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Microsoft rumored to be buying creator of Gator adware

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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:55 AM
Original message
Microsoft rumored to be buying creator of Gator adware
If this doesn't scare you, it definitely should:

http://blogs.pcworld.com/techlog/archives/000754.html

The New York Times and other sources are reporting that Microsoft has been in talks to acquire Claria, the adware company that's probably best known for its Gator software, which gives you an electronic wallet but also displays ads based on your surfing habits. Claria is also behind DashBar, Precision Time, SearchScout, Date Manager, and other applications that display advertising on your system.

The Times report says that there's opposition within Microsoft to such a deal, and that talks were tottering on the edge of failure. But it's still startling (at least to me) that Microsoft would consider snapping up Claria, a company that carries a lot of baggage.

Today, Claria likes to play good guy: The site includes a "Privacy Center" and a section on its "Anti-Spyware Commitment." But they've been responsible for so many Internet aggravations that a lot of people seem to flinch the moment the company's products come up. (I still wince when I think of the period when the Web was rife with Gator-related ads that simply launched the Windows installation process in hopes of getting the company's software onto users' systems--I never, ever want an ad to dig that deeply into my operating system, and I'm still annoyed that Claria products were presumptuous enough to do so.)


Want to learn more about Claria (Gator)? This is a good source from a company that was sued by Claria for calling their product 'spyware':

http://www.pcpitstop.com/gator/default.asp

Also interesting to note that Windows' anti-spyware application has quietly stopped flagging intrusions by Claria adware products.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1834607,00.asp

Personally, I didn't even know that Microsoft HAD an anti-spyware program, particularly since AdAware and Spybot are better and widely known. I definitely wouldn't use their product now.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmm
Once I get some extra hard drive space I'm definetely setting up a Linux partition.

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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. M$'s anti-spyware product should be called
Fox Henhouse Manager Deluxe 1.0.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Well unless it's happened in the past 72 hours, MS anti-spyware tool
still removes Claria. I used the most recent version of it to remove a monstrous amount of Claria crap from one of my users machines just a couple of days ago.

Hmmm, I'll have to check into this more carefully.
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Darwins Finch Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Clarification
According to The Register, it still detects it, but they changed the recommended course of action:

Spyware researcher Eric Howes has posted screenshots on Broadband Reports showing the latest signature updates of Microsoft AntiSpyware give users a recommended action of ignoring Claria. Users are free to make up their own mind and either quarantine or remove the application. Last month every time Microsoft AntiSpyware found Claria it advised users to quarantine the application. Detection of Claria has not been removed from Microsoft's AntiSpyware definitions but there has been a significant change.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/07/ms_downgrades_c... /
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Ah, okay then.
Hmmm, I don't recall whether I had to change those to "remove" instead of "quarantine" or not. But it deleted them all successfully, so I didn't complain :)
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. Did you ever consider that MS is buying it...
to get rid of it?
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. So MS is paying $500 million to 'get rid of it'?
Granted, that's walking around money for Bill Gates, but I'm sure there are easier and less expensive ways to get rid of Gator. Hell, they squashed Netscape and countless others with inferior product.

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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. $500 million is nothing to MS.
If you know of an easier way to get rid of Gator, I'd be interested in knowing what it is. A lot of companies and organizations have been trying to get rid of it for years and haven't put even a dent in it.

MS has a history of buying companies with the sole intent of shutting them down. Let's hope this is the same.
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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. MS may want Claria's advertisers and large (if ill-gotten) client base.
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 09:09 AM by Eugene
MS can dump or defang the software
and keep the assets they want.

On edit: Credit BBR on idea.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. Gator is incidious. It took forever for me to get rid of it. n/t
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