thinking of buying Claria, an adware/spyware maker formerly called Gator, and remembered for its pop-up ads and software that tracks people visiting Web sites.
Gator adware/spyware has frequently been denounced by privacy advocates for its intrusiveness.
The offer price is $500 million, but the PR damage will be 10X that!
Microsoft is thinking of buying Claria, an adware/spyware maker formerly called Gator, and remembered for its pop-up ads and software that tracks people visiting Web sites.
If they do buy it, then it may confirm to some that Microsoft is spying on people and gathering data on their browsing habits.
Like you say, very bad PR if it happens. Its bad enough buying antivirus firms then stopping the Linux versions of the product, but this could be much worse.
as REported in the article there are two sides.
"Those in favor of the deal, this person said, believe Microsoft could help clean up the adware field, establish rules to protect privacy and benefit from the anticipated increase in personalized advertising"
while the other side:
"The anti-deal group, the person said, fears the move could bring an outcry as critics portray Microsoft as a corporate Big Brother, trying to track every mouse click on the Web and profit from it."
I must agree with the anti-deal group because no matter what good side microsoft try to promote they will get accused for the harsher side and since spyware is such a big thing lately people wont be looking at it on the bright side.
Why would Microsoft begin developing spyware and adware if it's been chasing that type of software away from Windows recently?
they dont want the popups - but the "personalization" software
i dont care if claria has a working db file system - do NOT go anywhere near them
Ballmer " yusef - we must catch google - the company that can do no wrong. Go buy the most reviled company in the world - so we can monitor our customers increasing apathy towords us"
jamie wrote:Ballmer " yusef - we must catch google - the company that can do no wrong. Go buy the most reviled company in the world - so we can monitor our customers increasing apathy towords us"
Isn't that what Channel9 is for? Monitoring apathy or enthusiasm? It's a conversation. Are you at the table? I'm wondering what's going on under the table now.
Aliens, government conspiracies, customer-feedback. The usual.
Something i have never really understood. What’s wrong with companies tracking usage and trends as long as its anonymous?
I don't think i have ever seen a valid argument against it.
all companies track
but why buy the most famous (for the wrong reasons) spyware company ( for the innovation? )
you want tracking go buy Customer DNA or some other less high profile company
microsoft and claria - egad
the sales guys have got to GO
Look beyond the spyware points. The spyware is just what Claria uses to get data into Gain, their ad system. Microsoft wants Gain, probably to integrate into MSN search, or to provide an adsense like system. Gain is very, very advanced. Did you all think they were going to pay $500 Million just for some spyware inside-info? I have more info here:
Heh, they might just go and buy all the annoying companies, just so they no longer exist. Think about it, if you had billions of dollars, just buy all the people who annoy you, and put the losers in dead end jobs.
hey they could by Altria (philip morris) - if they are looking for hated companies with new nonsensical names
Note 2 Scoble:
you may want to "blog" about this aquisition on weblogs - so people no MS is aware of the fast ridicule this idea is receiving on slashdot, c9 and other sites (asking if it is even true)
**note to programmers: this isnt about code its about the image hit microsoft will take that it cant afford right now
In other news... "Apple buys CoolWebSearch" riiiight.. ( We love spyware - we think its great SJ)
sbc wrote:Like you say, very bad PR if it happens. Its bad enough buying antivirus firms then stopping the Linux versions of the product, but this could be much worse.
What? So you're saying Linux should have spyware?
So anyway, here's the most insightful SlashDot comments I've found:
SlashDot People wrote:Microsoft changes slogan:
Old: Where do you want to go today?
New: We know where you've been!
SlashDot People wrote:No, Microsoft has had a long record of strongly fighting spammers and their lot. Now Microsoft is releasing antivirus and antispyware tools.
What better way to shut down a company that produces so much spyware and other unwanted adds than to buy them. From the deal, they'd not only get the code to the software (which could improve their removal tools) but also valuable code for personalization. I say they should go for it.
SlashDot People wrote:"What better way to shut down a company that produces so much spyware and other unwanted adds than to buy them."
Sends out the wrong sort of message when they buy them for $500 million though.
SlashDot People wrote:Well, on the brighter side of things, at least deciding which company we hate the most should get a lot easier.
SlashDot People wrote:Microsoft should buy whoever made Bonzai Buddy (or whatever that purple guy was called.) The integration of that and Clippy would be revolutionary.
SlashDot People wrote:Let me give you a little history lesson:
Number of times in the entire history of the world that buying off thugs has ever made them go away: 0
W3bbo wrote: sbc wrote: Like you say, very bad PR if it happens. Its bad enough buying antivirus firms then stopping the Linux versions of the product, but this could be much worse.
What? So you're saying Linux should have spyware?
Hey, if there ever was a linux version of gator, they are more than welcome to buy it and discontinue the linux version.
Unless it is open-sourced first. Then, it wouldn't matter.
billh wrote:Unless it is open-sourced first. Then, it wouldn't matter.
Seeming as most (if not all) FOSS projects are all "goodnikie", it would be a (certainly interesting, to say the least) change to see some "evil" FOSS software come up...
Somebody could start an SF project that has the aim of developing the most evil malware in existence. Hopefully the AV MFGs will be following it and patch all vulns it finds before /real/ evil people would start using the code for their own purposes.
Of course, there is the implication of "what happens to unpatched boxes?", of course those people are vunerable to loads of well-known holes /anyway/
Believe me, I'm forwarding this thread around the company.
scobleizer wrote:Believe me, I'm forwarding this thread around the company.
Hasn't your Browser Buddy already done that for you?
It was the perfect way to wipe out any good will MS has had opening C#, listening to the concerns over RSS extensions, releasing the spyware beta for nothing. Well done to the marketing muppet who thought this was a good idea.