back to article Microsoft sneaks Firefox add-on into Patch Tuesday update

Microsoft has silently slipped a Firefox extension onto user machines via an automatic software update. Again. This week, as part of its regular Patch Tuesday, Redmond released an update for its various browser toolbars, and as Ars Technica noticed, this update also installed an entire add-on for Internet Explorer and an …

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  1. M Gale

    Bug, my arse.

    Why even touch Firefox in the first place? Firefox has its own updater. Use that and stop pretending attempts to foist Microsoft shit onto everybody is a "bug".

    It's an unwanted feature, and you damned well know it is, Monkey-boy.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    The .Net extension

    actually keeps coming back. If you follow Microsoft's tech net article to remove it then the next time you do a Windows update it re-installs it for you (silently).

    So I expect the same cavalier attitude over the Bing Bar.

    Also just what else are Microsoft installing on your PC without telling you?

    1. Cynical Observer

      Hack it

      I saw that - it would reappear over and over - so eventually I hacked it.

      I set it's maximum version compatibility to 1.*.*

      And set the extension version to 9.9

      Firefox disables it becasue it's not "new enough" and I reckon that it will be while before Microsoft release version 10 of the extension.

      Annoying that it's still there - but reassuring that it's crippled.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe I'm still asleep

        but I could swear I got rid of the .Twat FF extension long, long ago and it absolutely has not been back since. Perhaps this relates to the outrage about this toolbar update that, presumably, requires one to have installed the toolbar in the first place? Wouldn't that be like those types who bought an ID card who now complain about not getting their £30 back? Or am I just dreaming this? I know I've only had the _one_ coffee so far today.

  3. Samuel Walker
    Badgers

    Not entirely Microsofts fault

    After all, what kind of software allows the uninstall button to be disabled in the first place?

    If anyone can give me one good reason why extensions that, by definition, are not necessary for the functioning of the program, can have their install button disabled please enlighten me.

    1. Martin Owens

      Not an Admin

      Perhaps because they're installed globally and the local user doesn't get to choose.

  4. TkH11

    Microsoft

    Why is Microsoft such a shit company? For donkey's years they've had completely the wrong attitude, just complete arrogance in all sorts of domains.

    From Browser wars to java incompatibility, to deliberately stifling the competition. They know it's morally wrong, and in some cases illegal.

    We all know (any professional in the IT industry) not to ever trust Microsoft products. Such a shame that it's come to that. But it's entirely their fault for their stupid, selfish arrogant attitude.

    Where is the ethics in Microsoft?

    1. M Gale

      The ethics of Microsoft..

      ..are the same as any other business. Does it make money? Yes? Then it's ethical.

      That's why I'm with the toy unix. No one person, company or organisation controls it, or can control it. Even the worst the FSF can do is enforce the GPL.

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge
    Linux

    Yes it is Microsoft's fault

    Don't shift blame away from Microsoft, so firefox has a method that the extension system can be abused. It is still fully Microsoft's fault for abusing it. Oh well, just makes me glad I am Microsoft-free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Devils Advocate....

      by that logic

      Microsoft and others are known to produce the odd (and possibly even) product with a security hole in it, but obviously it's entirely the malware guys fault that they use that hole?

      1. Stuart Elliott
        Thumb Down

        Malware writers fault?

        Erm yes.. Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      Microsoft free?

      Do you have USB? Wifi?

      Oh dear....oh remove about several other dozen parts from your pc and then you maybe Microsoft free.

      Poor, deluded peguin people.....

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
        Troll

        @AC re. Microsoft Free

        What does Microsoft have to do with either USB or WiFi. They are industry standards developed by Intel and the Wi-Fi alliance respectivly.

        I do not use ndiswrapper for my wifi, the code is native Linux. Ditto the USB support. The same is true for the printer and CIFS support. No Microsoft code anywhere.

