Microsoft Plays Games With Silverlight

By | March 28, 2016
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Microsoft Plays Games With Silverlight

To play certain videos, like Netflix and videos on Microsoft’s site,  you’ll need to install Microsoft Silverlight. And we’ve hammered Sun (Java) and Adobe (Flash Player) for trying to sneak software unto people’s computers or hijack their search engine and/or browser Start page. It’s bad enough that Sun Java and Adobe Flash Player installers are hijackers or contain PUPs, but it’s even worse when Microsoft plays this game.

Microsoft should be above this kind of thing, but take a look:

Microsoft Silverlight will hijack your default browser and browser start page if you are not careful to uncheck these two pre-checked items. Note also that this does not apply to Internet Explorer but to Firefox and Chrome as well. It doesn’t just apply to Windows either, it applies to Apple as well.

It’s too bad that Microsoft needs to do sneaky things like this to compete with Google. We’ve been very happy with the changes Microsoft has made over the last 18 months and we both think Windows 10 is a great operating system.

Microsoft doesn’t need to be petty and try to hike users’ search engines or browser start pages. They should be be bigger than this.

What do you think? Do you think Microsoft should rise about trying to hijack a user’s search engine and browser start page?



11 thoughts on “Microsoft Plays Games With Silverlight

  1. Marinus Pieck

    Personally I do not think it is a sneaky way. It is clearly shown and people have a choice whether they wish to use Bing as a search engine or leave it unchecked as well as list a preference of a homepage. One chooses one or more homepages, and if one does not want MSN they are given a choice. I do not call it hijacking!
    If one haphazardly click “install” without at least reading the dialogue one only has to blame oneself.

    1. infoave Post author

      So you think it’s OK if Microsoft does it, but not when Softonic, CNet or some other download site does it. It’s called “browser hijacking” and “home page hijacking” whether it’s done my Microsoft, Adobe, or some download site ripping off customers.

      If people wanted to use Bing they can, it’s not hard. If they wanted to make MSN their home page they would.

      Sometimes, it’s the people’s fault that things are like they are. It’s not OK to try to sneak something by a user whether your CNet or Microsoft. And that’s just what they are doing.

      However you are welcome to your opinion.

  2. Muriel Schlecht

    I disagree with you for the most part Marinus. The reason the boxes are already checked is an attempt at entrapment. Their hoping for the impatient “click through” of a trusting person. I have no objection to Microsoft “offering” Bing and MSN, but I abhor that the boxes are already checked. I also abhor the constant nagging from Microsoft, and the need to UNCHECK boxes every time….especially with Microsoft since they already know from Windows OS owners that so many have decided NOT to use Bing, OR NOT use MSN as their homepage. I personally am sick and tired of having to opt OUT of things I didn’t ask for or don’t want. It’s a despicable bullying practice.

  3. M.B. Harris

    Oh I believe Marinus Pieck is being a bit sanctimonious in his reply to your query re: Microsoft Silverlight. Yes I do agree that to read the offer from woe to go is of course the right thing to do but some people who are not quite so computer savvy and place their trust in these people doing the right thing it is can be very easy to get caught. At 82 years of age and not as smart on the computer as the young ones I have been caught once or twice but now am very cautious when updating or downloading things. I do think that the notifications of help and assistance that EB / TC give to their many followers is to be commended and not to be critiqued in such a judgemental way.

    1. infoave Post author

      This is not operating specific. I got this installation notice on Microsoft’s site using Google Chrome (got it using Firefox too). If you already have Silverlight installed, you wont’ see this, you’ll see the video and nothing else.

      I want to remind you that using XP, while it may suit your needs, not only jeopardizes your privacy but also others with whom you communicate and, in fact, the entire internet community.

      Darcy & I were around when people using Windows 95 and Windows 98 refused to update to Windows XP. In the years that followed Windows 95 and 98 computer were being used by criminals and hackers to form a vast “BotNet” – where Win 98 and Win 95 computers were turned into spam and malware spreading zombies – all without the knowledge of the user.

      We’re not making this up – we lived through it. There was more resistance NOT to upgrade to XP from Win 95 and Win 98 than XP users upgrading.

      Within the next year or so XP users may very well find their computers part of a vast botnet spewing spam and malware across the Internet without the users’ knowledge.

  4. JoninOz

    Thanks TC & EB,

    Good to see reminders for programmes with extra ‘ticked’ boxes of which to be aware as there are thousands/millions of people with very basic computer skills who may think that Bing and MSN are ticked for their simplicity and ease of installation as they trust Microsoft without question.
    In another vein some of the thousands/millions of people don’t have English as a first language and may want Bing and MSN thinking they are ‘freebies’.
    Some people can’t blame themselves and shouldn’t be ostracized if they don’t know everything there is to know about computer skills.

    1. infoave Post author

      John, Microsoft makes Silverlight (and Widnows and Internet Explorer and most other products ) available in dozens of languages – so I’m not sure what you mean by “thousands/millions don’t have English as a first language”.

      If you speak Chinese, Silverlight, Windows, IE, and most Microsoft products are available in Chinese. Not only that but if you require Silverlight to view something you are automatically taken to the download page in your language. Assuming you’re not using a VPN or some other method of obfuscating your IP address- your geographical location is broadcast by your browser to every site you visit.

      Just wanted to point out that most all major companies offer products in dozens of languages – and most everyone would be redirect to a page in his or her own language based on IP address of the user.

  5. D.

    I think Microsoft and Mozilla has been doing a lot of things to play catch up to Google or their audience, so some of the things and tactics I have been seeing does not surprise me.


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