I got a little tired of trying to send and receive files over IM using Trillian, so I gave in an installed Yahoo! instant messenger and AOL(link) instant messenger again. I have had these programs installed from over three years, so I figured I would give it a shot.
I knew that there were going to be bundled products. Before even running YIM I removed their helper program (that was a new one to me), the tool bar and mail. It downloaded flash and installed that as well. I ed-selected all of the add-on and preference options as I do not regularly use Yahoo! for anything other that instant messaging.
I started YIM and opened Firefox. The install had also installed the Yahoo! tool bar for Firefox. With Firefox’s growing market share that was not totally unexpected. I clicked on the toolbar to see if I would give it a shot (slim chance) and saw a remove this option. It intrigued me so I clicked it. It opened a “Why is there a Yahoo! menu on the menu bar of my browser?” page.
After browsing through the help pages for a few minutes, I was disturbed. Nearly every problem referenced a corrupt profile. In the past two and a half years I have only once had to create a new profile. I install and un-install extension on a weekly if not daily basis. It also mentions fixes in the about:config. While I have no problems making any of these changes, I find it disturbing that this stealth installation could corrupt the customizations I have worked so hard to make.