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Microsoft Gives MVP Award to Adware Pusher

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the look-before-you-award dept.

120

An anonymous reader writes "Ed Bott reports that Microsoft has given an MVP (Most Valuable Professional Award) to an individual known for peddling Adware via his Messenger Plus program." From the article: "So how did a guy whose primary business involves installing adware become an MVP? That's what Christopher Boyd, a Microsoft Security MVP better known as Paperghost wants to know. Boyd isn't the only MVP who has a history with Patchou. Sandi Hardmeier, a current MVP in the Internet Explorer category who specializes in the fight against malware, has written three long, angry pages about the messy adware that 'sponsors' Patchou's product."

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Well it's Microsoft you know (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343171)

They recognize their kin.

Re:Well it's Microsoft you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343235)

It's true: remember when Windows 9x came right out of the box with preinstalled links to get hooked up to whatever internet providers had paid them the most money, and various other crapware?

Re:Well it's Microsoft you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343249)

Ah, Microsoft

The only company to give the wolf a sheep's outfit and welcome them happily into the flock.

Does windows count as adware? (n/t) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344007)

Does windows count as adware?

Re:Does windows count as adware? (n/t) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344073)

No more than Linux.

Re:Does windows count as adware? (n/t) (2, Interesting)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344227)

It depends on how you define adware, but... Windows Media Player is part of Windows, and last time I used WMP (quite a while ago, admittedly) its main screen was a bunch of ads. I think the default home page in IE is or once was some silly MSN lowest-common-denominator gossip-news page with ads on it (I might be wrong about that, but it is the default IE home page on lots of computers I've worked on). And from what I gather the guy that was named an MVP here originally wrote a program to remove a banner ad from Windows Messenger, which means that Windows Messenger is adware. I don't know of any common GNU/Linux software that acts like that. Maybe Firefox, which has a Google page as its home page. Though there aren't any ads directly on it...

He's part of the Microsoft ECOSYSTEM (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343205)

Just like in Earth's ecosystem, there are parasites. Yes, we usually kill them when we find them, but sometimes they come in handy. For example, tape worms are great for weight loss. This guy helps keep anti-adware makers in business!

Was worried there for a moment... (1)

mergy (42601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343215)

Relax everyone, he was given the Most Valuable 'Professional' Award and NOT the Most Valuable 'Person' Award since we all know adware scumbags are sub-human.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343289)

Relax everyone, he was given the Most Valuable 'Professional' Award and NOT the Most Valuable 'Person' Award since we all know adware scumbags are sub-human.

I think you got it backward: it's the profession that's despised here, not the person. I'm sure the guy is really nice after work and doesn't force his family to watch popups selling penis enlarger. When he's at work on the other hand, i.e. as a professional, I would like very much to corner him in a blind alley at night with something heavy and blunt.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (2, Insightful)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343785)

Have you used MSN Plus! / MSN Live Plus!? I ask, because I'm curious why someone who's spent a number of years writing high quality software for a large community and releasing his work for free, with the 'option' (read: you do NOT have to agree to install it) of a sponser program (read: adware) deserves to be beaten with something heavy and blunt?

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (3, Informative)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344301)

From TFA:

Patchou said on 1 October 2004 that "if no one installs the sponsor with the new agreement window, I'll change it back, sorry".


and also from TFA:

Update: Heh...wouldn't you know it, but Microsoft's own scanner detects Patchou's program via Virustotal (click to enlarge).

Nails, meet coffin. The Undertakers of Stupidity will be along to throw you in a ditch shortly.


The guy is scum pure and simple.

B.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (0, Troll)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344685)

... and here we are, 2 years on, and it's still optional.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (1, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346025)

Huh? I'm a user of MsgPlus. Every time I've ever installed it or an update, it has given me a CHOICE as to if I want to install the toolbar. There is an ENTIRE page of the installer dedicated to explaining what it is, and giving the option as to if you want to install it.

The guy's been working full time on a free product, and STILL gives the option not to install it. I don't know about you, but I trust somebody like him a lot more than the people at Debian who want to rename Firefox because the icon is free-as-in-beer instead of free-as-in-speech. At least Patchou is being reasonable.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (1)

ThePengwin (934031) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346419)

Wait, you go through an install reading the information it displays?? Wow thats a pretty stupid idea.....
*Sarcasm Detector Explodes*

This is a media flame story for sure. Hopefully people realize that this whole story is shit, for if they don't the media will destroy the internet, just like it did to TV.

