Big blunder for some users Rated 1 out of 5 stars

I have not used this addon, I am writing this review to give users who find it installed on their system without consent some useful information.

This addon may suddenly appear on your system without your knowledge, in which case it probably came from a Skype update, which is what happened to me.

Some users are not able to uninstall the addon through Firefox's addon manager because the uninstall button is grayed out. This is not the fault of eBay, the developer of the addon, it is due to a bug with Microsoft's .NET Framework Assistant. The Framework Assistant is installed at the computer level, rather than the user level, in order that the .NET Framework be available to all users of the computer. It is due to a bug with this installation method which prevents the Browser Highlighter from being uninstalled through Firefox. You can find more information, as well as a downloadable patch on Microsoft's website here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951847

This addon is not installed without user consent by eBay. It is also not installed without user consent by Skype so long as the user is installing a NEW version of Skype downloaded manually from the Skype website. Those users who find it installed WITHOUT their consent had it installed as a result of Skype's built-in update feature, either automatically or manually. When using the built-in Skype update feature, the user IS NOT provided an opportunity to consent or deny the installation of the Browser Highlighter addon. This is the fault of Skype, not eBay.

For users running 4.1.x or older versions of Skype who do not want this addon installed, you should download and install Skype manually from Skype's website rather than using the built-in Skype update feature. Skype has REMOVED the Browser Highlighter from their installer in the 4.2 beta version of Skype, and I suspect that when 4.2 is released out of beta, it will not have the addon included either as a result of this fiasco, but I cannot speak on Skype's behalf, I only know that it has been removed from the Skype 4.2 beta installer.

This issue seems to have cropped up either in July or August of 2009, and why in that amount of time not one representative from either Skype or eBay have offered this information is beyond me. It took me under one hour of investigation to realize what happened and find all the information needed to fix it.

eBay, you could have done the same, trying a Skype upgrade, to see if indeed the user IS INDEED presented with an option NOT to install your addon, rather than simply posting reply after reply that the user HAS to authorize its installation and assuming they were idiots. This information could have been here months ago, and all these negative reviews could have been avoided for your product, and your reputation could have been salvaged. I couldn't care less why this did not happen, but for your own benefit, it needs to be brought to the attention of eBay management so that this sort of thing can be avoided in the future.

Skype will probably never see this, but you guys really dropped the ball by allowing this to continue for so many months. Even today, Dec. 28, 2009, if I search your website for either "browserhighlighter" or "browser highlighter" I get either a page that says there are no results, or a page that does not show any results AND doesn't say there are no results, which seems to indicate that you are filtering this issue away from your users and trying to hide it. That is BAD behavior if that's the case, every bit as bad as not presenting a user with an option NOT to install 3rd party software with an automatic update. Please ensure this is NOT the case, or your company may never recover.

This search for "browserhighlighter" returns no results and no message saying there are no results, indicating possible filtering and cover-up: http://search.skype.com/search?q=browserhighlighter&btnG=Search&entqr=0&output=xml_no_dtd&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&client=forum_default&ud=1&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=forum_default&site=collection_forum

This search for "browserhighlighters" returns no results but DOES return a message indicating there are no results: http://search.skype.com/search?q=browserhighlighters&btnG=Search&entqr=0&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&client=forum_default&ud=1&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=forum_default&site=collection_forum

Cover-up? You decide.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

I did not try this add-on, and am simply offering some information to users wondering how this got onto their computer and needing help with its removal. As far as I know, it is not mal-ware, and its mal-ware-like behavior is simply the result of a software bug or very poor judgment or lack of sufficient testing on the part of Skype.

The reason this add-on is not uninstallable for some users through the Firefox Add-on manager is not the fault of e-Bay, it is due to a bug with Microsoft's .NET Framework Assistant being installed at the computer level (rather than the user level) so that the Framework Assistant is available to all users on the machine. See this website for a more information as well as a patch: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951847

This add-on being installed without user consent is not e-Bay's fault, it is due to the way Skype's installer is configured. The users who DID NOT authorize its installation either did not notice the confirmation window, in the case of new Skype installations, or were NOT provided the opportunity to opt-out in the case of Skype updating itself, either automatically, or manually by using the built-in Skype update feature.

The new version of Skype (currently the 4.2 beta version) has REMOVED the eBay Browser Highlighter installer from the Skype installer, so future versions should not have this problem anymore.

Those running older versions, or installing 4.1.x versions of Skype should manually download and run the skype installer from the Skype website rather than using the built-in update feature until the 4.2 version is released out of beta, or simply upgrade to the 4.2 beta version from the Skype website in order to avoid having this add-on installed without your consent.

As to why it has been since July or August that this problem has been known about and neither Skype nor eBay has offered the above information, I can't say, but personally I find this nearly inexcusable and someone ought to offer an official and public apology for the blunder.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

It seems like I'm not the only one having this software installed on my machine without permission.

I was running version 3.6 of Skype, ran an update from inside the application, and The Browser Highlighter was installed--without and prompt or notification.

I went to their website to send in a comment, and their "Contact Us" form was broken.