        I suppose that you could mean the FAT filesystem on a USB storage device (which is not necessarily written using Microsoft code), but that presupposes that the FAT patent preventing re-implementation is beyond challenge, and in actual fact you are using FAT on your USB key at all. It is perfectly possible to format your USB key with a different partition table, and put Ext2 on it, or use it un-partitioned, again with a non-FAT derived FS on it.

        As far as I am aware, the only Microsoft software running on my laptop is the Windows instance inside VirtualBox. This is my choice, and I can completely remove this when I want. I also have a system at home built from recycled bits of other systems that as far as I am aware has exactly no Microsoft code on it. It has no VM or Wine, nor does it have the WMV codec's or MS Core Fonts. If it does have some MS code, then I could be in trouble, because I do not have a Windows license for it!

        I suggest that you actually read about what MS make.

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Credulous moron

      "And wtf is it them them pricks infesting there poorly developed and designed garbage on consumers computers."

      Are you speaking in tongues?

      Anyway, how exactly is BIll Gates "a eugenicist scumtard"?

  7. Robert E A Harvey

    Let's see if I've got this right...

    Microsoft were not really sinister and scheming, they were incompetent and careless.

    So that's OK then.

    1. frymaster

      not ok...

      it's not ok, but take a look at the level of paranoia and inanity in the comments surrounding yours ;)

      and, at the end of the day, what went wrong? for 4 days, a security update will have updated an entire application, not just the shared component of said application that needed the security update. It's hardly the end of the world

      if it hadn't been for the re-branding of the toolbar to Bing, this article could be rewritten as "MS update updates MS product"... it's a fail by microsoft, and I'm sitting here laughing at them, but I'm not about to get my tinfoil hat out just yet

  8. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    If you run Windows, you're stupid anyway.

    Seriously, haven't you people learned by now? If you're running Windows at all, you're going to deal with all of the unpleasant effects of living in Microsoft's world. Get out. Now. Excuses will no longer be tolerated. "I'd love to ditch Windows, but I need to keep it because..." is no longer an acceptable excuse. Get out. Now.

    1. Armitage
      Thumb Down

      why a title?

      "I'd love to ditch Windows, but I need to keep it because..."

      1) i've used it since 3.1 and am happy with windows

      2) i like playing on-line games

      3) it works

      4) ubuntu belongs in servers

      and yea im running a couple of servers of ubuntu and windows

      so put that in ur pipe and smoke it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @IGnatius T Foobar

      A lot of people rely on the software that exclusively exists for WIndows, take away Windows from them and you either make their job extremely difficult or impossible, or their hobby not worth the hassle because of the difficulty of trying to find equivilant software for another OS and learning how to use a completely different OS and a bunch of new software - if the software you need even exists.

      e.g. can you answer the question "is there a port of VirtualDub for Linux or Mac?" without rolling out the old bullshit line of "oh but there's some perfectly good alternative software" becuase anything you suggest won't be VirtualDub and can't produce the same results. And saying use something like use WINE to run Windows apps just defeats the purpose of switching to another OS when you still have to rely on Windows software for your job or hobby.

      It's not just the freeware VirtualDub that keeps users on the Windows platform, there's a lot of specialised software out there exclusively written for Windows that people use in their job, take away that sotware by taking away Windows and you've effectively taken away their ability to make money to live off of.

      I'm not saying Windows is great, but it sure enables the use of a lot of good software.

      1. Nexox Enigma

        VirtualDub isn't Good Software.

        """I'm not saying Windows is great, but it sure enables the use of a lot of good software."""

        Ehh, VirtualDub, unless it's gotten far better since the last time I used it, isn't good software. It's passable software that'll sometimes go without crashing long enough for you to do some simple video edits. Nothing that almost any lame video editor can't do.

        And for all those processing tasks that people tend to use VirtualDub for, mencoder is something like eleven million times better. But you'd probably not give it a chance, since there's no GUI full of buttons and checkboxes and wizards...