I Miss TV, it used to be good.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347213)

Yes, obviously you've never installed the software, because it forces you to choose before proceeding with the installation. It sounds to me like the author of the original article didn't do much research into the subject, rather like you said it's a media flame story. The author has been very responsive to issues concerning the installation of the sponsor program, and has gone to great lengths to ensure his sponsors are not malicious and that users must know that they are installing it to actually have it installed on the system. The whole story is flame bait and a non-issue for at least the past year.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (2, Informative)

ThePengwin (934031) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347403)

Here is some nice evidence [photobucket.com] A Photo of the 3.62 MSG Sponsor install screen. Notice the red box.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344911)

Oh hey. Spyware apologists.

Man. Seriously. Whats become of this place....

I'm sorry, but I genuinely believe adware peddlers are crimnals. I really do. I've had to fix so many destroyed computers, seen careers ruined from data loss, and huge sums of money thrown away to these sorts of assholes, I can never sympathise.

A little mysterious option hidden somewhere on page 5 of a installer doesnt cut it. Most people dont understand what this all means, but they understand there computer has become unusable. People who prey on the technologically illiterate are assholes of the highest order.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (3, Insightful)

beuges (613130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346089)

I think you dont understand the difference between adware and spyware. Adware is advertising-supported software. How does trying to support your software via ads make you an asshole?

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (3, Interesting)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347513)

It is possible to do ad-supported software that isn't evil (e.g. the older versions of Opera), however, it's the 99% of adware that makes the other 1% look bad. With drive-by installs, popups that don't identify their origins, non-working uninstallers, theft of banner ad space from websites, rewriting of affiliate links, insertion of unauthorised sponsor links, uninstallation of competing ad engines, hijacking of homepage and search functions, self-restarting processes, etc. people can be forgiven for being suspicious of any given advertising module, even before it starts leaking personal information.

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (4, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344615)

I would like very much to corner him in a blind alley at night with something heavy and blunt.

...your enlarged penis?

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344013)

Excuse me, are you idiot? Considering a spammer a good professional is what should be worrisome, what kind of bussiness ethics they have?

Re:Was worried there for a moment... (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344369)

'Professionals' have business ethics. This guy, apparently, doesn't.

It's part of the new Microsoft... (1, Offtopic)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343223)

...the one that's saying screw you to everyone but the software publisher. The one that's now pushing activation on everything and reactivation every time you change hardware or cough too loudly. Microsoft's new DRM is king leadership is taking it straight down the toilet.

So switch to something else (4, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344737)

I've been involved with PC's since 1979 and I'll tell you there has never been a better time to switch since about 1984. Back then we had Macs and Amigas. Then for about the past 10 years, there hasn't been a good technical alternative to switch away from Microsoft.

Today, the choices are more and better than at any time since the personal computers were invented. Vista is the final nail in the coffin for me. I'm switching to the Mac. I've had them for years, but in my opinion, Apple has finally gotten the recipe correct. Powerful, beautiful OS, Great software, well priced hardware etc etc. Heck, you can even get MS Office for the Mac. I've been using some of the new Linux distros, Ubunto, Suse... these are all great systems that have lots of software and are more than just toys for tinkerers.

If people switch to Vista it's because we want to, and not because they have to. So for people complaining they have no choice, they're not being honest with themselves. The choices are there. If you put yourself into these handcuffs it's your own decision.

I've reached my limit with MS.

Re:So switch to something else (0, Troll)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345419)

I was screwed by Apple before I ever used a PC. Apple IIe. Overpriced. Salesman screwed my parents into thinking the IIe was better than the first Macs. Apple then pulled software distribution so I had to mail order or travel many kilometers as a kid to get software. I recently begrudgingly bought a couple of iPods because they were the best of a bad bunch of players. However don't fool yourself into thinking that Apple's going to treat you any better.

Re:So switch to something else (1)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346827)

So you're holding a grudge against Apple for something that happened... what, 20 years ago? Seriously? All because a salesmen mislead you?

Wow, if I held a 20-year grudge anytime a salesman told me something inaccurate, I wouldn't be able to buy anything.

Re:So switch to something else (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347051)

if people switch to Vista it's because we want to, and not because they have to.
Uhh, not quite. I believe that most Vista licenses will go out via Microsoft tax on new OEM PCs, same as they cornered their market up to now. It's still very, very hard to find Intel based PCs with Linux pre-installed, or naked.

