Monday, February 14, 2011

Hey, Microsoft: Connectify is 100% Spyware/Malware Free!

Ah, Mondays.

I got into the office early this morning, fresh and ready to tackle the various projects at-hand. Instead, I was met by a flurry of IMs informing me that over the weekend, Microsoft Security Essentials had updated their malware definitions to include our advertising partner, OpenCandy.

To be clear, the OpenCandy platform is NOT malware, and Connectify does not contain any kind of spyware whatsoever. We’ve made doubly sure of that. However, OpenCandy DOES provide the revenue-stream that allows us to keep Connectify totally free to the end-user. Here’s how it works:

When you run an installer powered by OpenCandy, it asks its servers for a list of applications that the developer of the software you’re installing has chosen to recommend for your language, operating system and country. At this point, you can choose whether you want to install the recommended software or not. OpenCandy fully ensures that all software being recommended on their network passes strict policies, “enforcing honesty, transparency and a top-notch user experience.” Additionally, OpenCandy doesn’t collect any personally identifiable information.

If you’re a Connectify user and you’re running Microsoft Security Essentials, you may now see the below warning pop-up:

From the “Select an action” drop-down box, click “Allow.” Microsoft is definitely mistaken here. I mean, they use OpenCandy themselves to promote the Bing Toolbar... seriously!

Update: Alex clicked 'allow' as I was posting this today, and a few hours later... Microsoft Security Essentials is still hanging, and won't even allow for Ctrl+Alt+Del or Shutdown. Surprise, surprise. We'll have to defer to the folks at Microsoft on this one!