CNET gets into hot water over bloatware

For years CNET’s download.com has been the major distributor of freeware and demos, and it appears to have been a major money spinner.

However, it’s starting to look like a CNET suit has come up with a cunning plan to kill the goose that lays the golden egg by wrapping downloads in a proprietary installer.

The installer forces on users all the toolbars, home page, and default search engine changes which no sane user would want.

According to Extremetech CNET knows that there’s something wrong with what its doing and is trying, badly, to cover it up.

On the Upload.com FAQ, there’s a note posted to let developers know why the bundling is taking place and claims that it provides users with a less painful download and installation process. After all,  opt-out toolbars and homepage changes aren’t annoying, are they?

One of the things that might get CNET into trouble is that one of the bundled annoying bits of software is a thing that turns your search engine to Bing. The currently PR conscious Microsoft might not want its product identified as that “bloody annoying search engine bloatware which switched on when I loaded bit torrent.”

Extremetech is suggesting that if you see the downloaded filename beginning with “cnet_” then look elsewhere.

We also suggest writing to CNET requesting firing the suit that came up with the wizard wheeze to hack off users so much they have to look elsewhere for their freeware when you are an established brand. After having to stop Norton from doing one of its futile virus scans we would also like to see said executive crucified at a crossroads while killer ants lunch on his honey-soaked testicles.