Nevertheless Microsoft may face an upward battle when it comes to Vista and business. Hey, if I anyway need new machines for all my employees and software and (bloody extortionist) license agreements and training savvy IT managers will take a very hard look at alternatives since the pain and expense of migrating to Vista is just too damn big.

That's not to say that Microsoft will go under anytime, soon. But it won't be quite such an easy shove into literally any busines' face as they did with W2K. or XP.

Projects like they are run in Vienna [zdnet.co.uk] , or Munich [zdnet.co.uk] are highly visible and will convince other entities to look into alternatives if they are successful (and I don't see why they wouldn't).

But don't fool yourself, there will be a lot of friction and resistance from various entites on that path.

They call adware a "sponsor program" (5, Funny)

wwiiol_toofless (991717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343231)

I lolled. Euphemisms are fun! WGA is a "Consumer Protection Tool" weeee! A Trojan is now a "sheathed injection of digital harmony!" Yippe! Really this goes to show it's Us vs. Them. As long as MS knows 90% of their customers are blissfully unaware, they're going to reward these dorks.

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (0)

Sphonix (1010379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343461)

... You are not "Insightful" at all. Plus users are most likely the most informed out of the Messenger customers (probably the 10% that are blissfully AWARE). Also, calling a programmer who does alot of good to the messenger community a dork with no founding is little more then flaming. Also, it IS a "sponser program" as it is the OPTIONAL program that gives Patchou his income for his free program. Sounds like the definition of a sponser to me. Thanks for playing.

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (0, Offtopic)

antek9 (305362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344113)

Sounds like the definition of a sponser to me. Thanks for playing.
Hey wait, there must be a typo somewhere, the word 'sponser' doesn't exist in the English language. The online dictionary of my choice suggests you meant to write 'sponger'.
Thanks for playing to you as well, nice game!

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344269)

Congratulations, you can in fact read and you obviously have rudimentary abilities in spelling too. Perhaps if you were to put these reading skills to better use you might examine the content of the actual post. It's interesting to note that the only response to the rather good point this fellow has made is one correcting a spelling error.

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344367)

Gee, thanks for implying that my suggesting 'sponger' was, indeed, correct. And by the way, what makes you think I didn't read the claqueur's post? He has posted his one-minded argument often enough today, and has been answered often enough as well, methinks.

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (4, Funny)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344017)

A Trojan is now a "sheathed injection of digital harmony!"

Depending on what you mean by "Trojan" and "digital", you may be right on the spot.

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (0, Troll)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346259)

I find it ironic that the same group of people (though perhaps not you, wwiiol) talked about how great it was when Opera had the ad-supported version, since Opera would still get some income without people having to pay for it. When someone else tries to do that -- giving the option to not install the ads and still get full functionality -- they get lambasted for it.

Re:They call adware a "sponsor program" (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346539)

don't forget: hackers (you know, clever programmers that don't work at MS) are today "cyber terrorists"...

Blame marketing (4, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343257)

It's probably because these 'awards' are dreamed up and given out by 'Marketing' folk who are too stuck up their own arse to waste time talking to technical experts to find out if what they're doing makes any sense.

Re:Blame marketing (2, Insightful)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343721)

No they are not given out by marketting. They are given out by MS support to people who show knowledge about a particular Windows tech and share it. A person who is successful at writing adware and getting around all the roadblocks trying to stop them is probably fairly knowledgable.

The fact that he is abusing his knowledge is another story. Lump him in with all the smart people who hack DRMs.

Re:Blame marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344527)

The fact that he is abusing his knowledge is another story. Lump him in with all the smart people who hack DRMs.


People who break DRM are heros. People who create spyware/adware are parasites. Big difference.

Re:Blame marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345037)

maybe to you - to me they are both low life scums.

"Windows' Adware Infatuation" (5, Informative)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343263)

RoughlyDrafted Magazine described Three Reasons Why Microsoft Can't Ship [roughlydrafted.com] , and number three is "Windows' Adware Infatuation."

A compairson of how Microsoft, Yahoo and Google are fighting to shove ads at users, and why adware strategies are eating away at Microsoft's ability to support and extend their desktop and remain competitive.

"Microsoft's insatiable greed has resulted in a poorly designed software platform, rushed to market in order to kill emerging competition. Architectural flaws have resulted in a security crisis for users, which has resulted in an unsupportable mess for Microsoft. Rather than working pointedly to solve their flaws and the resulting platform crisis, Microsoft as a company has chased after adware revenue, and has exposed users to further grief by being part of the adware problem rather than its solution."

