Buzz’s Blog: On Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web

Nov 28 2010   9:30PM GMT

Massive, stealth installations: tossing away your legitimacy

Roger King Roger King Profile: Roger King

Taking a mile.

There’s an old saying about giving someone an inch and the person taking a mile.  Well, have you ever installed anything from NCH software?  Boy, did they take a mile.

NCH stealthware.

First of all, let me say that what little I have seen of their software, I like.  They sell image, audio, and video software for editing and converting media.  (They also sell other products that I have never looked at.)  The one application of theirs that I have bought is quick to open, has a clean and intuitive interface, and given it is not intended as an Adobe-like mega-app, it has all the functionality you would expect.

But I only bought one app…

But, when I paid for and installed this program, Switch, an audio format conversion application, along with their free image editor, I got a surprise. 

When I clicked on Start and chose the All Programs menu to verify that Switch had successfully installed, I was totally blown away.  The NCH installers had installed thirteen folders embedded within one called NCH Software Suite!  Then I found another folder in the All Programs listing, called Graphics Related Programs, and there were three folders embedded within it!

The trick.

Their trick, of course, is that they are trying to get you to buy more of their applications.  When you click on one of those apps, the NCH software says “An install-on-demand component is required for this operation.”  All you have to do is hit Install and you can buy yourself a pile of applications you had no intention of buying.  And oh, in case you’re nervous about this, you are also told that if you change your mind, you can always use the Control Panel to un-install it all.

It’s amazing what they have the nerve to do.  When you click on their two main folders inside my All Programs menu, you see a ton of other applications that are just waiting for your permission to install and pay for.

Forget NCH.

By stealthily performing a massive folder install, NCH lost their legitamacy for me.  It is important to note that all of these extra applications were NOT installed.  They simply wanted to put all this stuff in my All Programs menu so that I would be tempted to click on them and then try their install-on-demand app, thereby agreeing to buy more of their software.

This is incredibly annoying.  They put so much in my All Programs list that it was hard to find the one program I purchased and installed. 

I think that if they want to clog up my All Programs menu, NCH should given them all to me for free. 

Damn it.

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