        There is some rather nice software (CAD mostly, and Photoshop) that just doesn't run in Linux, and I don't really like virtualizing it, so if I had to use it frequently I'd probably break down and install Windows on something again, but it's hard to make the same argument for a rather crap video editing app.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Nexox Enigma

          You must've been 'out of the loop' for quite a while now because it's extremely rare that VirtualDub ever crashes on me, on 3 completely different systems. For the video filtering work I do it works very well, especially when combined with AviSynth.

          The lack of GUI interface with mencoder means it's time consuming and can be difficult to judge wether the noise reduction & other filters involved with cleaning captured video are too little/too much/spot on - that's where the realtime before/after display of VirtualDub beats CLI based video filtering/encoding/decoding software hands down.

          Besides, VirtualDub wasn't created for anything beyond filtering and simple edits - that's why you turn to NLE programs for complex editing.

      2. M Gale

        "I'm not saying Windows is great, but it sure enables the use of a lot of good software."

        No. Developers who write the software in the first place enable the use of a lot of good software. WIndows enables nothing but a steady stream of money from your pocket to Microsoft's bank account.

        I'm with the guy with the massive downvotes. I'll use Windows at work if I have to. Home is mostly a Windows-free zone, and it's set to become even more so. And what's wrong with using WINE? If it works in WINE, why does that defeat the point of.. uhh.. not giving Microsoft my money?

        Would you rather I make unauthorised copies?

        1. Tom_B

          "Developers who write the software in the first place enable the use of a lot of good software"

          But, developing software for windows is a far simpler/more enjoyable task than for the other two major OSes. Linux is dependancy hell and generally forces you to code for a specific WM (kde or gnome) depending on which UI features you want to use.

          Apple nowadays forces you to use the dire Objective-C because the C/C++ api (Carbon) is well out of date meaning you cant use any of the shiny new features, which means you cant port a program to mac without re-coding the entire UI in Objective-C. *sigh*

          Microsoft win on this one, hands down, they provide a consistent, (mostly) well documented, up to date API and you dont have to worry about dependencies.

          Because of this, you can find software for windows that does pretty much anything. Usually for free.

          1. FIA Silver badge

            Not soo bad

            Objective-C's not so bad, and at least the UI framework is well thought out, rather than, well, Win32.

            However, if cross platform development is important, then take a look at Qt from Nokia (nee Trolltech), makes writing cross platform user interfaces fairly trivial.

          2. M Gale

            Dependancy Hell?

            "Linux is dependancy hell"

            Got apt?

            "and generally forces you to code for a specific WM (kde or gnome) depending on which UI features you want to use."

            I am currently running Gnome.

            And, err, konqueror. And kdiskfree. And gnome-terminal. And kdevelop. All at the same time. Applications designed for different window managers and different UI toolkits, yet all coexisting rather happily. It works. Just program for the WM you feel most comfortable with. I'm fairly sure an xfce4 app would work if I wanted it to!

            "Microsoft win on this one, hands down, they provide a consistent, (mostly) well documented, up to date API and you dont have to worry about dependencies."

            Microsoft provide an absolutely frigging massive API that's incompatible with everyone else's API. This moves the cost of switching up so high that people would rather hang on with a substandard OS and hope it improves, than switch. Not my words. Go look up Google for the words of a certain Microsoft employee. As for worrying about dependencies, no, I've never had to trawl the Internet looking for such-and-such a DLL or patch! Hah.

            "Because of this, you can find software for windows that does pretty much anything. Usually for free."

            I would like a stateful firewall that's as configurable and extensible as iptables/netfilter please. GUI is desired but optional.

      3. Robert E A Harvey

        that's right

        "take away Windows from them and you either make their job extremely difficult or impossible"

        yep. And it is vendor's faulty thinking.

        As long as you can't programme an Alan Bradley PLC or a Siemens motor controller with platform-independant software, us engineers are stuck with windows.