Re:"Windows' Adware Infatuation" (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343921)

That article is such a troll! True or not.

I don't know if I'm more offended by the knowing "Mac OS is Unix!" "Windows is doomed by legacy code!" thread of the article, or the iTunes ad along the side for the new Jars of Clay album, but still :p

It's not that incredibly bad. (3, Informative)

kc32 (879357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343285)

To be fair, Messenger Plus is a pretty cool program.

Not to mention the adware IS optional when you install it.

Re:It's not that incredibly bad. (0, Flamebait)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343371)

>

You hope.

NB: If your interested I one of Roebling's finest bridges for sale.
        Solid natural stone piers, and truly wonderful cable work.
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Re:It's not that incredibly bad. (1)

Sphonix (1010379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343425)

No, it is. I have been using Plus for at least 3 years. It is good.

Re:It's not that incredibly bad. (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343605)

Yeah, and Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Re:It's not that incredibly bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345121)

When you install it, you're led to belive it's a well behaved advertising program that displays adverts when the program is running. You're not told that it's actually fully fledged malware that installs crap on your desktop, adds favorites, displays adverts when messenger plus ISN'T running etc etc. The malware is also scumware - when you uninstall it, instead of just simply uninstalling, it asks tricky are you sure you don't want not to uninstall this and insists you verify that you're not a script - halmarks that only malware has to worry about.

IF it merely displayed adverts when it was running or something else ethical (take, for example, older Opera versions) THEN I wouldn't have such a beef with it.

*sigh* did anyone actually look at the program? (5, Informative)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343309)

It is quite useful, and I have used it in the past.

Upon install, it ASKS YOU if you want the advertisements installed.

You also have the option to purchase the program. Given how much arse it kicks, I think that this is a fair trade.

The author has changed sponser programs numerous times in an attempt to find one who doesn't lie about their sponsorship program. You can all guess how well that has gone over.

The irony of this all IS this though:

Messenger Plus got started as a way to remove the banner ad from MSN Messenger.

MS contacted him and asked him not to do that any more.

It doesn't do that any more.

It now ships with additional banners though.

Thus making the entire program useless! :-p

If you check out the Messenger Plus website, it gives a link to www.mess.be [www.mess.be] which does all what Messenger Plus used to do, but for free, and then some more as well.

Re:*sigh* did anyone actually look at the program? (1)

Sphonix (1010379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343403)

The program is NOT useless. It has now acts as a platform for extra plugins to MSN Messenger also. It also provides better logs then microsoft does... Actually here: http://www.msgpluslive.net/features/ [msgpluslive.net] Have a look at that, it's not simply a adware program.

Re:*sigh* did anyone actually look at the program? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343475)

Upon install, it ASKS YOU if you want the advertisements installed.
Not entirely [wikipedia.org] true:
When the sponsor software was bundled with Messenger Plus!, it caused a lot of controversy, many people complained that the option to install the software was purposely made to look like a standard EULA, and was designed to trick people into clicking it without understanding what they were doing. Since then, the agreement windows has changed substantially to ensure the user is fully aware they are installing extra adware in addition to Messenger Plus! and that it is optional.
On a side note, I would like to find the people who say "Yes please I would like you to install spyware on my computer."

I do (1)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343805)

I can't use Messenger without it, because I'm used to its features.

As you say, the sponsor software is ENTIRELLY OPTIONAL and I HAVE NEVER INSTALLED IT.

Re:*sigh* did anyone actually look at the program? (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344937)



ARGH. Another website that bypasses my popup blocker.

No seriously dude, linking to that site does NOT help the case here. That website has sealed it for me. There is no frigging way I'd install software from a site that seems to be all about innane popups and installing bogoware.

Re:*sigh* did anyone actually look at the program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347863)

http://mess.be/ [mess.be] is not related to Messenger Plus!. Your opinion of it matters not to anyone...

Re:*sigh* did anyone actually look at the program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347891)

Bitch, please, stfu and inform yourself before posting :)

Sincerely,
Anonymous Coward.

