Some Skype users not happy with newly discovered program [Update]

Skype has had an interesting month so far. First the VoIP-based Internet phone service was acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion in cash. More recently the service suffered through an outage that kept some of its many customers from using its features. Now Engadget reports that a number of Skype users are protesting the discovery of a new program that seems to be difficult to uninstall.

The program in question is called EasyBits GO which some Skype users have complained on the company's official forums is installing itself without asking prior permission from Skype users. Engadget reports that EasyBits as a company has been in charge of Skype's game channel for the past five years but until now the company has never offered stand alone software for Skype users. Apparently EasyBits' reps have tried to answer some of Skype's user comments about EasyBits Go in the forums but they have also given people a link to an .exe file. While the EasyBits reps claim this file will remove EasyBits GO from users' PCs, this obviously has led to a lot of suspicion from Skype owners who don't want to risk opening up any .exe file, no matter how well intentioned. So far a post on the Skype forum by a forum admin has only said that the company is looking into the matter and will give out an official statement later.

Meanwhile Mac owners of Skype can now download a new hotfix that should deal with the outages that happened earlier this week. The Windows update has already been released.

Update - The Skype web site has admitted that the EasyBits Go software "included elements of their desktop games organizer in error, but it neither installs nor un-installs correctly". The program has now been disabled "while we work with them to correct the problems and user experience."

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god sake, this is preposterous! A free bit of software adding extras with or without your consent..............that's it they aint getting another penny fr..........oh wait its free!
Seriously though, its not really that big a deal.....is it? and LaP steady on now matey, its hardly the same as hacking/cracking..................<rolleyes>

Mando said,
<rolleyes>

Just like when I get Chrome when I want some other free software, without my consent.

Every executable on a system is another attack vector, I agree with LaP for once.

<rolleyes> back at u

snowbound said,
Neither I nor a friend whose Skype's are at the current version on Windows have any of this EasyBits installed.

i've got skype turned on for 99% of the time (minus the reboot or 2 in the past couple of days)
and no popup, no weird processes showing up. no nothing.

is installing itself without asking prior permission from Skype users
------------
Things like that should be illegal. This is imo as worse as hacking.

Yall people complaining just need to watch the heck you clicking, no one ever read ish anymore and just always click next and I accept.. Once again I have not ever had an issue with Skype for as long as I had it (and thats a while)..

YounGMessiah said,
Yall people complaining just need to watch the heck you clicking, no one ever read ish anymore and just always click next and I accept.. Once again I have not ever had an issue with Skype for as long as I had it (and thats a while)..

The prompt was very misleading, if I remember correctly it said something along the lines of "do you want to learn more about games for Skype", so I clicked (expecting to be taken to an information window or web page describing the feature) and was very surprised when it installed an application (I expected possibly a prompt about installing one in some kind of information window as 'learn more' would suggest). Sounds like it does it even if you say no though. I was downright irritated when I found not only did it launch it but added start menu entries and was running in the background. Hasn't irritated me enough to remove it though.

How To Uninstall EasyBits GO (EasyBitsGo.exe) Completely

Either use Revo Uninstaller (there is a portable version), or manually remove/uninstall :

Follow procedures illustrated by Bradley Wint at:

http://www.blogtechnical.com/1...ut-users-prior-knowledge.bt

If you don't trust that link (and I can understand why), here are the instructions copy pasted from there:

“Disable and remove 3rd party access to the easybitgo.exe file in Skype via Options > Advanced > Advanced Settings > Manage other programs' access to Skype
Remove the Easybits Go program via the Install/Uninstall panel under your system's control panel
Exit Skype and make sure the Skype.exe is not running in the list of running processes (via Task Manager). Also temporarily disable Skype from starting automatically when Windows starts.
Then restart your computer since the program will still be is use by the system.
Once restarted, go to [Drive Letter]:\ProgramData or [Drive Letter]:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data and permanently delete theEasybits GO folder.
Remove whatever shortcuts it may have placed in the start menu and desktop.
If you are confident enough to dig around in your registry, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software and delete the entire EasyBits folder (thanks Christopher)
Go to the Windows\Prefetch directory and look for the file EASYBITSGO.EXE-364DAFD6.pf and delete it. Also do a search for ezPMUtils.dll and delete them all.
If you are on Windows 7, delete the go folder in this directory - Users > [YOUR USERNAME] >AppData > Roaming

via : http://www.ghacks.net/2011/05/...-easybitsgo-exe-completely/

Remove with Revo Uninstaller and cleanup the registry with CCleaner...both free...and both available in portable versions if you don't want to install them...but both very useful.

In Skype settings disable "Automatically start Extras".

I find it quite odd that people think that it is already Microsofts fault that Skype is having problems, they only just bought it, I doubt very much that they have screwed it up by rewriting it already.

