Microsoft explains bundled ChoiceGuard plugin

Users who installed the most recent wave 3 betas may have noticed an additional plugin included in Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer called ChoiceGuard. In a posting on the Windows Live Wire last week, Hua Ai and Mikko Ollila from the Live Search team explain exactly what this plugin actually is.

"Microsoft ChoiceGuard is a lightweight software component that enables the choices you make, like what you want to set as your default home page and search provider, during the Windows Live Beta installation process," their post explains.

The duo says they created ChoiceGuard because it was their only way to accomplish the task that the installer needed, due to technical requirements in Firefox and third party software blocking registry keys in Internet Explorer. ChoiceGuard is only installed if you select to set your search or homepage default within the wave 3 installer. In both cases, the settings made by ChoiceGuard can be overwritten by the user anytime they choose, or if another program changes it again for them.

Once Firefox is run with ChoiceGuard active, the plugin will set the defaults requested by the installer, then deactivate and set to uninstall, so the user will not see the plugin the next time Firefox is run.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows Live Hotmail wave 3 rollout begins

Next Story

Announcing the release of Expression Media 2 SP1

11 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is getting pretty ridiculous, particularly considering that Microsoft installers default to changing your homepage. This is just a pathetic attempt to gain market share for their websites / search engines. I had to help someone changed their homepage back to Google after they installed a Microsoft application - it's exactly these sort of people that Microsoft is targeting.

Honestly, how many people want their homepage changed when they install a new piece of software? It must be less than 1%.

(theyarecomingforyou said @ #1)
particularly considering that Microsoft installers default to changing your homepage.

I'm pretty sure they ask you, they don't just change it without permission. You have to choose to change it.

(Skyfrog said @ #1.1)

I'm pretty sure they ask you, they don't just change it without permission. You have to choose to change it.


The default is to change it, and you know as well as I do that most people just keep clicking next, next, next, next....

gee, when microsoft 'forces' a change, it's pathetic, yet when you install something where google gets forced, it's okay. For example the flash player or acrobat reader. lookie! it's google toolbar! and that too is all set to download and install by default.

And yes, people at my company do just that, hit next, next, next. And when I have to fix their computer I see toolbars, google desktop, etc. When i ask them if they use it, they said 'no, dunno how it got there.'

Apple, too, installs things as 'default.' Just look at iTunes. Where did this auto update come from? Heck, apple forces their own entire browser if you don't 'uncheck' the auto update installer.

So, everyone plays the same game. It IS a way to gain market share. Isn't that what it's all about?

(unrealreality said @ #1.3)
gee, when microsoft 'forces' a change, it's pathetic, yet when you install something where google gets forced, it's okay. For example the flash player or acrobat reader. lookie! it's google toolbar! and that too is all set to download and install by default.

What on Earth are you talking about? It's bad when all software does it. I don't understand why you jump in here looking for conflict where none exists.

(theyarecomingforyou said @ #1.4)

What on Earth are you talking about? It's bad when all software does it. I don't understand why you jump in here looking for conflict where none exists.

Its true there wasn't even one topic when they started including Google toolbar with flash or even yahoo toolbar too, it's kind of seems bias but wtf. I don't mind clicking on checkbox I didn't complained when Google did it, I didn't complained when yahoo did it and I am not going to complain when Microsoft is doing it.

(Neo003 said @ #1.5)
...........................I didn't complained ...................I didn't complained ....................

Maybe if you didn't complain instead things might get better.

(Airlink said @ #1.2)

The default is to change it, and you know as well as I do that most people just keep clicking next, next, next, next....
And whose fault is that anyway? Perhaps its a good thing people are inconvenienced by something like a home page being changed as it may force them in future to read dialog boxes that could have an impact on their computers setup.

(Smigit said @ #1.7)
And whose fault is that anyway? Perhaps its a good thing people are inconvenienced by something like a home page being changed as it may force them in future to read dialog boxes that could have an impact on their computers setup.

dito!

Is it that hard or time consuming to at LEAST see what options are checked in an installer? :|

Man people are too lazy for their own good.

(Neo003 said @ #1.5)
Its true there wasn't even one topic when they started including Google toolbar with flash or even yahoo toolbar too, it's kind of seems bias but wtf. I don't mind clicking on checkbox I didn't complained when Google did it, I didn't complained when yahoo did it and I am not going to complain when Microsoft is doing it.

It's the fact that not only is the checkbox ticked by default but it has to install and uninstall plugins behind the scenes in order achieve what it wants. I wouldn't mind if it simply forced users to make a decision before progressing but defaulting to change is designed purely to target people that either aren't paying attention or don't understand.

(Frazell Thomas said @ #1.8)
Is it that hard or time consuming to at LEAST see what options are checked in an installer? :|

Man people are too lazy for their own good.


When we're talking about novice computer users they often simply don't understand, which is why I dislike the policy.

(theyarecomingforyou said @ #1.9)

When we're talking about novice computer users they often simply don't understand, which is why I dislike the policy.
I'm sure if a user has the capability of locating, downloading and then running the Windows Live setup they probably have the capacity to read the prompts they are given. I would also imagine the users should be able to figure out how to get their homepage back.

If they don't know how to change their homepage, then it was probably still set to a MS one by default anyway.