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I had to install the DirectX user runtime recently and was pretty shocked to see Microsoft has loaded it up with lots of crapware. First when you click download from its page at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35 you're prompted to set MSN as your homepage, download the malicious software removal tool, and download IE11 (if you're on Windows). Then after you skip that you get the download and when you run it it will try to get you to install the Bing bar in the installer. Overall just a really shady and crap experience, especially coming from Microsoft.

Also agreeing to set MSN as your homepage with the install bloats the download size from a svelte 286kb for the DX web installer to 2.4mb (just to set a homepage!?). Way to completely defeat the purpose of providing a small installer by bundling in crap.

> and download IE11 (if you're on Windows)

This has my support :)

Yeah, I'll allow that one to be honest. Also, the Malicious Software Removal tool is probably a good thing too, as it's real and from Microsoft, and will definitely help some non-technical users.

Although a better way to deal with this perhaps is for the "Your download is complete, thanks etc" page you see after clicking download to include recommendations from MS with their seal of approval. I would consider that a welcome gesture from MS, bundle-ware not so much.

The reason why you bundle installers like this is to catch the 'press yes to everything' group of users. In this case it's done for the greater good (mostly), most users don't care about security updates or upgrading outdated software - a bit like hiding medicine in your food, they won't eat it if they know it's there.

If you had it at the end you'll get very low participation rates. If you're installing DirectX it's because you are trying to play a game, so an additional screen to the effect of 'would you like to play your game now or in 5 minutes' will result in everyone picking the 'play game now' option and nothing being installed.

I still think it's bad. In the way that it teaches people that bundling software in installers is something legitimate companies do and therefore makes the general public less skeptical about stuff like this

Well to be fair, the difference is subtle and depends where you put the emphasis.

From Microsoft it is a malicious software removal tool.

From just about anyone else it is a malicious software removal tool.

I stopped trusting Microsoft installers when Windows Update listed the Bing Desktop as a Critical Update.

The accusation has been around for a while and is not true.[1] Amazing how the story has morphed from "Optional Update" to "Critical" in 1 year's time. And it just sounds untrue. Why would you believe that?

[1] http://www.dasmirnov.net/blog/bing-desktop-won-t-be

In the off chance you ever come back to read this, this is my bad.

I never saw any articles about it at the time. I just remember it always being in my Windows Update list and I was sick of it. Windows Update in my mind should generally be for OS and software updates, and not for software that Microsoft is looking to push.

Which is funny, because I'm a Windows guy who works in the Microsoft stack.

I really would like to know when that happened.

It never did. It's always been an optional update.

The homepage change is a pretty low move, but the other items make sense. DirectX is most likely used by gamers, who are often fairly young, have risky internet habits, and not very security conscious. Using an old version of IE isn't good from a security pov and the malicious software remover tool is a great way to lower the number of botnet hosts.

I really wish MS would give up on pushing MSN and Bing. They're just terrible products. Shame their good products get mixed in with them.

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