Feeds

Firefox.de in adware rumpus

Verboten

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

An "adware function" in the German version of Firefox has been dropped following user protests. Fans of the open source browser cried foul after they realised its eBay search function went through an affiliated site www.webtip.ch, run by Swiss firm Metaspinner, instead of calling up eBay Germany directly.

Firefox markets itself as free of adware or spyware but it agreed to an experiment that arguably undermines this stance. In a statement, Mozilla said the redirect was used only to collect anonymised statistics. It has dropped the feature and issued an update so that existing German installations of Mozilla Firefox will be referred via the search function on mozilla.europe.org directly to eBay.de.

The adware redirection was confined to the German version of Firefox. But it provoked debate about the meaning of the issue for the entire Firefox community. Mozilla's German statement indicated it is unlikely to repeat the experiment / money-making trial elsewhere, but a clearer statement of policy would still be appreciated. At time of writing, Mozilla had not responded to our requests for comment.

The strong feelings aroused show that open source fans hold Mozilla to higher standards than they would expect from other browser suppliers. Internet Explorer's tendency to "phone home" on the slightest pretext is well documented. And that's to say nothing of the security risks...

Separately, a OneStat.com survey out yesterday estimates that Mozilla now commands 7.35 per cent share of the browser market, up from 2.1 per cent at the end of May. Mozilla Firefox was used by around one in 20 surfers (4.58 per cent). The rise in Mozilla browsers has taken a bite out of Microsoft's market dominance, but Internet Explorer still rules the roost with a global usage share of 88.90 per cent. Opera's global usage share is 1.33 per cent and Safari has 0.91 per cent. ®

Related stories

Firefox 1.0 limbers up for launch
Mozilla updates browsers after bug hunt
IE accounts for 95% of browsers survey
CERT recommends anything but IE
US moves towards anti-spyware law

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.