Taken out of context. (3, Informative)

Sphonix (1010379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343319)

Patchou has done a lot of good for MSN messenger. I am guessing because most people in the US use AIM they would not really know about Plus. The adware is an OPTIONAL INSTALL and it very clearly shown as that on installation (the installer even defaults to not install it, so the user must choose to) and gives the option to uninstall it once installed. You do not need to install the "Sponser Program" to use Plus. Patchou's only means of income is the sponser program, and he spends a lot of time making plus a great program. I would recommend it to anyone using MSN Messenger or Messenger Live. My friend, Chestah, who is one of the few beta testers for Patchou thinks of him in a high light. He is not a scum bag looking to make large profits, mearly support the large amount of time he spends to create a FREE program for the public to benefit from. He has even had competitions to give away free prizes to his Beta testers and the general public (Chestah won 200 dollars for a google plugin). I am very glad that he has won this prize as he deserves it. It is great to see him get the recognition he deserves.

Astroturf? (3, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343639)

Comment above appears to be from a brand new user, who has only commented on this story. One might suspect that Sphonix is Patchou himself or someone closely related to Patchou.

Re:Astroturf? (2, Interesting)

emilv (847905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343723)

But he IS right. It's VERY clear what will be installed. I have used Messenger Plus since version one point something (I just switched to a MacBook and are not using MSN Messenger anymore, but before that I used to have the latest versions of both MSN Messenger and Messenger Plus). I have been following the discussions and controversy when Patchou begun the sponsor program and I have been following the changes in the installer.

It doesn't look like an EULA anymore, and you have to specificially enable the sponsor program by your own free will. It's very clear that you don't have to enable it to use the full version av Messenger Plus.

The article is not fair on this point.

Re:Astroturf? (2, Insightful)

antek9 (305362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344151)

If I look at the crusade this shill is on (my, dear Sphonix, enough already), you might be right on spot. One thing only: a most valuable professional wouldn't possibly consistently misspell sponsor, now, would he? ;)

Re:Astroturf? (1)

Sphonix (1010379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345629)

Haha. My bad. I actually created the account just to comment on this. I have been around slashdot for a long time, just never felt the need to sign up.

Re:Astroturf? (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346243)

Mod parent up. There are several usernames spelling sponsor as "sponser", all are claiming the adware is fine and sparkly, and one of those accoutns was set up today. Microsoft MVP Adware Author = Shill.

Re:Astroturf? (1)

oddfox (685475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347239)

Yeah because the dude couldn't possibly have created the account in an urge to respond to a topic that he could make a meaningful contribution to. If you're suspicious alright, but don't cry shill until you can say so with complete confidence.

In any case, the guy is right about the program.

MVP (0)

taustin (171655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343323)

Most Valuable Professional? Isn't "Professional" a euphamism for prostitute? Of course an adwaer spammer is Microsoft's most valuable prostitute.

Re:MVP (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343409)

I think you are thinking of "Companion" [imdb.com]

Re:MVP (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343579)

I think you are thinking of "Companion"

Er, no. I'm thinking of "whore".

Re:MVP (3, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343513)

Most Valuable Professional? Isn't "Professional" a euphamism for prostitute?

Not in this case, because prostitutes get paid. MVP's give it away for free.

As best I can tell, MS gives the title of MVP to people who do a lot of free tech support for MS - they post a lot in whatever forums MS runs answering questions and generally sticking up for MS's good name.

I am not sure why these people feel the need to give away their personal time and energy to help out MS's bottom line, but MS is smart enough to exploit these sycophants by giving them an "award" of the title MVP which costs MS close to nothing in return and the MVP's seem very proud of this recognition, often listing it in their sigs and whatnot. Like a badge of suckeritude.

I think the reason one MVP is complaining loudly and bitterly enough about another MVP so as to make the front page of slashdot is precisely because the stakes are so small. (to paraphrase a well known rat-fink)

Re:MVP (2, Funny)

eraser.cpp (711313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343629)

MVPs are some of the smartest people I've worked with.

Re:MVP (1)

bcoff12 (584459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344131)

They do it for the same kinds of reasons that those who write code and share it with the world do. They may enjoy helping others, sharing their knowledge, or bask in the appreciation of those they help. Don't rag on them merely for associating with Microsoft.

Re:MVP (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344201)


The people who give code freely to the world are giving it to everyone. MVPs are just giving their efforts away to Microsoft. Sure, it looks like they are helping out regular people, but that's Microsoft's job, that's what those regular people paid for when they paid Microsoft. So, Microsoft gets to collect the money while all the MVPs get is a pat on the head.

