GRRRR or Microsoft Bad Practices (ad nauseum)

My MacBookPro being away from me for light repair, I have installed the last version of MSN Messenger on my windows box since I need it for professionnal reasons. After installation, keywords typed in my Firefox's awesomebar were redirected to Bing instead of my personal choice, Google... Uh? I never wanted that, never agreed on that.

This is a real shame. Not only the MSN Messenger's installer never told me about it (I unchecked all choices of that kind), but I never granted Microsoft the right to modify my PERSONAL profile for another application and I wonder if legally, at least here in France, that could not be assimilated to piracy. I had to dive into about:config to reset the preference keyword.URL.

After that, I opened the MSIE8 options, found a button to tweak my search engines settings, found an unchecked (by default) checkbox preventing applications to tweak my search engine settings. WTF ?!?!? (don't miss the checkbox's label, that's a bit of something...) I have to declare that I don't want apps to touch my user's profiles ?!? That's just insane, and that pref should not exist or at least it should be checked by default.

Microsoft, you're painful, really really painful, and you're stupid too ; and I am polite here. My thoughts are MUCH harsher than my words. Please stop and never do that again.


1. On Wednesday 14 October 2009, 13:38 by raphael

I share the irritation. I got the same problem after installing the newest version of MSN.

I found the checkbox to tick in MSIE8 to prevent other programs to change my default search engine ... but I'm unable to get my default search engine back in firefox when I enter terms in the address bar :-(

Where did you find the keyword.URL parameter? In Firefox options? In MSIE8 options? In MSN?


2. On Wednesday 14 October 2009, 14:15 by AC

Someone care to share the checkbox's label in the comments, for those of us who don't have an MSIE8 installed?

3. On Wednesday 14 October 2009, 14:41 by OlivierG

Nothing new here, they've done it for _ages_ (in IT time unit). I don't remember any Microsoft apps able to install without changing default settings to promote their apps. Upgrade IE, get Outlook as default mailer. Without speaking of firefox being detected as a virus, and so on ...

4. On Thursday 15 October 2009, 00:19 by JulienW

I personally use "amsn" even on Windows. No annoying ad, no annoying behaviour, that's just perfect :-)

5. On Thursday 15 October 2009, 07:29 by redrum

Guessing you do not need kikoolol emoticons and direct file transfer :



And no more msn messenger pain in the ass

6. On Thursday 15 October 2009, 08:34 by Dræbersneglen

Maybe it's time for a #microsofteverywhere buzz on Twitter ;)

@raphael: type "about:config" in Firefox address bar and search for "keyword.URL"...