Live Essentials Evilness

Date Published: 31 January 2011

Live Essentials Evilness

Hey, Microsoft, please stop trying to reset my home page and change my search preferences when I install the one tool from Live Essentials that I find useful, Live Writer (which is awesome, by the way).  I’m pretty sure my browser already has a preferences section wherein I can set my home page, and likewise my search engine of choice, and your presumption that by installing another tool that is related to my browser only inasmuch as it happens to use the Internet that somehow I want your advice on how I browse the Internet is annoying and insulting.


Honestly, I don’t mind the “Help improve our stuff” box, but this dialog is evil because:

1. It shows up long after I’ve already installed Live Writer.
2. It checks-by-default things that are destructive to my system (I would lose whatever URL[s] I was using as my home page[s], for instance, if I clicked OK)
3. MSN isn’t a site I’m even remotely interested in – if you were at least smart enough to figure out what home page *I* might care to use, rather than just assuming it’s that crappy one, that would at least show you’d put *some* thought into what I want on my computer.

4. And the biggest one – there’s no [Cancel] button!  I have to actually click 4 times just to say “No, thanks” and get this thing to go away (or click the red X in the upper right, which is what I ended up doing).  And if this window has focus, then an errant click of the Enter key will result in its performing unwanted operations on unrelated application on my system.

To quote the Windows Phone 7 commercials on this one, I have to say to the Live Essentials team,


I mean, c’mon, it’s not that freaking hard to show your users a little respect and not set up a UI that is reminiscent of crapware and malware from the last 15 years.  You should be leading by example, not using cheap tricks to try and increase traffic to your web properties as part of your tools installation.  That’s totally beneath you.  Your customers, like me, expect better of you, and we use your tools and web properties because they solve our problems, not because of some bait-and-switch ploy.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.