Re:MVP (1)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344613)

As best I can tell, MS gives the title of MVP to people who do a lot of free tech support for MS - they post a lot in whatever forums MS runs answering questions and generally sticking up for MS's good name.
You could ask the same question about open source developers. Look at Linux, you have a lot of people giving away their spare time to help companies that use the product to get free software.

I think there are numerous reasons for giving away free advice and dedicating effort... Karma, ego, etc... For me, I'm hoping that if a future employer googles my name they'll see my 2,000+ posts helping people out.

Adware makes you evil? (4, Informative)

arrenlex (994824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343413)

I've used Messenger Plus! for a very long time. The adware is clearly warned, you are given a very clear prompt whether to install or not install it, and it uninstalls cleanly, AFAIK. The guy has to get a return from his product, doesn't he? And Messnger Plus! itself, which I've been using since its early days, is a brilliant and very functional addition to MSN Messenger and I loathe using MSN without it. Sure, he might bundle Adware, but I don't think Microsoft gave him the award because of the adware, but because of the dedication and ingenuity he put forth in developing such a simple, powerful MSN addon back when Microsoft knew nothing about him, working from reverse-engineering the source and a general will to help make a good chat program better. I haven't been following MSN Plus! closely since I've moved to Linux, although it's still there in my Windows partition, but it is (or was the last time I checked) a great program with fantastic functionality, the adware portion of which is clearly marked and very easy to avoid installing, and the reasons for it as very understandable.

Re:Adware makes you evil? (1)

Sphonix (1010379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343435)

This is the tpye of level headedness we need. People are blindly reading the article which is clearly slanderous and believing every word said.

Re:Adware makes you evil? (1)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343755)

This whole article's a joke. People going completely overboard over a program that (in many cases) they clearly have not used. As has been said repeatedly, the adware is completely optional. I've checked my system before now with hijackthis pre and post MSN Plus installation. If you say no, then you don't get the sponser programs. Do I like adware? No. Do I like sponser programs? No. But if it's my choice to install or not, then all is fine.

It's not just a small passing mention in the installation, it's very clearly labelled - I forget wording, but it is highlighted.

Patchou has been writing MSN Plus in its various forms for years, and I've been using it for years. To see him so heavily criticized on here is saddening, because I very much appreciate the hours of work he must've put into Plus! down the years.

Giving him an MVP makes a great deal of sense, as there will be few people out there who understand the MSN protocol, and various client IM software written by Microsoft, better than him.

Re:Adware makes you evil? (2, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344949)

Which article? Theres alot of them out there, and they all appear to be saying the same thing.

Also, whats with all these people defending it with similar bad spelling? Wierd.

That's not nearly good enough (1, Insightful)

AdamKG (1004604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343733)

I'm sorry, that's not good enough. Here's how I see it: if you are "forced" to bundle adware when you ship your software so you don't starve to death or whatnot, then don't fricken ship the software.

It's really that simple. There's no excuse/justification for it.

Is adware inherently evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346825)

By far most adware is evil, because 99% of it is bundled with crap without adequate disclosure (fine print in the EULA etc), doesn't uninstall easily and uses stealth tactics to thwart uninstall. That is what makes adware evil, not because it pops up ads.

As far as I can tell, this adware does seem to uninstall easily, is prominently disclosed and is not stealthy. Could this be the 1% of adware that is not evil?

Re:Adware makes you evil? (1)

littlem (807099) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346297)

but because of the dedication and ingenuity he put forth in developing such a simple, powerful MSN addon back when Microsoft knew nothing about him, working from reverse-engineering the source...
Sounds like Microshit should be suing him for breaching their precious EULA - surely it sets a very bad example to reward someone who does something as evil and underhand as try to look at the source code of a program?

Re:Adware makes you evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346925)


Sounds like Microshit should be suing him for breaching their precious EULA - surely it sets a very bad example to reward someone who does something as evil and underhand as try to look at the source code of a program?

The obvious conclusion is that Microsoft does not necessarily regard reverse engineering as inherently evil.

Nice name (3, Funny)

Nybble's Byte (321886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343427)

"Ed Bott". I wonder if he has a sister, Ro.

Re:Nice name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345887)

No sister, but I hear he has a brother, Tal.

Good business (1, Interesting)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343431)

Consider for a moment, that keeping the XP experience as crappy as possible, will only make Vista look that much better. Trashing obsolete products is good for business - good for microsoft. If XP becomes a heaping pile of garbage, users might be compelled to upgrade to the next future-heaping-pile-of-garbage sooner.

