I have used Foxit Reader for a while on several PCs for viewing PDF files. I really liked that it was a single fast and lightweight executable that did not require an installer. Lately I ran into some problems with it crashing on a PC running Windows Vista. Not sure whether the problem was due to it running on Vista or due to PDF files using newer features of the PDF format (I have not looked to see if there are new features of the PDF format), I decided to download the latest version of Foxit Reader.
I noticed some bad signs early on in the installation.
“Install Firefox plugin” looks like a reasonable option. Some people probably do want to view PDF files in the browser. I prefer to download them by default. I’ll just turn off that option.
When I clicked the check box to turn off the Firefox plugin the other options that I had turned off above became selected again. I tried it a couple times and it repeated. Seems like a bug to me. I turned off the Firefox plugin, and then turned off the other options above, and moved on to the next step…
Oh no. AdCrap! And some sneaky wording too. See how you might think you have to “accept the License Terms” not for the toolbar but for the whole app?
They also assume I want Ask.com to be my default search provider. Why didn’t I think of that? At least they didn’t assume I always want to go to their start page, but they did give me the option.
More scary red text. This is not looking good.
But wait, there’s more… double AdCrap! Already checked is “Create desktop, quick launch and start menu icon to eBay.” Since I am installing this software to read documents it only makes sense that I want to go to eBay often, and quickly!
Well, I went ahead and installed it – slowly – reading the whole dialog – you can’t just next, next, next anymore.
After I opened a document that the older Foxit Reader had crashed on, and it seemed to be working now, I thought I might keep the new version. Then the automatic update dialog popped. This was the last straw. Am I going to trust the folks who just tried to get me to install AdCrap on my computer to do automatic updates? No. I am not.
And, yes, I am sure I want to uninstall it.
Is Acrobat Reader looking better to me than it did before? Not really, but Foxit Reader now looks worse. Sad to say what was once a slick and unencumbered piece of software is now showing signs of desperation. If their business plan was to use the free PDF reader to gain name recognition and “mind share” to help them sell other products and services they should have stuck with that plan. Trying to squeeze some revenue out of free software by putting in AdCrap turns people off. At least that’s what it does to me.