David Szpunar: Owner, Servant 42 and Servant Voice

David's Church Information Technology

May 26th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Dell and Google pull Bad Deal

Dell is packaging software (arguably spyware) that forces users to go through Google for search especially for typos, with all above-the-fold results being ads.  This software is separate from the Google Toolbar and more difficult to get rid of.  Based solely on the post about this over at OpenDNS, I’m not very happy with this Dell/Google packaging deal.  It appears to go well beyond reasonable packaging of software with a computer.  This is the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m hoping I never get to see it in action.

  • 1

    Actually, they aren’t hard to remove. There are two uninstalls in the Add/Remove Programs control panel that will remove these “features”. I don’t remember the names exactly, “URL Assist” & “Search Assist”, I think.
    We remove them from our computers.

    Trace Pupke on May 26th, 2007
  • 2

    OpenDNS says they’re “Browser Address Error Redirector” and/or “GoogleAFE” which are both not something I would think the average user would know to look for or uninstall, if they even figured out what the problem was. I’ll agree that if un-installing those from Add/Remove Programs is all that is required, it’s not “more difficult” to remove necessarily. But it’s still not something the average user would know to do, and it appears to cause some strange problems right out of the box for some. I don’t like bundling but I understand why it’s done. But I think this goes too far, speaking even just as a tech guy that (even random) people ask “why doesn’t my computer work, I just bought it?” sometimes. Can I bill Dell and/or Google for my time if I end up troubleshooting this junk? Makes me want to…

    David Szpunar on May 26th, 2007
  • 3

    I used Add/Remove Programs to remove them, but the process was so quick (less than 1/2 sec) that I’m suspicious that it removed them at all – maybe just removed them from the uninstall list!? Anyone know how to check for complete removal?

    Hugh on June 29th, 2007
  • 4

    I don’t know how to check, but I seem to recall when I initially read about it that someone said the Add/Remove Programs removal worked. Can’t confirm, though.

    David Szpunar on June 29th, 2007