AVG responds: Plans to update its toolbar installer, uninstaller
Summary: It’s one thing to have an installer that pushes foistware onto your computer and another to have an uninstaller that doesn’t properly remove and revert everything that it did. Thankfully, AVG has listened to good reason and has outlined plans to improve.
Earlier today Zdnet lashed out at security company AVG for pushing ‘foistware’ to its customers in a post titled “AVG Security Toolbar is the worst foistware I’ve ever seen.” More specifically, I was annoyed to learn that about how the company was sneakily pushing its AVG Security Toolbar and AVG Secure Search by bundling it with other software and that it wasn’t providing a proper uninstaller for them. In fact, I was more peeved about the lack of an uninstaller that properly reverted settings.
It’s one thing to have an installer that pushes foistware onto your computer. It’s another thing to have an uninstaller that doesn’t properly remove and revert everything that the installer does. I made statements like “AVG is a security company that needs to learn how to act like one” and that it “should have policies in place so that its partners’ installers and uninstallers work properly.”
My criticism appears to have worked, at least on paper (we’ll see about in practice soon enough). AVG got back to me in just a few hours (that was quick!) with the following statement:
We recognize that there are some outdated AVG search toolbar installer screens in circulation with a number of our partners. We are currently working closely with these partners to update their search toolbar installer screens within the next week; and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that all of our partners are in compliance with AVG’s updated policies. This roll out is in progress at AVG. In addition, in our mid-August release, we will launch the following new features:
- Uninstall process – A one-click process that enables users to quickly revert to original settings.
- Toolbar cleanup – Enables users to easily clean up unwanted toolbars, including AVG’s, and implement their personal search settings.
We have been working diligently with our partners to ensure our customers’ expectations are met and exceeded and we will keep you upda
The above screenshot shows how the search toolbar installer screens will look once updated. While the checkbox will undoubtedly still be checked by default (business is business, after all), I’m pleased to report that the uninstaller is getting a makeover.
I’ll be checking up on this issue next month to see whether AVG and its partners have made the promised changes.ted as these changes continue to take effect throughout the next few weeks.