Personally I think the aquisition can only be good for Skype, having the addons was a way of funding for them and as they no longer require that so much i would expect a lot of the 'extras' to be removed.

Microsoft aren't as stupid as they once were, they are not going to want to upset Skypes current userbase - they'll want to increase it, especially in the enterprise area.

chrisl said,
I find it quite odd that people think that it is already Microsofts fault that Skype is having problems, they only just bought it, I doubt very much that they have screwed it up by rewriting it already.

Personally I think the aquisition can only be good for Skype, having the addons was a way of funding for them and as they no longer require that so much i would expect a lot of the 'extras' to be removed.

Microsoft aren't as stupid as they once were, they are not going to want to upset Skypes current userbase - they'll want to increase it, especially in the enterprise area.


^ this
I see MS haters all around me on Skype canceling their subscription, just because its part of MS now.Even tho Skype still runs without any MS interference. And that Skype itself is total and complete **** with all the addon crapware and an awfull client (windows, its even worse on other platforms ) considering the work MS has done on MSN /WLM how it was always better then alternatives YIM, ICQ, AIM etc. And since WLM 2011 far ahead of GT, Skype and all the rest...
Skype will only improve, i'd just love to see it get intergrated into WLM.

what the heck? ms is already screwing up the company just kidding. but im really looking forward to how ms is going to advance it and integrate it into xbox, live, and wp

uninstalled skype last week, ill try to use older version (v2 or v3)or skip this $hity application all along

skype will end like winamp

When installing skype, go into the advanced options and uncheck all the garbage. Makes it use less resources, too. Skype 5.0 alone uses 100MB RAM which is just ridiculous for an IM application.

mrp04 said,
When installing skype, go into the advanced options and uncheck all the garbage. Makes it use less resources, too. Skype 5.0 alone uses 100MB RAM which is just ridiculous for an IM application.

so do WLM and YIM. 100mb ram is roughly 10 cents of RAM value... get over it man.

This isn't even the first time Skype's done this - every time I'm forced to install an automatic update, it tries to install the Skype toolbar in all my browsers. There's also been a few times when it's tried to install something called "Browser Highlighter".

Joey H said,
This isn't even the first time Skype's done this - every time I'm forced to install an automatic update, it tries to install the Skype toolbar in all my browsers. There's also been a few times when it's tried to install something called "Browser Highlighter".

Good Lord...

I wish there was a system-wide setting that let's you opt-out of 3rd-party bundles and nag-ware once and for all.
All installers should have to read that value, if opt-out == true -> Don't even ask for 3rd party/nag installs.

GS:mac

Joey H said,
This isn't even the first time Skype's done this - every time I'm forced to install an automatic update, it tries to install the Skype toolbar in all my browsers. There's also been a few times when it's tried to install something called "Browser Highlighter".

the browser highlighter number 1 cause of crashes for FF
it slows down any browser that has it so incredibly much.
im happy with IE9 and its addon checker everytime you start it 'oh this is slow, want to disable? yes.. click ok... gone"

I noticed that an hour ago and wondering what it was. It's a shame I'm busy this week otherwise I'd have the time to nuke this ****** to hell.

...and so the campaign to **** off users so they will cancel their membership with Skype before MS takes over. Brilliant ideas.

I had something pop up on Skype last night about games or something and I selected the option not to install or whatever this thing is, don't see it on my PC.

Martog said,
I had something pop up on Skype last night about games or something and I selected the option not to install or whatever this thing is, don't see it on my PC.

Same here. It prompted me if I wanted to play games or something, i selected no. no install. Anyone b*Tching about this needs to pay more attention to what they click on.

SirEvan said,

Same here. It prompted me if I wanted to play games or something, i selected no. no install. Anyone b*Tching about this needs to pay more attention to what they click on.

Even if you explicitly deny the program installation rights, it'll install itself anyway. This is from first hand experience and reports from people on Reddit + Skype forums.

Skilleto said,

Even if you explicitly deny the program installation rights, it'll install itself anyway. This is from first hand experience and reports from people on Reddit + Skype forums.

Hopefully the fact that I run with the default Windows 7 UAC setting on prevented it from doing just that, as I don't see any trace of it on my system.

Skilleto said,

Even if you explicitly deny the program installation rights, it'll install itself anyway. This is from first hand experience and reports from people on Reddit + Skype forums.

unless it's called skype.exe, its not on my system. Maybe I got an updated installer that doesn't do it if you select no, but it's not on my system.

SirEvan said,

Same here. It prompted me if I wanted to play games or something, i selected no. no install. Anyone b*Tching about this needs to pay more attention to what they click on.

Your average noob doesn't know that you can actually uncheck something before clicking next.

This is what makes browser exploits and viruses so easy to install, the stupidity of someone clicking on yes to install. They deserve it.

Martog said,

Hopefully the fact that I run with the default Windows 7 UAC setting on prevented it from doing just that, as I don't see any trace of it on my system.

