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Microsoft In Talks To Buy Claria

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the formerly-a-no-good-gator dept.

Microsoft 352

axonis writes "For the last two weeks, Microsoft has been in talks to buy Claria, an adware marketer formerly called Gator, and best known for its pop-up ads and software that tracks people visiting Web sites. The offer price on the table as recently as Wednesday was $500 million. One person briefed on the deal said there was opposition within Microsoft to the acquisition. Analysts said Microsoft would probably be most interested in the long-term potential of Claria's personalization software rather than its pop-up ads."

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I thought that said CHINA! (5, Funny)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949906)

...and I got really scared there for a second. ;)

It could, of course, be a good thing, if they can buy the company, and use their software for something other than spyware and popups!

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949931)

I thought the exact same thing, but I didn't even get scared. The only reason I took the time to click on the comment link without even reading the blurb, much less TFA, was because I realized I read it wrong. Had it actually said "China," I would have just passed it off and gone on with my day. And that is scary.

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (-1, Offtopic)

morganis101 (894337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949957)

I also wrote up something about this here [yahoo.com] . Anyone want a Yahoo 360 invite?

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949979)

I read the same thing. I thought maybe they had a new global strategy to pirate all of their competitors out of business.

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (4, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950010)

Or they might embed spyware that's even more impossible to remove from your computer. You thought gator was hard to remove? Wait until he's coded into the kernel

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (5, Interesting)

CSMastermind (847625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950065)

No, Microsoft has had a long record of strongly fighting spammers and their lot. Now Microsoft is releasing antivirus and antispyware tools. What better way to shut down a company that produces so much spyware and other unwanted adds than to buy them. From the deal, they'd not only get the code to the software (which could improve their removal tools) but also valuable code for personalization. I say they should go for it.

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (5, Insightful)

rpozz (249652) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950163)

What better way to shut down a company that produces so much spyware and other unwanted adds than to buy them.

Sends out the wrong sort of message when they buy them for $500 million though.

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (0)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950029)

China, nothing. I thought it said California! Nah, the Terminator pwns that.

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (1)

Halthar (669785) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950067)

You aren't the only one.

I then followed the train of thought that maybe they were buying China so that they could get back at the "Land of the rising Sun", after all, they just released OpenSolaris, and are gonna make laptops, or something.

Time for more coffee, I think.

Re:I thought that said CHINA! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12950105)

well. I thought that said china too.

They should combine the names to get ... (0, Troll)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949907)

Gatersoft - eats up all the competition.

China? (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949908)

Ok, time for another cup of coffee.

I swear I thought that said China ..

Re:China? (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949976)

and now i'm going to get modded redundant because someone types faster than me....

greattttt..

Passport Wallet (-1, Troll)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949911)

They just want to add its credit card remembering capabilities to Passport Wallet.

What to do with them? (5, Funny)

dlefavor (725930) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949916)

With any luck they'll buy them and then blow them up.

Re:What to do with them? (3, Interesting)

ds_job (896062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949999)

I did think that $500 million was a little steep to buy the company, then shut it down, then distribute some Marketing PR to say that Microsoft had just made progress towards making you Windows PC safer. Why fix privacy loopholes if you can just buy the people who exploit / use them.

Re:What to do with them? (2, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950053)

I did think that $500 million was a little steep to buy the company, then shut it down,

Well, if you have enough deep pockets, that might be the way to get rid off spyware. buy their knowledge base and see how they do it.

Off course, this becomes the newest way to make money via a popup software. Get annoying enough so that Microsoft buys you.

I wonder which way this will effect the MS reputation?

Re:What to do with them? (3, Interesting)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950125)

This seems to me the kind of acquisition that microsoft might have wanted to keep under wraps. They have a shoddy reputation as a company, and buying an adware company just doesn't seem like a good PR move on paper. Even with the best spin you can put on it, it just gives the general user less reason to trust what it already feels is shoddy software. And that 500 million might be seen as rewarding the efforts of adware and spam outfits.

Keep in mind that I didn't read the article.

Re:What to do with them? (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950147)

It's merely steep us mere mortals...

Microsoft probably spent more than that on snacks and soda for it's developers last year!

Re:What to do with them? (4, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950039)

Doubt that. I can see them integrating it with their install of Office on a mac though.