Actually, this is probably the result of a stupid, but really hot, marketing intern making decisions.

Re:Good business (1)

JimmehAH (817552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343743)

I imagine Messenger Plus runs quite well on Vista.
Adware probabaly not so much. Yet.

As a side note, Microsoft Antispyware used to flag Messenger Plus because of this sponsor program. Not just the separate sponsor, but the files that were just for Plus. I'm not using either anymore, so I don't know if it still does.

Re:Good business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343823)

Microsoft gives out MVPs to people who sell a lot of their products as well. There was a local guy who got a Project MVP but no one knew who he was. His company rep said they were the biggest seller of Project Server in our area.

Even the other Project MVPs didn't know who he was. FWIW, he silently disappeared as an MVP when he left that company. :-)

MS is going to start selling anti virus/adware... (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343819)

Products, right? Well, they need people writing viruses and spyware :P

The History (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343903)

I know a lot of people are saying that this isn't so bad since Messenger Plus clearly explains what the adware does and asks you whether or not you want to install it. Please remember that this only happened after thousands of complaints were made-- the software once automatically installed a myriad of spyware with no way to disable or remove it, and took measures to prevent you from uninstalling the bundled advertising junk (specifically a variant of the malware called Lop, which created randomly named *.job files and required 3rd-party spyware removers to get rid of.) Patchou repeatedly lied about the actions of his software and only changed to better practices when basically forced to do so. And if you ever run into Patchou on IRC, you will see how big of an ass he is.

Re:The History (1)

arrenlex (994824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344923)

FUD. What you're referring to was that, previously, the adware was not as clearly labelled - it was simply a text screen in the installer with a yes default, the kind that you click through automatically. It NEVER disguised itself, it NEVER misrepresented itself, it NEVER installed anything without you accepting the prompt, and you could ways remove it. The problem was that a lot of people were clicking through the installer and so ended up with the Adware despite it being marked -- this happened to one of my friends to whom I recommended Plus!, and I assure you that she just ran the uninstaller and it was all gone, and I went over her system pretty carefully to make sure. Listening to the users who were not even reading his installer, he made a warning in bold about the page being very important. When even that failed to catch attention, he added an image of the search bar and finally made the installer default to 'no'. As you can see, patchou NEVER tried to get anything on his users' systems without their knowledge; when he understood that what he had set up wasn't working well, he made it better, the same way any program is written. Stop spreading FUD please; get your facts straight. Never seen him on IRC; I wouldn't know.

Re:The History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345199)

The installer gives the impression that the adware would be reasonably well behaved -- for example, displaying adverts like messenger itself does. Instead, it's a malware that installs desktop icons, ads things to the favorites menu, makes pop-ups appear *when msgplus is not running*. It also isn't trivial to uninstall - its uninstaller asks tricky double negative questions, insist you type something, claiming it needs to verify you're not a program. The sort of crap only malware authors do.

This is not like "Opera" when you had the option of "Ad Supported" mode, which only showed adverts while Opera was running, no, this is fully fledged malware. Secondly, I find it ironic that this program comes with this advertising program yet one of its features is turning off (nowhere near as obnoxious) adverts built into MSN Messenger itself.

Besides, I challange you - do YOU have the sponsor program installed? I didn't think so. POS isn't it? You wouldn't be gullible enough to install it, right? Only newbies that think that pop-ups are normal install it, right?

'An image of the search bar'? You speak as if that is ALL IT IS. I can assure you, it is much MUCH worse than just a search toolbar. The google toolbar does NOT add icons to my desktop!

I argue that "pautcho" DID trick users, by misrepresenting the severity the malware.

Re:The History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345857)

no sure not, google has merely infected every webpage I seem to go to these days. Nothing to do with their search bar, I know (and that *is* a piece of spyware).

Agreed. (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343961)

I'm using it now (at least on Windows), because it allows me to open webpages from the Messenger, IN FIREFOX, rather than IE. That, combined with the fact that the rest of the program is pretty unintrusive if you install it semi-carefully, makes it very useful to me. Well, where "very useful" means "saves me some keystrokes and the annoyance of actually seeing IE at all."

Long time user of MSN Plus (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344107)

First of all I am a long time user of the MSN plus program. I love it! It makes my MSN experience so much better.

