They are liars, shady business, IP violators and are downright dangerous.
They have all those great offers for you, but they refuse to give any details as soon as you ask any question. More than half of them are "the biggest in the world" (sic). They lie about download numbers, about download size, about number of software actually installed and about their connexions. They even lie on the actual payback price.
If you refuse, they build special websites, copying yours, with your IP and trademark and register adwords with your name, in every way possible.
They also resell their solutions/websites to other people, using "Affiliate networks", so that once you take one down, 20 appear. And the guy who you took down had no idea who you were or what the software was...
They also have deals with download.com/softopedia/softonic to change/rewrap your installer, without your agreement, often violating your license; or they give back money to those websites, so they are ranked higher than normal other downloads.
And of course, open source software are never respected.
I believe OP is very polite: There are no good reasons to not shame them publicly.
I can confirm this, it's the reason we stopped having a download altogether even though it offered features that were hard to do without a download.
Using software I wrote as a vector to spread malware is really beyond the pale.
Even worse to realize that reputable companies such as Google, Ask and McAfee compensate them for doing it. 
If Linux on the desktop were to get popular, I'd hate to imagine what might happen to the open source Fedora and Debian/Ubuntu repositories.
Nothing. In case you haven't been paying attention, Debian repositories were "app stores" before there were app stores. The software goes through extensive vetting and rigorous testing; no, I'm not saying every line of code is inspected, but to claim that a Debian maintainer would just blithely let crapware in is ignorant.
As for the walled gardens of Google and Apple, people are objecting to precisely that: the locked in, tinker-hostile way that the platform (not the app store) is managed. It's great that Google and Apple have finally seen the light and started curating software and making it easy to install, like it's been in Debian for nearly two decades. What's not great is telling people what they are and are not allowed to do with their property by anti-competitively denying the right the to install third party apps.
...through extensive vetting and rigorous testing...
Same goes for Debian; some of the more "fringe packages" (those of upstream projects that haven't been updated in a while) tended to rot (compilation option changes to dependencies that silently broke parts of the program), and packages from upstream projects that changed rapidly tended to have dependency issues.
I'd also like to point out that while Debian may have had "app stores" before anyone else so to speak. The implementation left much to be desired compared to today.
Today a user simply selects an application and it gets installed. There's no prompts about whether I want the 37 additional dependencies, no text-based prompts about the configuration of some obscure package, and certainly the presentation was sorely lacking.
So yes, Debian may have had the concept early on, but as usual, Apple made something only a geek could love into something usable by everyone.
But in the past, even the packages in the "first tier" were often pretty busted. But even for that tier, Linux distributions are not performing "extensive vetting and rigorous testing". They don't generally test beyond relying that other components that use it work as expected, and for many components, those are only as well tested as the tests that are included with the component.
Yes, some distributions do run security analysis tools or other things on the components they integrate, but that still doesn't count as "extensive vetting and rigorous testing".
Debian has the unstable, testing and stable distros, that move on different speeds and are subject to different amounts of testing.
I had hoped the addition of "not every line of code" would have made clear that I make no claim that every package in Debian is bug free. But I still insist, Debian extensively tests packages, mostly for compatibility and dependencies, not to mention bug squashing parties. They are also very careful about what's allowed in (due to being license sticklers).
Of course, all of this strays from my main point: the Debian maintainers are highly unlikely to let in crapware, as opposed to some stores that have had viruses. And that's just the stuff they (eventually) got rid of; don't start me on all the officially approved software that tracks users.
As for your opinion of the ease of use, well, you're entitled to it but it doesn't make it true. What's so hard about using apt-get or, if you can't use a keyboard, one of the graphical managers? So it asks you if you really want to install dependencies instead of just filling up your hard drive, and that's a bad thing? Does the Apple or Google way of "managing" packages even track dependencies, or are they still forcing every vender to include their own (possibly filled with security holes) copy of a library with their apps? I haven't had to answer a configuration question for years, and I've never had a dependency issue with Debian. I say this as a daily user of, developer on, and administrator of machines running Debian for the past twelve years.