Re:What to do with them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12950131)

(Obligatory Simpsons:)

ill Gates: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if anything, [edit: Claria] does, so rather than risk competing with you, I've decided simply to buy you out.
Homer: I reluctantly accept your proposal!
Bill Gates: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!
[Gates' lackeys trash the room.]
Homer: Hey, what the hell's going on!
Bill Gates: Oh, I didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks! [insane laughter]

Antispyware, and now this? (5, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949923)

Microsofts Antispyware's cred just took a dive for no fault of its own. Pity, since Giant (which it was before MS purchased it) was one of the better antispyware apps.

Re:Antispyware, and now this? (1)

Rolan (20257) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950152)

Jumping to conclusions can do that kind of thing. As was said in the summary, "Analysts said Microsoft would probably be most interested in the long-term potential of Claria's personalization software rather than its pop-up ads." MS's ownership of the company may be a great thing. They can take use of the personalization software and shut down all the crap adware and pop-ups.

Like a realy bad movie... (1)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949925)

They are the anti-spyware provider vor their own OS so mow they need to make damn sure that EVERY customer needs them the minute MS anti spyware goes gold and gets a pricetag.

This may seem a little tin-foil-hatish of me but what else could it be?

This will eliminate SPYWare (5, Funny)

spicydragonz (837027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949927)

Microsoft will just embed Gator into Longhorn.

Re:This will eliminate SPYWare (5, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950011)

old: Where do you want to go today?
new: We know where you've been!

talk about a value-add for the OS!!! (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950122)

Don't forget:

NWO : "For only $29.99, we won't tell the wife/DEA/Homeland Security!"


Oh damn, forgot to click "Post Anonymously"...

Microsoft is no longer the Microsoft we all love (5, Funny)

Bemmu (42122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949929)

What are they thinking, don't they realize what this is going to do to their image? Microsoft, the company cherished for it's warm human point of view and high quality software, associating itself with such a low-life company.

Re:Microsoft is no longer the Microsoft we all lov (3, Funny)

guycouch (763243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949981)

You mean Claria, not Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft is no longer the Microsoft we all lov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12950085)

Or maybe he meant China?

Re:Microsoft is no longer the Microsoft we all lov (4, Funny)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950083)

"...the company cherished for it's warm human point of view and high quality software..."

I think you misspelled "crap."

It's a common typo, they keys are like, right next to each other.

(with apologies to bash)

Encouragement (5, Insightful)

Mark_Uplanguage (444809) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949930)

Yes, let's reward these companies for their abuses of the internet. 500 million reasons to be unscrupulous in business. This is going to make spyware/adware that much worse. Yea, let's here it for best business practices!!! /rant

Re:Encouragement (3, Insightful)

Art_Vandelai (596101) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950127)

Flamebait?? This comment is insightful. Because of this action, how many more asshats out there will start up spy-shit tracker cookie uninstallable scumware companies in hopes of striking it rich?

Wow... (3, Interesting)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949932)

Just imagine. IE is already the browser most known for succombing to popups. Now Microsoft is going to own the company who makes them. Either Microsoft is doing something smart by trying to buy the technology BEHIND the popups, making them easier to block... (yeah right)... Or soon, MS will launch a Google-like system that sees us running OpenOffice, and pops up a dialog for MS Office. We'll be running Winamp, and see a popup for WMP. Just imagine! Windows popups! How fun will that be. *runs and hides from the evil Windows*

Re:Wow... (3, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950045)

IE doesn't succomb, it's just having a bad hair day!

Re:Wow... (4, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950070)

buy the technology BEHIND the popups, making them easier to block... (yeah right)...
There is no "technology behind popups". It's trivial.

The technology is in personalization of content. Adware companies are actually somewhat advanced in this area. Data-mining and such.

Everything you said was absurd. If MS wanted to the popups you mentioned you think they'd have to pay $500M for the "technology"? Are you an idiot or just daft? I could write that program in 15 minutes, as could any decent programmer.

I hope you are kidding.

Re:Wow... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950162)

Thats actually the main problem with most spyware. They write the software quickly and bad. A piece of software running in the background that doesn't want to be noticed shouldn't hog resources or make the computer crash. AdWare is notorius for this.

Re:Wow... (1)

hahanoob (896403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950073)

Any Microsoft needs Claria to do that why?

Re:Wow... (1)

bedroll (806612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950106)

or they'll just switch focus to make multi-platform FireFox spyware.

on the bright side... (5, Funny)

downerad (29939) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949933)

Well, at least deciding which company we hate most should get a lot easier.

Re:on the bright side... (2, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950170)

And after Balmer drowns in his own sweat, Lord Gates (He's a knight you know) will make a special life support suit for him, upon wearing which he should shout "Developers!" looking dramatically upwards.

