Be careful the next time you hit Download.com
August 23, 2011 - 11:28 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
In a move similar to the one that made Adobe so popular, Download.com no longer lets you just download your desired file, instead you must first install their downloader software. Download.com and Cnet are no longer as popular as they once were, but were still a good repository for freeware and trialware. Now you need to install their software to get at the programs you want and it is even better than you might think, you will get the software you want as well as a brand new toolbar and changes to your home page and default search engine. Thankfully it is opt out, but for many people who are not paying attention, installing the next piece of software from Cnet will also involve uninstalling a toolbar and switching your browsers defaults back to what you chose for yourself. The only good news is that programs won't get the wrapper until the next time the version is updated. Catch the reaction at Slashdot.
"At Download.com, page designs have been repeatedly tweaked over the years to push its updater software (now called TechTracker), TrialPay offers, and the site's mailing list. Bothersome, perhaps, but certainly not inexcusable. They've got to make money off the site somehow, after all, and banner ads don't always do the job. Now, things have taken a turn for the worse: Cnet has begun wrapping downloads in its own proprietary installer. Not only will this cause the reputation of free, legitimate software to be tarred by Cnet's bloatware toolbars, homepage changes, and new default search engines — but Cnet is even claiming that their installer wrapping is 'for the users.'"
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