FAIL.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Skype installed malware. Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Skype upgrade installed this without notice or confirmation. Attempting to uninstall results in permission denied (possibly due to my XPpro encrypted Firefox profile directory). Manually deleting the offending extension directory and uninstalling again takes a long time but seemed to work. I consider this malware. Skype is now on probation.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Same problem as above writers, came with skype update no option to not install.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Absolute Garbage

I was wondering how this Adware could possible have garnered even a two star score. Amazingly, some people have given it a high score. Some of those people are so blatantly working for ebay that it's a good laugh to read their reviews. Copy writers shouldn't try to write fake reviews - still comes out sounding like copy. Other people seem to me to have really been taken in. Even most of those who seem to have written genuine positive reviews admit that they did not intentionally install this software. It seems nearly no one has. It has been foisted on everyone by Skype.

Let's be clear about what this "add-on" is. First it's not really an add-on - it's a separate program that works more like a plug in for Firefox. It runs in its own process and contacts the internet independently of you and your browser. You can't remove it or control it from Firefox. You have to uninstall it from the control panel.

Now let's be clear about what it does. It's main function is to increase traffic through ebay and Skype by directing you to their services whenever you access a page with information that might be remotely relevant to those services. In essence, it's about making money for these companies - it's adware. If you think that make's your browsing experience more convenient, that's up to you, but try not to be gullible.

Skype and the developer of this adware claim that there is a way to opt out of installing this program with Skype. That may be true for a fresh install of Skype, but those who are updating Skype will find that it is installed without their consent. There is emphatically NOT any checkbox or confirmation box involved in the process. Whether this is deceit on the part of Skype or just a failure to accept that their update installer is broken... well it's been more than a month so it's not looking good for Skype's honesty.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Didn't request this addon, didn't accept it, didn't authorize it. This was total "ambush-ware" that arrived with an "automatic update" of Skype, although I do not even have Skype set to install its own automatic updates! I removed it immediately, and I am posting this review to warn everyone to leave it alone. It has a poor rating and deserves it. Based on this experience, I am rethinking my use of Skype as well.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Scam Software Rated 1 out of 5 stars

I created an account especially to complain about this.

Shame on you and Skype. And more shame on you for telling people that they must have accepted the software for installation. No, we didn't. We tried to install Skype, not your software, which you apparently don't manage to 'sell' on its merits, so you have to trick people into installing it.

It's unacceptable to take over people's computers by piggybacking on legitimate software. If anything, it casts doubt on whether Skype is legitimate software.

Unwanted intrusion!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

I created an account especially to complain about this.

Shame on you and Skype. And more shame on you for telling people that they must have accepted the software for installation. No, we didn't. We tried to install Skype, not your software, which you apparently don't manage to 'sell' on its merits, so you have to trick people into installing it.

It's unacceptable to take over people's computers by piggybacking on legitimate software. If anything, it casts doubt on whether Skype is legitimate software.

Unwanted intrusion!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

what its like to be a girl and feel VIOLATED! Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Now I know what its like to be a girl and feel VIOLATED! Mozilla Firefox should defend against this type of involuntary insertion of live code out to any commercial site. EBAY & SKYPE I hope you take a hit from this move by Firefox users. Get the hell off my computer!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Uninstalling wiped half my C Drive! Rated 1 out of 5 stars

This is utter rhubarb! I didn't ask for it, never wanted it, I received this gratis with a Skype update and when I uninstalled it, it decided to take half my program files with it including AVG and few others, Not a happy chappy.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Disgusting marketing ploy Rated 1 out of 5 stars

"You must select a rating" -- Actually, ZERO stars.

While I'm not quite ready to give up SKYPE, it sure has gone way, way down in my estimation.

I didn't ask for it, don't want it, feel scammed that it loaded without asking for my consent clearly, and truthfully can't really see ANY good use for it at all.

Shame, Skype. Shame, Ebay.
Stick to your own knitting.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

This piece of junk was installed without my consent during an automatic Skype update. Shame on eBay for approving this shady distribution method, and shame on Skype for bundling this crapware with their product. I am disgusted with both eBay and Skype.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Really annoyed that skype installed this. did not see the notice that they said was included. uninstalling immediately on principle. I don't and won't use software I did not choose to install, even if they sneaked it by me.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Firefox won't run after Browser Highlighter installed itself Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Firefox no longer runs after disabling this piece of you-know-what that I never wanted and didn't ask for. I would like to be able to use Firefox for all of the good add-ons that web developers like myself use but for now will have to go back to IE to be able to surf at all. Does anyone have a real fix for this problem. I want my Firefox back. SOS!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

This is the first time an auto-update feature of an application I dont consider shady installed crap software on my computer. Way to go, Skype!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

There was no (noticeable) warning, no "accept installing our crap-ware extension" dialog box. I'm sure they added something about it into something that I *could* have read, just to cover themeselves legally, but not something that was actually presented to me to read. This is shady at best, and slimy for sure. Shame on Skype!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Remove Skype and Browser Highlighter Rated 1 out of 5 stars

I put the blame on Skype. So, after uninstalling Browser Highlighter I recommend uninstalling Skype. Try oovoo instead.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

"you most likely downloaded it with the new version of Skype. A window popped up with similar verbiage above, asking if you wanted the Browser Highlighter installed."

WRONG. This thing was installed via Skype's autoupdate feature. No window popped up asking for installation confirmation. I did NOT authorize this installation, and if there are any lasting repercussions I will investigate legal remedies against Skype Technologies S.A.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907). 

Rated 1 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure how this was installed on my browser (kids) but under certain circumstances on Ning (social network site). I could not upload files anymore. I uninstalled and the issue went away.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.14907).