        Where is autocad for Linux. Please?

    3. Circadian
      Headmaster

      re: If you run "x", you're "y"

      This may come as a shock to you, but people do not buy computers to run an operating system. They buy them to run programs - the operating system being the enabler (well, it *should* be). So the order of choice is: "What do I want to run?" then "What operating system(s) does it run under?" All too often, the desired/needed program is only available under one operating system, so you use that one. Only if the needed program runs under several operating systems does choice of operating system really come into play.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      okay, if you're such a smartarse

      tell me how I can run all my games on this Lucid Lynx machine which I'm I'm typing on...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And...

        Anyone who is an even smarterarse, tell me how to make my scanner work on mine!

        I've moved to Linux. It's a heap better than when I last looked, about seven years ago (and I was a Unix pro then; forgotten it all now) but it is still not perfect

        What *I* do mostly seems to work better in Ubuntu. What many other people do may well not. Open Office is also looking a lot better than it was (unfortunately, by that, I mean it looks more like MS Office than it did) --- but while Word and Excel are the standards of the office, MS will continue to rule

        Hopefully, though, soon... not in my house!

      2. Adam Salisbury
        FAIL

        How about...

        Reading the post carefully first, then rather than choosing an OS before thinking about what you want to do with it, try thinking about what you need your system to do and then choose e.g.

        I have built a gaming rig, most games run on Windows, which OS shall I use? If you want a machine that runs games and allows you type the first ill-conceived post that pops into your head, Windows can do both but Lucid can't.

    5. Skrrp
      Thumb Down

      Games

      Please please tell me how to run all my games (and audible) under Linux and I'm sold. I have 1 win box left and it's for games.

      When wanting to do work I switch to Linux and agree with the rest of your sentiment.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      IGnatius T Foobar. it is you that is the fool !!!

      Windows is a perfectly good OS... yes, it has flaws, so do all other OS's, but it appears that the biggest flaw is that it makes a company billions of $..... so effing what !!!

      I run a mix of OS's accross my computers, The missus and daughter have windows, why? because I dont have the time to learn them to use linux and answer a million silly questions that dont need asking for windows.... I have both a windows PC (need it for photoshop) a ubuntu desktop and a ubuntu NBR... its the netbook that gets used most...

      The bigest fault with windows is the users...

  9. Roger Stenning
    Grenade

    Enough is enough.

    Linux, here I damn well come. You can stick Windows up Bill Gates exhaust pipe.

  10. Connor
    Linux

    This is one of the reasons.....

    That I switched to Ubuntu, no more pesky spyware, MS 'features' and so on installed as 'Important Security Updates' for me.

  11. BlueGreen

    Hasn't happened to me at home

    happened to work machine. Difference is I use noscript at home? Dunno. Am curious.

    @Roger Stenning: > "Linux, here I damn well come". I got to that point a couple of months ago. It's going to be a slog but to butcher R. L. Stevenson, to arrive is better than to travel, and I'm hopeful.

    Actually this has occurred to me before & I'd be curious to what others think - MS's attempts at lockin have become so intrusive (the vista interface, admin tool changes, that utter bastard ribbon etc) it's actually becoming lockout. Not that profound I guess. But that it's so bad it suggests MS is really starting to get extreme with worry - "quick, change something! Anything! doesn't matter what"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually...

      It's "We need to make more money: make it look sufficiently different they'll buy it all over again"

  12. Sineira

    Get a life. Do something useful.

    Get a life. Do something useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Do something useful

      I just did - I downvoted you

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Do something useful

        He said useful, not petty.

  13. Will 28

    To be fair...

    It only affects people that have installed microsofts search bar add on in the first place. I run firefox, windows update auto-updated for me (which is annoying because I had it set to manual update, and it rebooted my PC when I wasn't looking), and I haven't had the Bing Bar installed. This is because I didn't have the old MSN toolbar installed.