I felt a great disturbance in the force. . . (5, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949935)

as if millions of pcs suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Bonzai Buddy (5, Funny)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949937)

Microsoft should buy whoever made Bonzai Buddy (or whatever that purple guy was called.) The integration of that and Clippy would be revolutionary.

Re:Bonzai Buddy (1)

ozbon (99708) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950024)

Bondi Buddy.

Awful, truly awful. Both the product, and that I remember what it was called.

Re:Bonzai Buddy (5, Funny)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950043)

Could we make 'em fight? You know to the death? I'd install the buddy and resurect clippy if I could see that.

Re:Bonzai Buddy (1)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950137)

"It looks like you're viewing helpful, targeted popup advertisements - at least, you will be soon!"

Re:Bonzai Buddy (1)

spauldo (118058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950171)

IIRC, they're both based on microsoft agent. Essentially, they're the same thing, except one annoys you about office, and the other annoys you about everything else.

Bad news (3, Funny)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949939)


When they combine, they form a new terror, as vast as Microsoft yet as wicked as Claria -- and our weapons will be useless against it. It will destroy all of Meta-Tokyo, unless we can find the Magic Princess in time and give her the Moon Crystal and the Seven Essences! Your quest begins here...

(Press 'B' to continue)

Re:Bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12950109)

When they combine, they form a new terror, as vast as Microsoft yet as wicked as Claria -- and our weapons will be useless against it.
Behold - the SuperTux!

There's your weapon.

Nothing new here...move along (1, Troll)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949940)

The anti-deal group, the person said, fears the move could bring an outcry as critics portray Microsoft as a corporate Big Brother, trying to track every mouse click on the Web and profit from it.

There's that perception with or without Claria's purchase.

spyware insight (1)

dannyitc (892023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949941)

Maybe MS will use gator's spyware tactics to improve its Windows AntiSpyware [microsoft.com] program.

In the related news... (2, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949942)

... Popup blocking functionality was stripped from Longhorn, Microsoft announced today.

Opposition from within Microsoft (3, Insightful)

Sketch (2817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949944)

> One person briefed on the deal said there was opposition within Microsoft to the acquisition.

Would that be from the AntiSpyware group? ;)

Well sure, since IE7 is supposed to block pop-ups (4, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949946)

Besides, since Ballmer's indicated that they want to "catch Google," they'd better be able to do some very, very clever stuff with ad targeting on the MSN search side. Might as well buy (rather than build) a business unit that already has a jillion-view history, and some people that have waded through all this stuff a million times.

Though, they should take at least a couple of the Gator people out back and wack 'em just on principle.

Nooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12949950)

Popup ads built into windows isn't something I'm looking forward to

You can see what's coming... (3, Funny)

Vonotar82 (859920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949952)

Pop-up security updates, click here to patch XP, "Win an X-Box 360 if you can whack Ballmer" Microsoft ads, Pop-up spam on competitors web sites. It is the beginning of the Microsoft Dirty War.

Makes sense to me... (3, Funny)

pegr (46683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949960)

Gator=evil money sucking leeches...
MS=(I'll let you figure that one...)

Re:Makes sense to me... (5, Funny)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950145)

How about:

Q: What is the difference between Microsoft and Claria?

A: One makes software that subverts control, slows operation to a near halt, and generally damages the way your computer functions. The other is just a spyware company.

Interesting strategy... (0, Troll)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949964)


So let me get this straight...in its attempt to 'catch Google' (one of the most beloved companies in the business), Microsoft is persuing the acquisition of Claria (formerly Gator, one of the most reviled companies in the business).

I wonder if Steve Ballmer has any extra pot he can sell me...

Re:Interesting strategy... (3, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950009)

I wonder if Steve Ballmer has any extra pot he can sell me...

I don't think Steve is smoking pot. It's something way stronger than that. Something top secret and isn't on the streets strong.

so, let me get this right.... (3, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949967)

One division of M$ will infect software from another divsion while a 3rd division tries to clear it off. This sounds like M$ has some serious inner turmoir going on? Talk about not being able to make up your mind.

I really want to see how the PR people market this.

Re:so, let me get this right.... (1)

Tedington (842076) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950110)

One big evil hand not knowing what the other big evil hand is doing. Maybe they won't be able to coordinate their efforts to collectively fuck the whole world now.

personilization software??? Their PR guys will just come out with another piece of genius like "why open source ISN'T safe" and people will believe 'em.