You would get plenty of shady sites encouraging you to add another line to /etc/apt/sources.list for cool free screensavers, but it would be a lot more practical than it is in windows to tell people to ignore them and never install anything that doesn't come with the system.
That way you are not tied to one gatekeeper but it is in your interest to get your app into at least one good repo that has a reputation to uphold.
There are a ton of good people who work to keep those repos clean. Lets not trivialize their contribution by acting like anyone and their mother can make changes to the repo for a popular distro. Sure, a black[/grey] hat can make their own repository, but who in their right mind will use it?
What on earth are you talking about? Linux on the desktop is just above line noise. If hackers don't bother targeting Mac's ~10% desktop share, why would they bother targeting Linux' ~1%?
AFAIK, 0 QC or checking is done on the contents of a repo. additionally, there have been enough times in the past where someone has just straight up rooted the servers that the repo lives on ...
Are you talking about debian/fedora repos? Because if so, that is simply false. Both have heavy QC, and the packages are all signed by the developers keys, and the OS checks those keys.
It's not third-party ads, it's first-party ads, which is slightly better.
Like OP, I have a lot of sympathy for software developers trying to sell in a world full of people who don't think they should pay any dollars for software. They are still gonna pay, just in terms of their privacy and computer security.
Ad Network Detector
However, it's still preferrable to Apple's draconian policies.
If you want, you can install security tools which scan apps prior to being installed, like Lookout, which will alert you to various issues.
Yes there's a lot of spammy apps, but if you're even halfway aware of what you're doing, you'll have to be very unlucky to be caught out by one.
You must've forgotten Path fiasco, with its quiet uploading of user's full address book to company's servers, which turned out to be - SUR-PRI-SE - a "standard industry practice". Wall garden sanctuary my ass. Same rotten ethics, except far less visible.
This is definitely not true. The following scenario seems to be quite possible: Due to the various problems of Windows 8, developers massively revolt and most applications are either written to older API's, or use cross-platform environments like C#, Python or Java. This essentially changes the Windows API from a moving target to a stationary target; as a result, Wine catches up -- it reaches near-100% app compatibility, perhaps with the aid of a donation from a philanthropist, Google, or some other player. OEM's recognize the cost savings possible from avoiding the Microsoft tax, and with good software compatibility now possible, they start selling discount models with Linux instead. Microsoft stops issuing new licenses for Windows less than 8 to try to pressure developers to port their stuff to Windows 8 by forcing customers to upgrade. But the move is too little, too late: The customers revolt, and since the alternative is already out of the bottle, people jump ship en masse due to lower prices and Windows 8's shortcomings.
Is this a particularly likely scenario? No. But it seems plausible, and it's not due to crapware, or consumer awareness about anything other than price tags.
A risk might be drive-by malware that adds stuff to /etc/apt/sources.list though, however to do this you would need drive-by malware that can bust into the root account, or to get the user to enter the admin password.
When I was reading the original TC article, I was thinking that there is actually an incredible opportunity here to create a legitimate ad network that would allow desktop developers to monetize similarly to how it's done on the web - to basically become the DoubleClick of the desktop world.
Why should ad supported desktop apps be any different than ad supported mobile or web apps?
Edit: These downvotes are pretty surprising, I didn't realize I was even being controversial. Can someone explain why creating a legitimate, privacy-respecting ad platform which allows desktop developers to monetize their applications in a manner that's almost exactly the same as ad supported web and mobile apps is that awful?
I'm not even saying that's necessarily what they're up to, I can just see where there's a tremendous opportunity to try and clean up the industry, and how, based on the people involved, the author and the commenter above could very easily be jumping to the wrong conclusions.
One of the key words here is "toolbar." It's in the same class as "HIV," "ebola," "herpes simplex virus," etc. Saying you're bundling third-party adware such as toolbars and "browser helpers" and similar is like saying you're purposefully giving someone a disease.
IT professionals managing Windows networks spend god-awful amounts of time removing such junk from Windows PCs. Not only do things like this invade privacy, they often slow down and break peoples' computers.
Providing you with such a thing required a certain level of "access" which can be used for evil.
As it is it's just slightly bad taste.
Tracking IP and even MAC addresses? Hello? Spyware is spyware.