    If you've actively gone and installed a microsoft product, I think they have at least some justification in updating that product through their standard update mechanism.

  14. kain preacher

    umm

    Microsoft did not sneak the tool bar on to peoples PC. They silently upgrade the tool bar of prior versions. You had to already down loaded the tool bar to begin with. Not saying thats its right .

    to the AC about the .net. Funny thing is its not there in my Fire Fox. Nope not there and I just recently did an update to XP and win 7 .

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Not just MS tho

    Get a Mac, clean install OSX, remove iTunes, Safari and Quicktime. Update. Untick the previously mentioned items (but not the big 300/400MB update) They are back :|

    And as for Ubuntu, power on machine, update, reboot. Next day power on machine, update, reboot ...... continue for the rest of your life.

    Not defending MS, just adding balance to the froth and spittle covering the above posters keyboards.

    1. LionelB

      @Eradicate all BB entrants

      "And as for Ubuntu, power on machine, update, reboot. Next day power on machine, update, reboot ...... continue for the rest of your life."

      Actually it's: power on machine, update. Next day power on machine, update, ...... continue for the rest of your life.

      No need to reboot, except for the occasional kernel upgrade. Oh, and no need to trawl through your entire system to figure out which apps actually need updating.

  16. Remy Redert

    re: Not just MS tho

    What's this reboot thingy? Ubuntu has that functionality?

    I wouldn't know, because I've literally never had to reboot the thing. Up time's currently at 3 months, 17 days. And that's because there was a power failure back then that brought it down.

    And yes, I do keep it up to date. Linux has no problems installing things without constant reboots.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My-God-Im-Turning-Into-A-FanBoy!

      I reboot my Ubuntu often.

      Well, actually, I shut it down often, because it starts up again so quickly it is not hassle to turn the machine off when I'm not using it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @Remy

      Ah, so your Kernel is out of date then. That's nice to know. Linux has to reboot after certain updates. And even if it doesn't strictly need a reboot, you may have to bounce some services (depends on the updates). But to not power off in three months....why?

      If it's a server for some commercial enterprise, I can see that.

      If it's a private machine and isn't in constant use, switch the bugger off! I could explain why, but as a Linux nut you should know to go and RTFM.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Can't change, won't change

    @Armitage @Circadian

    I think I understand what you mean.

    For example I have in front of me a prawn cocktail infected with salmonella and all sorts of nasty bugs and viruses certain to give me a stomach ache tomorrow and next to it, a clean and healthy salad. Of course I have to eat the prawn cocktail, as I know nothing about salads and I don't have the right condiments to go with it. Also, the salad doesn’t have a dressing I like.

    Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who still runs Windows is welcome to.. In fact I'm posting this from an old XP machine now. However if your bank account gets compromised or you lose all your wedding pictures, you’ve been warned of the dangers.

  18. MarkOne

    The joys of browser extensions.

    I still can't understand why Firefox fanboys love them, as surely seeing IE and it's toolbar and ActiveX nightmares, it's enough to turn anyone off...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    What..

    I want to know is, "Where did they find someone using a MS toolbar inside of Firefox?"

    1. Britt Johnston
      Gates Halo

      step one of a two-step scam

      I recently rebooted windows XP and switched to google, which loaded an MS toolbar, and then switched the toolbar search to lead to Bing. Was that a bug too, or did I press some button at the wrong time, or did I forget to opt out?

      I haven't tested this, so count it as hearsay. It is too much bother to replicate. At least Microsoft are nicer than those Russians who make zombies of your PC.

  20. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1
    Paris Hilton

    XP 8 GB

    That's what I'm running now.

    I just reinstalled an old hard drive and updated it to SP3 and got all the third partyware to run Java adobe the usual suspects, a free firewall nad a free AV.

    A huge supply of non Microsoft freeware all needed to surf today's web. And all working quite well too. And it only takes over 8 gigabyrtes.

