DeChroming my Life

Google Chrome

A while back I switched to Google Chrome, because Firefox was having issues.

Today I switched back to Firefox because Google Chrome is having issues.

Isn’t life fun?

Regards

Wayne Borean

Saturday February 7, 2015

 

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Windows 7 and Browser Choice in Europe

Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft has posted a message on Windows 7 and Browser Choice in Europe.

I have a feeling that this is going to go over like a lead balloon at the EU Competition Bureau.

It looks great the way he talks about it, but what he’s actually saying is:

1) We won’t install other browsers on Windows.

2) We will include IE

3) Rather than doing what you asked (the Competition Bureau) what we are going to do is to make the user who buys the computer start up Internet Exploder. When they start up Internet Exploder, we will redirect them to a page that we designed, that will mention other browsers, and we’ll design it so that they will just use Internet Exploder because it’s too much work to install anything else. Oh, and we are going to change the release version of Windows so that Firefox, Chrome, and Opera will run like molasses in January.

Yeah, I’m cynical.

Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension

Um, well, I’m glad once again that I don’t run Windows. Microsoft has done it again. The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 update silently installs a Firefox Extension. Yes, you read it right. Microsoft is now messing with software that they didn’t even write, if it’s installed on your computer.

And what’s even better, is it’s damned hard to remove.

Let’s listen to Brad Abrams of Microsoft:

A couple of years ago we heard clear feedback from folks that they wanted to enable a very clean experience with launching a ClickOnce app from FireFox. James Dobson published FFClickOnce and got very good reviews, but we had many customers that wanted ClickOnce support for Firefox built into the framework… so in .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 we added ClickOnce support for Firefox! This made ClickOnce apps much more accessible to a wide range of customers.

Why is this an issue? Annoyances.org says:

This update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for websites to easily and quietly install software on your PC. Since this design flaw is one of the reasons you may’ve originally choosen to abandon IE in favor of a safer browser like Firefox, you may wish to remove this extension with all due haste.

Hotdog you say! Now Firefox has one of Internet Exploder’s greatest disadvantages! And Microsoft doesn’t even bother to ask if you want it installed.

It gets better though. The Un-Install button in the Firefox Extension control window is greyed out. You can’t use it. To get rid of the damned thing, you have to edit the Windows registry. Now this is really not that hard. Yes, unlike Linux you will have to use the command line, but both Annoyances.org and Brad Abram’s blog post give detail instructions on how to do it. My guess is that it will take five minutes at most.

In that case, why did I write this post? Because it YOUR COMPUTER. And Microsoft doesn’t understand that.