Also: ads are ads. If your product does nothing respectable (as opposed to selling eyeballs to advertisers under false pretenses) that is worth paying for it to anyone, that's bad luck. It doesn't justify deliberately and systematically messing with the rational decision making process of people, and that others are already doing that is no justification either, nor that they have been doing it for so long.
Worse yet, even the low level of sandboxing that desktops posses are almost always defeated by installers: "This installer requires administrator privileges to run"
... aka. yes, you will take our spyware-crapware-rubbish, and you'll love it, or you wont use our app. Capish?
You don't get that with websites. That's why it's ok.
(Incidentally, this is the same reason why its not ok on mobile platforms, where your options of permission are to read your contacts and make phone calls and 'services that cost money' or no, you can't play this game of Cat Pong your friends are talking about...)
Here, you are coming off as a sycophant who is blindly supporting PG and YC without checking your facts which could be the reason for your downvotes.
So now I specifically instruct them to go to videolan.org.
Ads may distort this for some users, though...
I told my Dad's wife to download VLC and she ended up with the crapware version too. I didn't even realize they existed until then. I was shocked =(
You have my sympathies.
It's the first thing I see for "VLC" when I turned off Ad Block.
I really didn't think it was ever a Google product though. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Fuck, people, don't you get this already? There is no n-th result on Google.
Don't act like there is.
Hopefully some google algo tweaks are working to help.
"You have installed VLC, it should have come without any additional software such as tool bars or file compressors. If this was not your case, you probably installed it from a third party that arbitrarily and without our consent added external programs. We recommend you to install VLC from videolan.org, etc."
That way, casual users will at least be aware of the external installs problem.
And the really unfortunate thing is that a few big bad apples can and did ruin it for everyone else. I don't have time to figure out who is going to install shit on my system vs who isn't, so I just assume everything is bad and avoid it all, with the exception of a handful of known-good products (like VLC) from known-good sources (the author's own websites).
The end result is an ecosystem in which new useful tools (even ones that aren't malware peddlers) now have a near-impossible time creating a critical mass of users, so any money to be made in that market can only come from these terrible spammy practices, which is just sad.
The problem here is that those sites still rank very high in search results.
Also, good luck with your Windows 8 project!
This is completely prejudice! You've never met Install Monetizer, and don't know if they participate in the same activities as the companies that you're referring to.
"I believe OP is very polite: There are no good reasons to not shame them publicly."
This is childish, and I'd expect better from any contributing member of VLC.
I never mentionned IM.
Also, see the comment from patio11 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5060399
So I thought I'd try, you know, installing something.
Make your own call:
Sounds like very bad news:
I don't know how since I always check for crapware, but I ended up with babylon having taken over my firefox browser.
I removed it, but - just checking - oh look, there it is again.
Luckily, chrome is my go-to browser, (which explains why I haven't tried more brutal removals), but it is definitely not as simple as uninstalling.
It seems to be worse than I thought. http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/938607
Edit: I should say, "agrees" to it (unknowingly).
The wording on that choice is incredible too.
Some folks mentioned that this could be misleading, so to clarify: my research methodology, to the extent it can be called that, was a) open up the IM website, b) take a look at their advertiser partner wall (they don't have a developer partner wall, so I wasn't able to view the end-user experience directly), c) Google the first name that popped out: [babylon translation software], d) clicked the first link and downloaded, e) clicked past the first screen, which let me override my system default of Japanese such that y'all would be able to read the rest of the installer, where industry experience suggested to me that the action would be.
Sorry if I gave folks the impression that this was the InstallMonetizer application -- the impression I was trying to leave was "This is the core line of business for one of their marquis advertisers."
I should probably start doing more of that other kind of hacking.
Not this time, though...
And those users will love this new attack vector backed by some of the most respected folk in Silicon Valley.
Maybe they "pivoted" from a clever take on ad campaign management to toolbars as a way to increase revenues?
Things like it and Conduit (another toolbar/malware company) are probably the biggest "botnets" out there, all "legal".
Why do you think they would have a different angle if they are a YC company?
It's like finding that someone has got through the YC selection process based on a business model which involves putting "sex, horny, porn" in the title of each page on their website.