Now to those of you that instantly jump to the conclusion this program is bad, let it be known that the author does not install the sponsor program without your permission. In fact the dialog box you are presented with is very good about informing you there is another program that you have the OPTION to install to help the guy fund the software. If you click NO, that is the only time you see or hear anything about the sponsor program. If you happen to click YES, it is easy to remove, I have done it. It is not like other spyware that takes over or requires registry hacks to remove.

I don't like M$ as much as the next guy, but if you do use MSN Messenger a lot, this program is a great add on. The guy that makes it works very had, you can tell by how far the program has come over the years. There seems to be a lot of love put into it, and he simply asks you ONCE if you want to install a little program to help him cover the cost of making the software.

I think it is a great program and he deserves this recognition. Might help him pay some bills!

It could hardly be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344801)

"I love it! It makes my MSN experience so much better. "

So use Trillian. It lets you talk on all the services, it's free, has lots of features, and doesn't subject you to the kinds of security holes that these programs usually do.

I mean, some of us don't like whoring our eyes and computers just so random people on the internet can make money.

Good for him, keep it up, I need the business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344115)

I make more money these days removing the spyware from Messenger Live PLUS!!!!! installations than anything else, I think. Suuuuure you have the option to opt-out during the install, and suuuure it's really easy for everyone to see it. Just keep right on what you're doing man, and I'll keep getting $75/hr to remove your bullshit.

Peddling adware? (1)

NonViviDaSola (1010423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344359)

Since when is asking someone if they would like to install ad software during installation called peddling? This is legit. Slashdot supports itself in part by ads and they don't even ask me first. Peddling?

More money for us MS workers (3, Funny)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344365)

Thanks to MS and it's continual promotion of faulty products, I'll never be out of a job.
Keep up the good work Redmond.
More money
More money
You've got to just give in and accept the fact that people want to pay more money for computers. The more money they pay the better they feel about the magic.
If it just worked, it would scare them. They feel better knowing that every once in awhile a human must interact with the machine or it will fail. Or that the machine is so faulty that it will crash and become totally useless at times. This makes the muggles feel better. Otherwise they would really get scared knowing that the little beige box under their desk has been sitting there without complaint for 3-5 years, just doing their bidding. That would be bad, that would be unfair, that would be unreasonable. Nothing with that kind of intelligence would stand for it. It would talk with it's buddies on the internet and they would revolt and Sarah Connor wouldn't seem so silly.
But thanks to MS and their vigilantly sly support of software which will make that magical thing stop every once in awhile, we humans remain in control.
MS gets more money, I get more money, the computers don't take control of the planet. What's the problem? That's the problem with you people that put foil on your heads, you just can't see the big picture.

MVP (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344959)

Ah yes, just like being a unpaid spokesman for avis rental cars....

Notice how every time you run across one of their sites you feel the grey matter draining from
your skull. Sort of like those kiddies you run across that tell you they are a great hacker
because they can use sendkeys in vb to type the word hacker in notepad.

So now we have two unpaid spokesman for avis rental cars crying about each other.

Knigga (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345189)

(Click Here have their moments You get distr4cted clear 5he couldn't

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345507)

Maybe Microsoft is finally using their business model to promote some good.

This is ridiculous. (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346059)

Patchou's Messenger Plus, for those who don't know, is a simple program that hooks into MSN Messenger and puts in some features missing in the original, like away messages, sounds and such.

Now: the program does not, repeat, NOT, push adware. You install it, the setup wizard gives you a clear choice between installing the sponsor program (adware) or not. You choose not to, it never gives you any grief again. And if you do install the sponsor program, it apparently removes very cleanly just by doing the usual Add/Remove Programs thing.

So please, lay off. Calling patchou an adware pusher is more than a little harsh, it's downright silly. And he definitely deserves some sort of award or such from Microsoft; Messenger Plus improves MSN in so many ways.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346097)

Yeah I seriously don't understand why everyone is bagging Patchou for, he gives you plenty of choice when installing the program.

MVP site behind certificate (1)

slidersv (972720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346155)

To view MVP site or the spammer's profile @ MVP, users are required to accept untrusted certificate. No reading for me.

Re:MVP site behind certificate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347561)

Would you trust it if THAWTE had signed it? Not me. I'll take a self-signed certificate any day over a certificate signed by a company that signs trojans and malware left and right. Worse yet is Verisign for their attempts at commandeering tlds.

The only signing authority I trust is Entrust, I evaluate all others on a site by site basis and definitely trust a self signed certificate more than one signed by the insipid evils known as Thawte or Verisign.
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