Earlier this week, Lavasoft confirmed in a lengthy post that it is in negotiations with IAC to bundle the Ask Toolbar. The rationalization for Lavasoft is that by doing this bundle, they have the opportunity to work with IAC in making real change in toolbar distribution. This would ostensibly benefit the community.
I have no beef with Lavasoft. Pre-CounterSpy, I used AdAware to remove infections from systems, and recognize and respect them them for their tremendous contributions to making the Internet safer. Lavasoft’s CTO, Joe Wells, is also a good friend who used to work for us in developing our antivirus technology. I even enjoyed a good evening of jazz at Vienna’s Birdland not too far back with Lavasoft folks, and I’m generally biased positively to Scandinavians in general, having been brought up in that part of the world.
Nevertheless, IAC is a company with a past (and spyware expert Ben Edelman adds some additional thoughts on their current status). I have written about my thoughts previously, so it’s not worth re-hashing.
In my view, there is only one reason to bundle a toolbar, and that’s for money. Getting into bed with someone in the hopes of making them more moral… I’m not so sure. So to my friends at Lavasoft — please don’t take offense. I’ve been outspoken on this issue and I’m more than willing to hear more of your side of the story.
Readers — your comments are welcome.