If a program installs itself to %APPDATA%, then it doesn't require UAC. %APPDATA% has write access.

Amarok said,
Are people really that paranoid? Really?

I wouldn't call it paranoid when a program which already has some controversy regarding what it does in the background installs some program without the users knowledge.

Haptic said,

I wouldn't call it paranoid when a program which already has some controversy regarding what it does in the background installs some program without the users knowledge.

Why not simply delete the "extras manager" and spare yourself all details? It doesn't harm main skype application at all. Just go to where skype is installed (default: program files\skype) and delete everything but the Phone folder. Or everything but Skype.exe, as i did (SkypePM should not be running at this time, of course).

???????
Profit.

Val Thе Awеsome said,

Why not simply delete the "extras manager" and spare yourself all details? It doesn't harm main skype application at all. Just go to where skype is installed (default: program files\skype) and delete everything but the Phone folder. Or everything but Skype.exe, as i did (SkypePM should not be running at this time, of course).

???????
Profit.


Just because you don't need the manager, doesn't mean nobody needs it.

For some it will be:

Remove extra manager.
???
"Ah man! SH*T!"

GS:mac

Val Thе Awеsome said,

Why not simply delete the "extras manager" and spare yourself all details? It doesn't harm main skype application at all. Just go to where skype is installed (default: program files\skype) and delete everything but the Phone folder. Or everything but Skype.exe, as i did (SkypePM should not be running at this time, of course).

???????
Profit.


you dont need anything, not even registry settings or whatever, skype.exe runs standalone
and so should more programs be, no need to fill up user folders, documents or registry for simple programs

yeah they are not happy, when i searched for it i was like "whats this?" and then Binged it and there was a forum thing, and some people said microsoft bla bla, skype bla bla. then in the skype forum the guy from easybits said:

"There seems to be some confusion and concern about the EasyBits GO update for the gaming platform on Skype Extras. It was not our intention to create either.

The “Play Games” Skype Extra is a feature developed by EasyBits and shipped with Skype client since 2006 and EasyBits GO is an update of this feature."

obviously some people are like "bla bla imma go to google talk bla bla" but whatever, it wasn't something i expected, like "wow whats this games thing?" but not like it made me mad. i uninstalled it but i still ran the uninstaller the easybits guy in forum gave. (if people think it was a virus.. well my computer is still running). but still in those forums people made so much noise and bla bla >_<, about it.

EmilyTheStrange said,
yeah they are not happy, when i searched for it i was like "whats this?" and then Binged it and there was a forum thing, and some people said microsoft bla bla, skype bla bla. then in the skype forum the guy from easybits said:

"There seems to be some confusion and concern about the EasyBits GO update for the gaming platform on Skype Extras. It was not our intention to create either.

The “Play Games” Skype Extra is a feature developed by EasyBits and shipped with Skype client since 2006 and EasyBits GO is an update of this feature."

obviously some people are like "bla bla imma go to google talk bla bla" but whatever, it wasn't something i expected, like "wow whats this games thing?" but not like it made me mad. i uninstalled it but i still ran the uninstaller the easybits guy in forum gave. (if people think it was a virus.. well my computer is still running). but still in those forums people made so much noise and bla bla >_<, about it.

You may have run the uninstaller but nothing has been removed from your PC, other than the link in the control panel. All the data folders and registry entries still exist.

Skilleto said,

You may have run the uninstaller but nothing has been removed from your PC, other than the link in the control panel. All the data folders and registry entries still exist.

well... i check and there wasnt desktop icon nor star menu one. i use revo but i forgot to scan for files and registry entries (lol). but like i said, as long and there isn't anymore easybits in my desktop and comp and i could search in registry but im lazy... then i dont care. its uninstalled since there is no sign of files, but i havent time to check places and all that stuff. i even wanted to reinstall that easybits and run revo to see which files it could find, but i didn't know where to install it. and i ran the easybits uninstaller they give in forums, yeah risky but whatever. my computer still works.

Ok, it just left registry entries. and i just deleted them. not a big issue. at least for me.

Edited by lalalalalalalala, May 29 2011, 11:14pm :

EmilyTheStrange said,

well... i check and there wasnt desktop icon nor star menu one. i use revo but i forgot to scan for files and registry entries (lol). but like i said, as long and there isn't anymore easybits in my desktop and comp and i could search in registry but im lazy... then i dont care. its uninstalled since there is no sign of files, but i havent time to check places and all that stuff. i even wanted to reinstall that easybits and run revo to see which files it could find, but i didn't know where to install it. and i ran the easybits uninstaller they give in forums, yeah risky but whatever. my computer still works.

Ok, it just left registry entries. and i just deleted them. not a big issue. at least for me.


who cares about invalid registry entries if you dont clean those up regulary they will flood anyways.
Besides, everyone should have CCleaner and use it at least monthly anyways.