"Microsoft isn't so benevolent now. Now when one thinks of what Microsoft does to users, all the verbs that come to mind begin with F."
This is why it's easy to cast YC's funding of a crapware company as a deliberate choice.
I'm not a fan regardless, but I just wanted to make sure we're getting the right picture here. I came away from your comment believing this was a screen from their (InstallMonetizer's) actual installer, and I think everyone else did too. However, after reading pg's comment below, I'm no longer so sure that is the case.
Can you please clarify?
But yeah, these people really chose to do evil, in a shady business. Why? Why not start the next scientology, that would make them more money.
Seriously, stay away!
Basically we automate multiple installers and decline toolbars just like you would.
Users range from the nontechnical to NASA. We even have a huge blind user base because these installers are frequently hell to navigate with a screenreader.
We make money selling a Pro version with extra features to businesses and school IT departments. It works well and aligns us nicely with our users' interests.
Ninite is more like pasteurization.
The problem is deceptive software. That we're funded by YC (or that InstallMonetizer is) is a red herring. But it sure does get some clicks!
On a perfect version of HN the top comments would be about solving the problems in posts, not elaborating on them.
Not to dump on HN though. This is a bug in human nature.
Glad to hear you like Ninite and that we saved you time, thanks for using it!
Not sure if this was your point, but I assume that you are using a lot of MSI and Windows API hooks, in which case this is a great example of the flexibility and integration options of Windows being leveraged for the good, as opposed to the crapware blight, which must be as frustrating for Microsoft as it is for us.
It does make for a noisier and more confusing ecosystem though. My mom's still better off using an iPad.
Thanks for using Ninite Pro!
Upon first reading, it sounded like "to junk like ninite"
So even on a platform that's opened up to applications, the threat of crapware can create a business case for a curated third-party app store :-)
Let me install an older version of uTorrent.
Let me install Steam in another location, not default.
Current ninite installs all I need except those two.
Could you please elaborate how exactly do you automate the installers? Do you modify the applications being installed?
Thanks for using Ninite!
FWIW, the install window Patrick overlaid on top of InstallMonetizer's site in that screenshot is not actually InstallMonetizer.
In the end, we don't have much information about what IM adds to installers--I suppose they don't want it too well known. We'd need to find an app that uses their installer to get a screenshot of it. Their website does give us some clues: one image shows an offer that is made to look like a license agreement, thus duping people into clicking Agree. Another clue is how they repeat that they "manage all optimization and conversion to ensure highest earnings," which I take to mean their wording and choices are designed to trick people into installing items they didn't ask for.
PS: installmonetizer.com website is down for now
Norton is well known to have a preinstalled version in new computers that it's almost impossible to uninstall. I don't have a screenshot, but there is one in these articles: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/can-microsoft-cure-pc-makers-...
(Perhaps the version that they install trough InstallMonetizer is more user friendly, but I'm at least a little afraid to try it.)
Either way, strikes me as a dubious and reputationally dangerous model for YCombinator to get involved with.
Initially, YC just has the business model / product description statement from the founders, a video (do they still do that?), an MVP if one exists, and maybe a meeting with the founders.
The only way this could really negatively reflect on YC's integrity -- if that's up to us to judge anyway -- is if the accusations turn out to be true and YC either chooses not to investigate or chooses not to counsel the founders against doing something like this. (Remember, YC does not have a controlling interest in the teams.)
Since pg has said they're checking in to it, I don't think "YC is turning evil" is a reasonable narrative here.
A few days ago I wanted to install the Partition Magic trial on my Win XP VM. Having left Windows around 2005 I figured that typing "Partition Magic Win XP download" in Google would be helpful.
I got a handful of "reputable" download sources like CNet and the like. I went there and was bombarded by 20 (dramatization) different download buttons. I clicked the one that seemed most promising and somehow ended with a new Zip-Archiver installed ...
So I went back and found the Partition Magic installer. It was an installer with 'added value' that asked me three times to install some toolbar crap. I ended up with one of those toolbars installed because unchecking the box and clicking on 'next' obviously is not enough. You have to click the decline button instead of next.
