Google Software Updater – Trojan or Virus Part Deux
Not too long ago, I complained about Microsoft’s Seaport Enhanced Search Tool which is set to run automatically on startup and keep running all of the time by default. This application provides the dubious function of checking for new updates or configuration files for a search enhancement that no one asked to be installed. Instead, it is snuck in with the installations or updates for Microsoft’s increasingly useful Windows Live suite. Killing Seaport isn’t as easy as un-checking a box.
As anyone who has downloaded Google Chrome knows, Microsoft is not alone in its shenanigans. Google installs the Google Update service with any Google product and sets it to run automatically at startup and keep running in the background all the time.
Unlike Microsoft, however, Google has become more demanding about its updater. For example, set the Google Update Service or Google Updater Server (I have both, what is that about?) to disabled, and it will find a way to start running again anyway!
Even worse, comes this Wired Magazine article that says that Google Earth won’t even run without the Google Update service running in the background. Which means that even if you do manage to get it shut off (I had to use the closed and block function in Comodo Defense+) it doesn’t matter because Google forces you to turn it back on to use its products!
These clumsy and disrespectful tactics have gone far enough. Users, experts, and other software companies frequently accuse Microsoft’s products of suffering from bloat by being constantly installed with new (and often less useful) features that can’t be unbundled from the product making it take up more disk space, more memory, and more processes all of which adds up to making your computer run slower, and slower.
For years this has been a limited issue due to the plunging prices of computer hardware and the population’s willingness to frequently upgrade to more powerful hardware. But, the end of this attitude is clearly at hand.
Many users revolted at Microsoft’s forced upgrade to Windows Vista because they were already happy with what XP and their current hardware could do for them. All they wanted was to add another machine to their collection of resources, not get yet another upgrade. These users clearly are not interested in buying a new computer with a faster processor and more memory just because companies like Google and Microsoft want to keep their little update programs constantly running and using up memory.
My father once told me that there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who say, “Why doesn’t somebody do something about it,” and those who do something about it. I’m going to be the latter.
As soon as some details are finalized, I will be launching a non-profit organization dedicated to educating users on the detriments of these type of programs and installs, as well as working with business, government, and other groups to both monitor software company tactics and work with them to remember that it is the users and their wishes that come first, not their software and desires about how it be used and update.
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