Now I'll NEVER get rid of those stupid pop-ups.... (1)

rickthewizkid (536429) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949971)

... like the one that keeps popping up about the fact that my MSN messenger is out of date - and that I can get a MSN Hotmail account for free.

What's next - clippy popping up from MSIE - "It looks like you're trying to find airline tickets..." and having it redirect me to an MSN branded site??? ...Just my click-here-for-a-free-pc's worth
-RickTheWizKid

Microsoft Buys Evil From Satan (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949972)

True, BBSpot came up the title, but isn't is strange to see Fiction become Fact?

Another great innovation by MS ! (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949973)

Let's speculate :

Taking the analogy from virii (or viruses if you prefer) we can suppose that Longhorn will include a builtin adware, and then will propose a costly anti-adware solution.

Or maybe the adware will be used to discourage the use of legacy, non-trusted apps ?

I wonder.... (3, Insightful)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949980)

I wonder if this buyout is just a way for Microsoft to kill off a whole slew of spyware? Seems to me that 500 million is a fair price to rid us of Claria's crap.

Let me give you a little history lesson (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950104)

Number of times in the entire history of the world that buying off thugs has ever made them go away: 0

Re:Let me give you a little history lesson (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950143)

There is a difference between buying off thugs and buying your way into their leadership position. Doesn't mean they won't jump ship and become thugs somewhere else though.

Is anyone else scared? (5, Interesting)

suman28 (558822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12949982)

What in the world is going on?
First, the senior level executive from Gator goes to work for Homeland Security (head still spinning from that one).
And now, Microsoft is in talks to buy Claria?
I smell something fishy. Suddenly, the HSD will be buying all things Microsoft, in the name of anti-terrorism and patriotism.

One of the first times... (1)

JonN (895435) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950000)

I actually support Microsoft (Or any industry giant) buying yet another company in the same industry. Claria also owns GAIN Publishing [gainpublishing.com] which has some of the most annoying ads [gainpublishing.com] . Also, I must say that Claria [claria.com] software [claria.com] , seeing as they own an advertising agent, is seen around the web more often than much of the other annoying programs we see out there.

Brilliance or stupidity? (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950001)

So let's see here. After building a popup blocker into IE, they've now realized that if they purchase a popup/adware company they can be the only ones to have popups that work with IE?

Re:Brilliance or stupidity? (1)

SenorPez (840621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950034)

I can almost see the marketing strategy now

  • Buy Spyware company.
  • Create system popups in Longhorn that aren't affected by the IE7 pop-up blocker. And if you're using a browser that's not IE... hehehehehe...
  • Include a "fix" for the problem in the Plus! pack we'll sell for $125.

Innovation (1)

poxymoron (814057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950004)

Looks like Longhorn is going to ship with Spyware installed out of the box. Now thats innovation for you!

Re:Innovation (1)

shicklin (624057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950136)

the only innovation that hasn't been pulled

Gotta be a story plant (4, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950007)

This rumor defies logic. By acquiring a spyware maker, no matter whether or not they intend to use the spyware themselves, Microsoft would seriously endanger their efforts to gain credibility among technical users.

Claria is 'fruit of the poisoned tree'.

Typically, acquisitions like this are done because it's cheaper to buy target company A then it is to develop a solution internally, and any competent business manager should be taking into account the 'cost' of associating Microsoft with a company with Claria's history.

I would guess that the story is a plant, and that someone fell for it. Was the purpose of the plant to expose leakers? Or was it a well orchestrated prank? Either way, it seems contra-indicated for good business, and successful business is Microsoft's #1 product.

In other news... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950012)

Microsoft announced that its anti-spyware solution [microsoft.com] will be handed over to Claria for further improvements...

Seriously, look for alternatives [hitmanpro.nl] to be on the safe side (English version out soon).

Re:In other news... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950139)

I have better [gentoo.org] alternatives myself...

Tom

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12950149)

Huh? Was that just an attempt to promote your product?
I'd mod that down, it's not like the story is speaking of Microsoft's antispyware tools.

Looks like Bonzi Buddy has a friend to play with! (0, Redundant)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950018)

Maybe MS will have a feature where Bonzi Buddy and Gator will duel.. kinda like Godzilla and Mothra!

See that virginia? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950019)

Crime really *does* pay.

I'd say... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950022)

i'ts more about R&D in the spyware area. "Oh, so THAT's how they sneaked into our security!"

If you can't fight them, buy them :P

I thought they were buying China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12950025)

My eyes were blurred out when I was reading the headline. I thought they were buying China!