Now I would consider myself computer literate and yet still I didn't manage to install a simple utility without littering my system with crapware. I can only imagine what hell the internet must be like to inexperienced (read: normal people) Windows users.
Even when installing legit software from what appeared to be legit sources I had to be very careful at every step in order to avoid all the spyware/toolbars/dubious extensions bundled with the installers.
The worst offender was some crapware installer that wanted you to check the components you didn't wan't installed. I almost got tricked. Next thing I'm sure they'll ask you "Are you not sure you don't want those components not installed?" [Yes] [Ok].
I may be wrong but I believe even the official Oracle Java updater asks to install some toolbar (Ask or yahoo I think? Or maybe just set the homepage? I forgot). Good thing I don't think very highly of Oracle or I might have been disappointed.
Edit: I remembered correctly: https://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=10723...
We can see the origins of this becoming a problem on Ubuntu with Canonical adding stuff like the Amazon search and seemingly having no issue with bundleware as a means of monetisation.
On the other hand I'm surprised this isn't more of an issue on the Mac, since Mac (especially older versions) will allow installation of software from random sources which could include bundleware.
Is there something about OS X that makes bundleware more difficult to develop or is it just easier to monetise an OS X app without bundleware?
$ sudo apt-get install emacs
After this operation, 86.3 MB of additional disk
space will be used and AVG Toolbar Pro! GOLD EDITION
will be installed to Chromium
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
Or an older version from Ubuntu.
Really, this is a non-issue on Linux, because either 1) someone will just "fix" it an release their alternative, or 2) everyone will just stop using the offender.
#2 assumes a savvy enough userbase.
If you're packaging something as a deb, you can potentially bundle other things, but at the same time, because a deb is a glorified tar.gz, someone can just provide information on how to get rid of the offending thing.
Or, if you're using Arch, the AUR maintainer just adjusts the PKGBUILD to do it for you.
It's not particularly hard.
And sure, having people install a different package manager requires a savvy enough userbase, to an extent. If they can copy and paste a couple commands into the terminal, they can change it (wget [somefile] && dpkg -i [somefile]). How hard.
I mean , if you are bundling your own software for Ubuntu you get to distribute it however you like. If somebody else decides to redistribute it minus the crapware then you can potentially sue them.
So you can say "the only legal way to get my software is to download this file which is bundled with InstallMonetizerForUbuntu".
Whether it is bundled as a .tar.gz or a .deb and whether it comes from a random website or the Ubuntu software store is largely irrelevant to this point.
Sure, people will create programs and instructions on how to get the crapware off your system but this is basically the same state as now exists for Windows with various "cleaner" programs, some of which install even more shit.
> So you can say "the only legal way to get my software is to download this file which is bundled with InstallMonetizerForUbuntu".
But, once I have that downloaded, I don't have to go straight to installation. I can remove files and change the install script. Sure, you can give me a binary file, but the only binary files I've ever received are after I've paid for something, and I've never found paid software bundled with crapware, even on Windows.
I can still write a script that would get rid of the bundled things provided you already have the packaged file, and distribute that script to anyone who wants it.
And while yes, people will create decrapifyers, I'm talking about preventative measures (modifying the installer).
Not a solution that scales very well though, if it did we wouldn't have the problem we do on Windows at the moment.
"Yes" & "No, I do not not want to install this"?
Now, the question is why this has not happened for Mac Software, at least not on that scale. Gruber (2004) claims it is due to zero tolerance (http://daringfireball.net/2004/06/broken_windows).
I think that is partly true, and it sort-of started with the original PC. Installing a DOS program such as Lotus123 was a nightmare, where people had to answer such question as "number of lines on a page" and "how does your printer do bold" to configure a printer. Installing hardware, similarly, was a nightmare (what IRQ should we use? Do you have extended or expanded memory? etc).
Windows on the other hand has no community and is kind of an multi-cultural wasteland where everything goes thus will tolerate more BS.
Not sure I agree with Gruber's conclusion though, if Mac had a large uptake in market share then that community would become diluted.
As it stands the random Grandma that uses a Mac without understanding computers gets a sort of herd immunity because there is a larger percentage of more nerdy and vocal users who won't tolerate BS.