    I'd like to see a Linux distro that can do that. Why, the last OS I was using (DreamLinux) was only a few bytes. Another I had was 30 megabytes. Crapware. You need a muscle car, you get a Yanky one.

    Two gears and half a ton of engine. It will go anywhere that has long straight roads.

    1. Rob Beard
      Linux

      Ubuntu 10.04 does

      Got Ubuntu 10.04 64-Bit installed, comes with Firefox, OpenOffice 3.2, Thunderbird, Java, Video/Audio codecs for media playback, a reasonably good (for my needs) video editing package, a music player and a whole load of other stuff. Total install size?

      4.7GB!

      I could probably trim that down a bit if I wanted but I can't be bothered.

      Rob

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      What

      are you jabbering on about???

    3. M Gale
      Badgers

      Re: XP 8 GB (4 downvotes at time of writing)

      I swear some people don't know what humour is.

      Yes, that's "humour". With a U!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Is Microsoft in trouble?

    Some time ago, Microsoft wouldn't have batted an eyelid.

    Now, they are apologising and changing their behaviour.

    This reads, to me, as if Microsoft has just woken up and realised that it isn't the invulnerable behemoth that it once thought it was.

    Interesting. Very interesting.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    In your first two paragaraphs you summed up much of what I hate about Windows: so bloody much to install before you even get started.

    In the rest of your post, you were just plain *wrong* about Linux. You can run it off a CD

    1. Paul 129
      Happy

      Usb memory stick is much nicer

      Try unetbootin

    2. Adam Salisbury
      WTF?

      You gotta be joking!

      Windows requires too much installed out of the box to make it usable!?! Are you a troll or dumbass, last ten times I've done Windows installs I've not had to spend a good half on audio/video codecs ALONE!

      That's the trade-off, out of the box Windows will do more, more easily but not without hideous amounts of bloat and security holes, Linux is the kit-car OS, almost bugger all works out of the box but it's bloat-free and you tailor it to your exact needs.

      The only caveat being the most recent Ubuntu releases which can now do an awful lot out of the box but they took their time about it.

  23. Inachu
    Grenade

    GRRRRRRRR

    Each time these bugs are released I am sure they still use some sort of monitoring tool to now say

    "BING TOOL BAR IS NO MORE THAN EVER FAMOUS ACROSS ALL BROWSERS"

    I bet they did that as an accidently lets boost our bottom line install base percentage.. but hey lets call it a mistake because we do not like the numbers we see how few people use our toolbar!

    Lets make more of these mistake so our toolbar is used more often YEAH!!!!!

    /face palm.

    Fire the guy at ms if that is their intention to have an intentional mistake.

  24. Flybert
    Grenade

    too many cows

    cause you people keep having them

    disclaimer: WinXP here .. never had a malware problem .. but started at SP2 and wish there was a way I could still be running Win98SE .. which I never had a problem with either .. last time

    I had a problem with Windows was Win95 , because I did NOT take the advice NOT to install IE 4.00 .. I was a n00b .. what can I say ?

    don't care what M$ does with my IE8 .. use FireFox .. use Open Office .. keep your Windows OS clean by avoiding other MS BULL

    Why the fuck would someone have Bing toolbar on FF ? .. I had no plug-in added to FF by patch Tuesday's update

    What bugs me is shit like every Adobe Flash update wanting to install Yahoo Search toolbar .. though IT'S NO BIG DEAL TO UNCHECK THE BOX !

    Frankly, I found the more you resist and try to screw with Windows, the more it screws with you

    Get a wireless router (firewall).. have decent anti-virus ( free AVG here ) .. keep shit updated ..

    don't click on email attachments or links if you don't know how to check them out first

    a few more simple, common sense rules and Windows is pretty damn safe .. just pay a TINY bit of attention ..

    Instead, it seems some people would rather have the BULL inserted and have COWS about it

    If you whiners operated your autos like you apparently operate your WinBoxen .. you'd be dead!

