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Last week I wrote about the Patchou MVP issue.  On Sunday, I posted a message to a forum on MessengerPlus, and then the entire thread was removed.

Anyway, now Patchou has had his MVP status revoked by Microsoft

From Microsoft:

“Cyril Paciullo was awarded with MVP status this year on the basis of his technical expertise and strong community contribution. However, his active MVP Award status was revoked as soon as the extent of the connection between his application and spyware was made apparent to the MVP Program,” the company said in a statement.

Link here.

There was, of course, a flurry of support for Patchou from the faithful, including a comment storm on the VitalSecurity blog.

Ok, to those who support Patchou?  Fundamental problem:  LOP stinks.  And imagine someone installing MessengerPlus and getting that little cute icon to “upgrade your antivirus program” and getting an outright fraudulent scam.  Imagine that person being a relative of yours who doesn’t quite know much about computers, and getting scammed.  Or getting popups they don’t know the source of (because LOP does not disclose that the popup was generated by LOP, unlike even WhenU or Zango).  

And here’s what’s really sad:  Patchou is an impressively good programmer and deserves better.  But he made his bed and he now has to sleep in it.

The one thing to his credit is that the LOP install is clearly disclosed and the user gets a choice — and you can uninstall it through Add/Remove programs.  That’s good. But he chose to associate himself with this adware program, while there are other ways to make money in the shareware model.  Have a premium version that people pay for — the standard shareware model.   Have a version with banner ads, like AOL IM (inside the program, not as popups) and then maybe have a separate version which people pay for that doesn’t have ads.  Or splash Google adwords all over the site.  Or do a deal with the Google Toolbar or Yahoo Toolbar — not the best solution but much better than LOP.  Whatever. Christ, even an adware program like WhenU would have been better than LOP. 

To all those who support Patchou, install LOP.  And perhaps after that experience, you’ll understand why so many people were upset by Microsoft’s decision.

More at VitalSecurity and Sandi’s blog.

Alex Eckelberry