The jokes write themselves (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950027)

What's the difference between MS and their newest subsidiary? One's a bunch of scumbags who trick old ladies out of their money with a product that promises to do one thing but actually does something different and unpleasant, the other's - oh, nevermind.

$500 Million! (0)

HisMother (413313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950052)

Five hundred million dollars. Five hundred million dollars. Half a billion dollars. In all seriousness: for what? I can't see where there's anything of any value to buy.

Re:$500 Million! (4, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950087)

Marketing value is worth a lot. People still haven't caught on that Google's largest asset is the huge marketing knowledge they have access to both directly and indirectly (searches); the text ads are cute but not the main show. You'll see.

Re:$500 Million! (1)

SenorPez (840621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950095)

Seems like a fair price. We get rid of Gator AND sully Microsoft's reputation...

Will it... (0)

ouaibe (762632) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950057)

Will their anti-spyware tool now recognize MS software as spyware ?

They can't patch IE to be adware/spyware proof (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950068)

So instead they buy adware/spyware companies... Clever move !

bah. (1)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950077)

i already get spammed by m$ and its various subsidiaries as it is. i really don't need them to get any better at it than they already are.

A useful public service from Microsoft! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950078)

Now *THIS* is a useful application of Microsoft's buying power. Forget about buying just Claria though... buy a BUNCH of them... buy'em and shut'm down. (Making every last employee sign a no-compete agreement so they don't just go off and start another one...)

If they did that, I might like Microsoft again... maybe...

Couldn't Microsoft... (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950089)

The first thing I thought of when I read that was that Microsoft was going to buy the company out, then just let it rot away.

An interesting idea...but I doubt they'll do that.

Gator name change (2, Insightful)

nytmare (572906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950091)

Almost two years ago Gator changed their name to Claria in an attempt to distance themselves from their scummy reputation. It's encouraging that the media still refers to Claria/Gator by both names -- it keeps the name association going and lets people know exactly who they're dealing with.

Could this spark a new spyware business model? (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950092)

If they are buying them to eliminate a big spyware creator, wouldn't that cause a new business model for spyware startups to open up?
Someone could just start up a spyware company that annoys people enough that M$ would just buy them out.

1. Startup new Spyware company
2. Annoy users until Microsoft buys them out
3. Profit!

Perhaps we'll get lucky... (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950096)

...And they'll shut the company down and have all the spyware developers skewered in the public square in Redmond...

Well, it's a beautiful dream anyway.

Its Microsoft so its done for attack (1)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950103)

This is Microsoft we're talking about, so its most likely done to attack its competitors rather than any useful purpose. (Who would pay silly money for something they don't want?!).

The only thing I could find that might be it is Relevancyrank (patent pending) which might allow Microsoft to attack Google and Yahoo for personalised search (I haven't studied the patent application yet).

http://www.claria.com/relevancyrank/ [claria.com]

It's ironic (1)

Balaam's Donkey (697975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950114)

Let's start the speculation about why they're doing this:
  1. after all this time, they have no idea how the spyware actually infects windows, so they needed to buy one of the companies to find out.
  2. they're rewarding claria for keeping windows security experts busy.
  3. they generously want to provide a central location to store all of our financial information.
  4. all of the above

Renaming the product? (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950132)

Maybe they'd reintroduce the spyware as Gatesor!

Two evils... (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950144)

don't make a good...

Battle Of The Popups (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950157)

So picture this: two years from now you're surfing arond on IE when an ad pops up "Click here for a free vacation to Bermuda" suddenly another ad pops-up on top of that one "Pay no attention to the previous ad, the prevsious ad was not authorized by Microsoft. If you click right away, you can buy Steve Ballmer a new golf club"

Seriously. Does Microsoft have so much cash sitting around they need to buy things? It doesn't even make sense. You would think they had an acquisition strategy, but instead it looks like "Have money, will purchase"

Worf was right! [whattofix.com]

The hunt for linux users (1)

vettemph (540399) | more than 9 years ago | (#12950167)

I think MS is looking for a way to identify alternate OS and browsers in order to block them from content. This could give MS a way of following all surfers instead just the folks who visit MSN and microsoft.com

IF Browser = M$-IE THEN show_small_banner
GOTO content
ELSE show_huge_banner
delay_delay_delay
try_fullscreen.swf
show_longhorn_ad
tell_george_bush
tell_CIA_ATF_MPAA
trample_civil_liberties
FI

(I know, web pages aren't a mix of basic and sh. so sue me.)
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