back to article Skype pushes gaming software down users throats

Skype has further irked its users, already put out by an outage last week, by pushing a Windows add-on that installed itself on users' systems whether or not they gave it permission to install. Auto-update functionality was used to push an update to the EasyBits Go games centre towards Windows users who used Skype Extras Manager …

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difficult to install?

Or difficult to uninstall?

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FAIL

Business users

If MicroSkype are aiming for the lucrative business market, then this is a terrible mistake. Foisting games onto end users really doesn't endear them to the corporate world.

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FAIL

If you actually read it properly, you'd know that it is a part of Skype Extras Manager (which you have to manually select to install during installation). This has been a part of Skype (regular version) since 2006. For those who had it installed, they were pushed an update which installed itself whether they let it or not, it wasn't pushed to those who didn't have it installed in the first place.

Business users wouldn't be pushed this as they would be using the business version which doesn't come with all the extra stuff, obv. So your statement is really silly.

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"Business users [...] would be using the business version"

In an ideal world, you're certainly right.

Unfortunately, the fact that regular Skype does conference calls along with the fact that business users rarely do more than that with it means that there is no special incentive to go to the business portal of Skype.

Meaning that, in any situation where the IT staff cannot be arsed to do it beforehand, the user will go to Skype.com and download the regular version - probably with all the free extras he can get.

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MS

While I doubt MS are to blame for this directly, I wonder if they're starting to question how good a purchase they've made?

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Stop

Skype <> MS

I doubt MS is to blame. More likely, it's Skype employees who are now angry at being under the thumb of MS. I'd bet there's a criminal investigation going on inside Skype.

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WTF?

Yawn

Another silly comment. It's simply a slight cockup at Skype. There's been problems before Microsoft bought it and there will be more after it. Trying to make out it's down to Microsoft is childish.

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Angel

Yawn Yawn

Much like a neutered dog, you don't get it, TM.. These are major screwups that can't be completely explained by the word "accident".

You know nothing about corporations, do you? Go read today's post on 'willful blindness'.

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Skype also drops open source support ...

You didn't mention that Skype has also dropped the support of the Digium Asterisk PABX open source product. Poor Skype, they seem to be going through a rough patch at the moment.

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Re: Skype also drops open source support

Now it's just a matter of time before users drop Skype. I've already made the step.

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The drop in the bucket.

>> Now it's just a matter of time before users drop Skype. I've already made the step.

I know this can be difficult to grasp. But you were 1 in 700 million users of the closed source Skype client and service.

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Anonymous Coward

Bloatware

Quick question. Is there a small lightweight Skype compatible softphone for the PC? Skype its self uses looks like bloatware to me.

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Childcatcher

Bye Bye Skype

It's Google Talk from now on, time to keep the children away from the evils of MS.

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as bad as each other

....And you really think the data slurping antics of Google are any less as objectionable than the practices of Microsoft?

Google talk? I think not.. they are too fond of treating other peoples data as their own.

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That said...

... at least you do not need to be a Google user to communicate with Google Talk.

You can join any XMPP server you like, including setting up your own as I have done.

None of the other competitors come close to that level of openness and interoperability. Google Talk/Jingle will also interoperate with Asterisk... something Skype can no longer do.

We just need to get the open source clients to move forward with implementation of Jingle... I know Kopete was working on it... I'm monitoring the telepathy framework pretty closely, as it seems quite promising with its more modular approach.

http://telepathy.freedesktop.org/wiki/

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And MS doesn't ?

Dream on if you think that MS does not data mine, they probably do a lot more than people know with that obfuscated piece of spaghetti programming.

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Google Talk..

works with Kopete very well.

Note : for the click and point Windows fanbois, Kopete is the KDE4 IM.

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oh dear

that'll help them in the big wide word :rolleyes:

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... and is working with ... to ensure ...

Automatic bullshit alert.

Can't these PR people get it that we know their language? Can't they at least come up with some new words to get us guessing again?

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Whats's the big deal

I know we can all be smug but the one thing that people should have rammed down their throats is that one of the first things they should do after installing an application is to disable automatic updates(*).

Ideally it should be compulsory to ask during installation if you want this "feature".

Also, while I'm at it, any auto-update should respect the wishes of the original installation options and not install Google/*/etc... toolbar nor change your browser's start page just because you don't go through all the questions again.

(*)Completey useless with Adobe products as they ignore this setting.

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WTF?

Can't quite reconcile the statements in this article

"The utility is not malign even though users could easily be forgiven for thinking otherwise."

"Users were given the option to ignore or abort the installation but these selections were ignored."

The utility installs software even when clearly instructed not to do so and after purportedly offering the option to not do so? That's pretty malign.

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Flame

Hate to disagree old chap, but...

"EasyBits GO is NOT a malware, it is a legitimate application distributed by EasyBits Media as part of our scheduled update."

If it looks like malware and acts like malware and does things without your permission like malware, guess what?

Good bye Skype. That was the proverbial straw.

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@Martijn Otto

No, because real people don't even know what open-source is let alone care. In fact regular people would find the whole idea rather suspicious. "You give your code _away_?!"

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huh?

I had the message a few days ago... I declined and it didn't install (I checked). Where's the story?

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Anonymous Coward

are you sure it didn't install?

I had the message a few days ago... I declined and it didn't install (I checked). Where's the story?

---------------------------------

Are you sure it didn't install? The message in the dialog box was asking for it to communicate with Skype - by that point it is already on the PC. Check your registry and Program Data folders, I'd be pretty confident that you will find that it is infact installed.

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EasyBits' tap-dancing rationale

"EasyBits GO is NOT a malware, it is a legitimate application distributed by EasyBits Media as part of our scheduled update.

Unfortunately the user interface in the update installer has defects causing confusing user experience that leads to unintentional installations..."

So, I guess that means it's malware, then.

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Stop me if I'm wrong...

...and I might be stretching the definition a bit, here, but... if a piece of software pushes an installation onto your system without your permission -- and ignores your requests to abort the installation -- doesn't that sorta kinda qualify as malware? OK, the payload itself was technically benign, but, still...

"Unintentional installation", my ass. It was only "unintentional" because they were CAUGHT.

Kinda reminds me of my recent Firefox 3.5.8 unwanted auto-update experience. FF 3.5.7 was misbehaving, starting without presenting a new window and ignoring the "New Window" command, when I thought that perhaps a fresh reboot would solve the problem. So, I rebooted and restarted FF; after some moments' hesitation, Firefox presented me with a new window congratulating me for upgrading to FF 3.5.8. This bugged the hell out of me on a couple of levels; first, that Mozilla pushed an auto-update despite my Prefs settings to NOT auto-update and somehow managing to bypass LittleSnitch (despite my Prefs settings, FF still insists on trying to call home to addons.mozilla.org, setting off Little Snitch, to which I always reply "Deny Until Quit") -- and second, that this upgrade-pushing while ignoring Prefs setting smelled like a good old Microsoft trick.

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Skype is no longer under consideration

Once I found out that skype was soon to be owned - run by Microsoft.

All consideration of it as a useful product or voip with video was dropped.

We use Linux in our company and are proud to say and show that Microsoft is a non starter for anything we do. Skype is dead for us.

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Facepalm

Good bye skype!

Hello Truphone!

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Oh crap!

Installing software without users permission! This is the end of OSX security through obscurity! hahahahahaha omg!

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Unhappy

back to the future!!!

Does ANYONE remember the crapware that Real Networks foisted upon users who wanted to use their player software? Seems too much like a repeat of this, and if Skype was willing to let this one through then there's not telling what they might have in store for their users.

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