    1. Chika
      Alert

      Hitting the bull

      "disclaimer: WinXP here .. never had a malware problem .. but started at SP2 and wish there was a way I could still be running Win98SE .. which I never had a problem with either .. last time"

      Actually, I still have my copy of W98SE knocking around on a lappy that makes the occasional bit of uptime. The question must surely be whether it was really worth all the extra effort of upgrading when the machine was the only one I used. Of course, that's no longer the case...

      "I had a problem with Windows was Win95 , because I did NOT take the advice NOT to install IE 4.00 .. I was a n00b .. what can I say ?"

      We all have to learn sometime.

      "don't care what M$ does with my IE8 .. use FireFox .. use Open Office .. keep your Windows OS clean by avoiding other MS BULL"

      Must admit, I had a bit of a giggle when that whole business of "select your own browser" came through. Yes, I'm using W7 here alongside my openSUSE system (as I repeatedly tell folk, Linux Is Not Ubuntu) and it had Firefox on it from the start. My works PC, however, requires a certain amount of control at the admin end of things, and FF isn't quite as controllable as IE from the policy end. At home, however, who gives a stuff about group policy?

      "Why the fuck would someone have Bing toolbar on FF ? .. I had no plug-in added to FF by patch Tuesday's update"

      Got to admit, seeing as how all the various Firefoxen I've used have had a built in search facility in them, I've viewed such helper objects as advertising tools and avoided them. Not that I ever saw the point to them in IE either.

      "What bugs me is shit like every Adobe Flash update wanting to install Yahoo Search toolbar .. though IT'S NO BIG DEAL TO UNCHECK THE BOX !"

      Yeah. Bugs me too. I suppose these folk need to make their pile somehow though, but I'm more likely to block ads than install them.

      "Frankly, I found the more you resist and try to screw with Windows, the more it screws with you"

      That all depends on if you know what you are screwing with. If you blindly screw with it, I'd agree, but wouldn't that really be your own fault?

      "Get a wireless router (firewall).. have decent anti-virus ( free AVG here ) .. keep shit updated ..

      don't click on email attachments or links if you don't know how to check them out first

      a few more simple, common sense rules and Windows is pretty damn safe .. just pay a TINY bit of attention .."

      Sound advice. I've often come across those that don't bother, then wonder why their boxen are doing weird stuff and running like the proverbial dog. Not sure about AVG but there are worse AVs about and it's better than nothing (I've been a Kaspersky user for the last few years but was AVG before that, and my W98 box uses Avast).

      "Instead, it seems some people would rather have the BULL inserted and have COWS about it"

      It all comes back to labels. Some people like to have all the right badges even if it means that they will have trouble with them. It's one reason why I say what I say about Umbongo in that while I have nothing against it promoting Linux, I wouldn't want it to end up as another badge like Red Hat was some years ago. Or, indeed, Microsoft or Apple.

      "If you whiners operated your autos like you apparently operate your WinBoxen .. you'd be dead!"

      Sad to say, some people do! ;)

  25. Mark Eaton-Park

    how to remove

    see here http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/19393/remove-the-search-helper-extension-from-firefox/

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Wow

    Well there you go, MS screwed up again we shall gloss over the significantly larger user base,larger hardware and software base and just jump to the point that they are an evil empire built on the largest proportion of the world computer sales intent on making our lives crap.

    Im actually tired of people moaning about this so im going to say something.

    If you wanna moan about MS without being objectionable because linux is so much better then save yourself the stress and f**k off and leave us MS users to live our lives in Hell

    if your kicking up a big i hate MS, i love Linux fuss and you are actually using MS software then go away, there will be a reason you are using it and thats probably a similar reason the rest of us use it too.

