Sunday, June 01, 2008

Something about a toolbar...

Fortunately, Grisoft is in good company when it comes to angering its fans by introducing a toolbar in its product.

Turns out the highly-regarded freeware firewall Comodo Pro v 3.0 is also joining ranks of other products by including an optional ASK toolbar as part of the installation options.

Comodo Firewall and ASK Toolbar - Comodo Forums

Want more links?


Yet again I find myself torn in the chasm between a wonderful, free, and powerful security product, and the backlash of a company's decision to bundle a toolbar with a penchant for generating alerts in many anti-virus/anti-malware programs.

No, (most) toolbars aren't inherently 3vil. However, many of the sysadmins and other kind folks who slog around day in and day out in the underworlds of IT security know that there are a LOT of bad or bothersome ones out there and we all (myself included) have a tendency to chuck out that baby with its bath-water.

Bill Speaks (the other Bill)

Before anyone is so quick to take sides, lets pause and reconsider this post by WinPatrol master and commander, Bill Pytlovany.

Bits from Bill: Would you like Toolbar with your Software Order?

The sales pitch to include a toolbar with WinPatrol was compelling. I’m told that the my reputation wouldn’t be affected and I would be providing my customers with a service by including the free toolbar. All the companies currently installing the toolbar are very happy. He even leaked the news that another well known Anti-Spyware vendor would be announcing their own deal soon.

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 tool bar I could probably retire comfortably by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, a number of people think I’m a really, 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.

Bill gets it.

I wish the heads that mattered at other security software companies would as well.

More on the Ask Toolbar

Want to know why in particular the Ask Toolbar in particular generates such loathing?

Read on for a survey of the Web mood.

Claus's Position

From what I have experienced, if you already have Comodo Firewall Pro 3.0 installed and do updates of Comodo, you don't get offered the toolbar. It doesn't install on your system.

Good enough.

If you are doing a fresh install of Comodo Firewall Pro 3.0, you are offered the chance to install the Ask Toolbar.  You can accept or decline at your whim or happen-chance.

Like AVG Free version 8, I'm happily keeping Comodo Firewall Pro 3.0 on my systems at home. I will continue to recommend it to others.  I will just tell them that I personally don't find any value in the Ask Toolbar and will encourage them to take a pass on installing in into their systems as well.

It's a free-world, baby.


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