If grandmas become the overwhelming majority of Mac users they lose some of that because the crapware vendors know that grandma is very unlikely to read the blogposts condemning their software.
The iOS and Android app stores are full of crapware. Yes, that crapware does not have all the features of it's counterpart in the Windows ecosystem. Yet, much of it provides little value or functionality and even functional applications collect vast amounts of data not necessary for that functionality.
HOWEVER, Mac OS X has never had this problem, and before the app store there was nothing inherently harder about writing crapware that bundles whatever creepy garbage could be monetized.
So actually I really wonder why OS X and Linux never had this problem (to any major extent). Is it merely the awesomeness of single-digit market share? In that case, Ubuntu's safe but Apple better start worrying about it.
Personally I suspect it's more complicated than that, but my ideas are half-baked.
For things that require changing system components, other apps etc. there is a normal install wizard.
I wish other operating systems did it that way. It's very convenient.
My current project I'm working on links against the standard Cocoa frameworks, zlib, Core Audio, Audio Unit framework and the Accelerate framework. Yet the Frameworks directory in the app bundle is empty.
Some apps however come with an installer, but that's for apps that do more (e.g. need to install drivers, etc.). However, it's Apple's own installer which I think is provided by Xcode. So, no way to mess with it and install crappy things.
MacOS apps very rarely have an installer, so there's little opportunity to install this sort of thing.
It was just too easy to me even as a relatively experienced user to knee-jerk click the "Allow" button.
I presume that people using Macs tend to be 1) wary of downloading any programs from random websites and 2) wary of having to run something like an installer. The Mac App Store means that people will only do these things less going forward.
If only. Last time I did a "check up" on my sister's macbook she had managed to install a toolbar and some other evil shitware that would hijack her google searches to collect her info and redirect her to bing.
Now tell me where you are supposed to click to download the actual application. It confuses me, and I'm an experienced user who knows to look out for these sorts of things. I have no idea how normal people ever find the damn thing.
My question is: whose fault is this? Is it Paint.NET's, for allowing the ads onto their site? Or is it the ad network's (Google, in this case), for accepting the ads into their network?
Google should not allow ANY ads that contain a Download button, when the page has a link containing the text "Download." These ads can have no other purpose but to confuse users who are looking to download software. The problem is that Google makes money from these ads, and these ads have fantastic clickthrough rates. If they banned these types of ads, they'd make less money.
The author of Paint.NET is making good money every time a user mistakenly clicks on such an ad. This money also reduces his incentive to get rid of the confusing ad.
I get around this problem by running an ad-blocker, so I only see the one legitimate download link. But most users do not.
This is how industries get regulated -- when they refuse to regulate themselves. I hope Google realizes that and takes action on their own initiative...
"You may not modify, adapt, rent, lease, loan, sell, or create derivative works based upon the Software or any part thereof."
I did find this, but I've never used it: http://code.google.com/p/openpdn/
The best rule of thumb is: if it looks shady, don't go there ever again. Another: every good program has an author, and this author has a valid, non-malware-installing link on his/her website.
For me blocking advertisements online is no longer about blacklisting bad sites, but whitelisting the few good ones I want to support.
They'll probably make a one by one pixel link that links to the clean download file.
You'd probably have to have a button to toggle this on and off.
The download link for the actual product will often really be a redirect to a page with a "your download will start in 5 seconds" and then some JS triggers the actual download.
Even the legit download will usually offer you toolbars and crap anyway.
I think that may make it useful enough...
- Fedora 17 with Gnome. Out of the box it offers all kinds of installation options, like the one I always wanted and only found in Fedora (in my words): "Use all this but only this free space, and also encrypt it". The only downside is that out of the box it lacks some things every desktop user will want, like media codecs, but can be installed very easily. There are also tons of addons for Gnome that you will want to improve the UI (eg: get back the minimize button -.-), you can get them at extensions.gnome.org.