    If your not using MS stuff and your world is all the better for it then good for you, but please stop going around saying how wonderful your life is and how bad everyone elses must be, you wouldnt do it to strangers in the street so dont do it here

    the artical is about MS slipping an MS FF update in with a windows update yes, well yes thats very naughty, they were wrong i think we can all agree now lets leave it at that and cut out this MS / linux fanboyism

  27. The BigYin

    Strange

    I have allowed 2 systems to update will all MS Updates (one XPsp3 and one Win7) they both have FF3.6 and neither has any MS add on pish. So what is the actual sotry here? I remember the first (involuntary) install of the .Net one-click muck but once it was removed, it was gone forever.

    And speaking of things which be missing; El Reg, after losing your "Science" icon a while back, "Happy" appears to have gone AWOL now too.

  28. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Boffin

    This is why...

    ...I use peer guardian, will all MickeySoft IPs blocked.

    ZoneAlarm is useful too, "MickeySoft Windoze installer is trying to access the internet"

    Why? I didn't install anything, I must get on to ZoneLabs and recommend that in addition to the usual options of “Allow” and “Deny” for the allow access to the internet dialog, that they add a third option “Fuck Off Cretin”

  29. Michael 77
    Paris Hilton

    From a desktop point of view

    I use M$ because:

    Word is a good wordprocessor;

    Excel is a good spreadsheet;

    Windows games - they rock.

    I have AVG (free) & Online Armor (free).

    Never had a virus, trojan, worm or root-kit.

    Not entirely true: had virus 'Brain' back in the MS-Dos days.

    M$ works, looks good & allows me to run what I want.

    Only the first can be said of Linux.

    Paris, because she .... out-ticks Linux.

    1. Chika
      Happy

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "Never had a virus, trojan, worm or root-kit..."

      Shouldn't that read "Never knowingly had a virus, trojan or root-kit"?

  30. Stephen Bungay

    Easier to seek forgiveness...

    They did this to increase usage/awareness of Bing.

    They disabled the uninstall to keep as many of the extensions active as long as possible, they know most users won't have a clue how to undo this.

    They didn't ask you because it is easier to seek your forgiveness than your permission.

    They do "stupid stuff" like this because in the long-run it is good for them.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Damn well better only have been for idiots who installed the toolbat

    But I'm double checking when I get home tonight. Live and MSN never touch my Firefox. That's why I have multiple browsers on my home system. Firefox for most of my browsing, IE because its there by default and for MS apps, and Opera for browsing the pr0n I've downloaded to my PC.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same old Microsoft

    Microsoft made ground-breaking progress in many ways, though most of them were not first-introduced by Microsoft. (One way that does stand out is that computing hardware lacks any product safety what-so-ever. As long as it doesn't cause physiologic shock, losing your entire estate to organized crime is OK.)

    You can't legislate morality.

    After reading (Darknet) that Microsoft addressed the "bug" I finally went and installed Firefox on my machines that run Windows. Today. Seems the "bug" isn't fixed yet. There is something the original Register report failed to mention. Firefox typically notifies the user to reboot when running the add-on requires reboot. Not so, with these four (4) add-ons. As reported though, none of these four add-ons (per installation) has a "Remove" option. Now I get to find out how good the current versions of XP and 7 are, at rolling-back. Amazing, considering I dind't even download Firefox until just prior to installing it. Oddly, the really good crimeware/malware works the same way. You don't even know it exists until it spots what it wants to see (say, a subnet you are on, or a connection).

  33. Mark Morgan
    WTF?

    Google Toolbar

    I don't see anyone complaining that their Google Toolbar running in Firefox has been updated silently by the Google Updater.

    I think it's great the way Google Updater silently updates all Google its products in the background and doesn't even require a reboot every time. Adobe and Microsoft take note! The only reason I know Chrome has been updated is because Secunia PSI tells me.

    I just wish the lot of them would get together and make one Über 'Windows' update that did the lot for every product that registers wih the update service.

  34. ChrisO

    At Last!

    The moment I've been waiting for! "Gatesgate"!

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