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Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:22

Mozilla fumes at Google, Apple and Microsoft's illegal plug ins

Written by Nick Farell
firefox

Stop being evil guys
Open Saucer Asa Dotzler says he has had a gutsful of Apple, Microsoft and Google installing software plug-ins, without permission, into the Mozilla Foundations Firefox Web browser. Writing in the Foundation's bog, Dotzler, who is Mozilla's community coordinator told the outfits to "stop being evil."

Microsoft , Google, Apple, and others think that it is an OK practice to add plug-ins to Firefox.  When you install Apple's iTunes, Jobs' Mob thinks it is  OK to add the iTunes Application Detector plug-in to my Firefox web browser without asking, he moaned. Microsoft sneaked in its Windows Live Photo Gallery and Office Live plug-ins without his knowledge, he added. Then Google thought it was OK to slip a Google Update plug-in into Firefox Google Earth or Google Chrome is installed.

He complained that this is not OK behaviour. If a user installed a specific application from these vendors intending to have only that application installed, they should not have additional software foisted on them. Dotzler said that the big software companies were installing a trojan horse. While the additional pieces of software installed without  consent may not be malicious, the means by which they were installed was sneaky, underhanded, and wrong.

He called on the big software companies to stop this sort of action.  If they wanted to add software to a system they should ask the user. Dotzler admits that Firefox could do more to help users block out secret software plug-ins, but he argues that trustworthy actions from Apple, Microsoft and Google are needed.

Nick Farell

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