Spyware buys legitimacy (or, AdAware sells out its users)

Broadband Report users are fuming (rightfully so) over Lavasoft's new comfort level with the WhenU program, an adware app that suddenly wasn't being detected by AdAware. No notice was given, no patch was availble. Oddly, WhenU also cut deals with other spyware removal apps at the same time Lavasoft's product changed, but Lavasoft has yet to cop to a deal with WhenU.

Their public response hit today, and if Lavasoft thought it had a problem before, the poop storm is in full effect now.

User: cdru

So it would be ok for Symantec or McAfee to not detect certain viruses because it wasn't high on their threat assessment chart?

Ad Aware was (notice past tense) a program that removed adware and spyware. When you start removing that functionality because the authors no longer feel that its a threat to your system it defeats the purpose. WhenU is still adware and it's still installed on infected systems. It doesn't matter if WhenU is the greatest software serves a useful purpose. It's still adware.

The fact that Adware has a free version is beside the point. If it wasn't paying the bills it's not the public's problem. Their business method was flawed. When your product is advertised as doing one thing, yet it fails at it, then that is the problem.

Adware simply sold out. From the official response: "The new TAC will not only allow us to retain, but will allow us to add more content, as well as highlight improvements in vendor offerings through a detailed color assessment code that will be more obvious to the user and thus provide better information for their decision making." (Emphasis added). When changes in adware/spyware goes from being bad for your system to highlighting "improvements in vendor offerings", something is seriously wrong.

I can't say it any better. Goodbye Ad Aware; you just gave Microsoft a huge void to fill.

Lavasoft Responds - About as clear as mud...

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