uTorrent to Change the Ways It Tricks You into Installing Toolbars, Change Search Engines
Some recent modifications to its website have upset a lot of users
uTorrent, owned and created by the BitTorrent company, is the most popular BitTorrent client out there. It's also free, as it has always been, and it used to be lightweight as well. The price isn't changing, but BitTorrent needs to make some money.For many years, the biggest revenue source for the company has been the uTorrent browser toolbar installed by inexperienced users or those that want to inflict upon themselves these kinds of toolbars.
For a long time, the option to install the toolbar was in the Windows installer, selected by default. This was sneaky enough but in line with what many other software vendors do.
But recently, BitTorrent removed the option from the installer and placed it on its website.
This way, people looking to download uTorrent, if they weren't paying much attention, would grab the BitTorrent client bundled with the toolbar.
By the time the installer made it onto their computers, they had no option to deselect the toolbar, they had made their choice.
But it gets worse, the fact that the toolbar is included isn't very visible on the site either. In the download page, you see a "Free Download" link.
If you were to try to click on it, to grab uTorrent, the link changes to "Download" when you hover the mouse over it.
But by that time, you had already decided to click on it so you press the button and you get the installer.
You only have a split second to notice a bunch of notifications that show up, saying that you agree to have the browser toolbars installed.
You also agree to have you homepage set to uTorrent search and have the search provider changed.
Again, this happens very fast and you barely have time to notice it, let alone do something about it. To say that it's misleading is an understatement.
Thankfully, BitTorrent has acknowledged the criticism and has said it will do something about it. As of yet, the changes haven't been implemented. Still the fact that it believed it was a good idea in the first place should be a little disconcerting to users.