- Ubuntu 12.04 server edition. I chose server edition because it has an option for disk encryption, but it will use the entire disk, which sucks unless you have two disks like I do. Then you install 'ubuntu-desktop' and you are done. There is also a problem with both server and desktop edition when installing into some HDD's, they fail to align correctly for different block sizes. Other than that, this is the perfect distro for me. It is LTS so it will be supported for 5 years, and I hope that by that time they have rolled back the crap that they added to 12.10.
- Fedora 18. It should be released today, let's see what they got.
Ubuntu 12.10 has options for disk and home folder encryption in the regular, GUI, desktop installer.
I also don't hate Gnome 3. It's a bit immature, but it's pretty and fairly easy to use and stable.
For example, with Unity I was able to start using Virtualbox VM's maximized instead of full screen, which is so much more comfortable. The host has the sidebar hidden (shows on hover), and the guest has it always visible (as hover wouldn't work for a guest). It really makes a great use of the visual space.
My GNOME 2/XFCE/MATE setup has one bar on top of the screen and that's it, I'm finding it is pretty good for screen space even on widescreen laptops.
The thing that really hurts about the new alt-tab is that it breaks my mental stack. On Windows, in KDE etc I can switch back and forth between two browser windows easily. On Mac and Unity you either have to decide of your last app change was an app change or a instance change.
I want to switch to a different app -> Alt+Tab
I want my other Chrome window -> Alt+`
When I'm on my desktop, I switch between far too many windows to have a mental stack in my head of MRU applications, let alone windows.
Not arguing one is better than the other, but I thought I'd offer my perspective as a user.
Even better with the previews because I can hit "Alt+Tab", see that Chrome is selected, keep Alt held down and then "Alt+`" to the right window.
Windows XP is more than a decade old. The latest release, nearly five.
To generalize about the current state of Windows based upon recent experience with Windows XP is either ignorant, disingenuous, or blindly biased.
Of course, another stripe of deluded individual might blame Microsoft for the abundance of crapware on the internet.
Your research, poor.
And your characterization of the Windows ecosystem based upon your experience either ignorant, disingenuous, or blindly biased.
More importantly, any person looking for Partition Magic in 2013 is likely to be an ideal candidate for crapware. They are performing system administrative tasks. They don't perform such tasks on Windows systems frequently. And they are ignorant of Partition Magic's demise as a product. To boot, they probably have an outdated skill set in regard to Windows.
Download aggregators started installing crapware five years ago. Any person concerned with crapware and who has recent experience avoids them if at all possible. In short, a person looking for Partition Magic in 2013 is likely to suffer from Dunning-Kruger syndrome.
The original claims depend upon a degree of sophistication which its author lacks.
I'm asking myself where I could have insulted you to provoke such a reaction.
Dunning-Kruger effects are the result of one believing that they have more expertise than the do. With regards to the Windows ecosystem, this seems to be the case.
One of the salient features of my experience with the Dunning-Kruger effect is that I don't recognize situations in which I am exemplifying it - and logic would dictate that I exemplify it more often than I am aware.
As a crapware vector, partition magic is akin to Nigerian spam. Those who seek it are the ideal targets just as those who respond to the Nigerian banker's uncle are ideal candidates. Both pursue something too good to be true.
I am not claiming that your experience isn't real. I am saying that its conclusion is not that of a Windows expert.
I never said I'm a Windows expert.
Maybe I just hit the worst case scenario or maybe you need street smarts when surfing the web from a Windows system. Maybe being an OS X user made me soft and easy prey. But still - alone that a reputable download source (one of those that pop up on the first google page) tricks me into downloading a custom archiver utility and wraps installers with crapware doesn't really speak for the Windows eco system.
Now it could be an isolated case but then again if crapware spreading wouldn't be successful people wouldn't be doing it. And I doubt that all crapware infections come from Partition Magic downloads on Windows XP.
> I am saying that its conclusion is not that of a Windows expert.
But the thing is that Windows experts are the minority of all Windows users.
As a point of comparison, the iTunes store contains loads of crap. This is not a reasonable basis for condemning iOS.
the great irony being that the solution would be to use a gparted live disc.
Sure, that wikipedia article doesn't include installers that aren't the official one. But finding the official one can sometimes be a ridiculously daunting task.
And sure, Windows 8 has an app store now. So what? I can still install applications outside of it.