whatever the chicken your company name is): If I wanted your software on MY system, I would have gone to Real's site and installed it MYSELF.

NOTE to Real Player: Your software is NOT installed on my system, that is your player, and it won't be. And soon, neither will your Rhapsody stuff either.

UPDATE: Mea Culpa, that is, I stand corrected as per the one comment. Apparently I missed the do not install check boxes as they were quite small. If that is so the case, then please accept my apologies ... however ... my opinion still stands as regards software installing without my permission.

And, for that matter, for making the, "Do Not Install" buttons too small for these old eyes to see! Not really fair, IMNSHO. :)

UPDATE 07-02-18: I couldn't resist, I needed to verify just where I went wrong. Installed Windows Live Messenger 8.0 on one of my virtual XP Pro SP2 machines and logged off. When I logged back on, I received the update request and I followed through on it.

This is what I received:

When I saw that, I went through the same process on one of the Virtual Vista machines and produced the same result.

I know the update that I went through that originally spawned this post was completely different than this, as there were a number of different steps. Fluke? I am not sure. Perhaps a lot of people did complain and things were cleaned up? Again, I am not sure.

So, for now, my quest to verify what I went through is at a stand still. This situation does reinforce the need for me to take screen shots of pretty much everything and anything that I am doing!

UPDATE 07-03-09: Okay, I stand humbled. I made mistake, and my apologies to those affected by my rant. I ran through an update today that I allowed all of the check marks to stay on with, and essentially went through what I experienced initially. Must have been a really bad day that day! 8*(

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists


Anonymous said...

Actually it does give you the option to unclick but the buttons are pretty small.

(BTW how do you like Mark's audio set? I've found it very interesting but I need to go back now with 'hands on' and actually try out some things.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

I must have missed them, because I did look the various install boxes over.

They must have been small alright! My eyes are not that bad yet. :)

As far as Mark's audio disks, wow!

I have listened to a number of audio books read by their authors. Drone ... drone ... drone ...

He is genuinely excited about what he is describing and explaining to us. It comes through in the recordings.

Very informative, and all around neat!