nero 9I’m stunned. Recently I was seeking some new software for burning DVDs. I’ve used NERO often in the past, and was quite happy with it. I’ve not used NERO since moving from XP to Vista and now Windows7. I thought I’d check out the new Nero 9 Lite (Link included out of obligation, not because I think you should click on it). Upon installation I was shocked to discover the installation of Nero 9 forces the install of ASK toolbar. I’m a big hater of toolbars, but especially of the ASK toolbar which I consider to be spyware. Here’s what NERO has to say on their website about the ASK toolbar: The Ask Toolbar is a tremendously powerful and totally customizable toolbar that installs directly onto your Web browser. HA! Their site claims that the ASK toolbar is not required to run Nero, however their installer package makes it appear that you must install it. This speaks loudly to me about the state of NERO’s products (and business), if they have reduced themselves to bundling with spyware toolbar companies. ASK is pretty clever these days, disguising themselves well, and hiding all over the place. They’ve yet to really be held accountable to the way they install their toolbar, often hiding it in the installs of other products.

If you come across the ASK toolbar, my recommendation: stay away. If you already have it on your computer, remove it.

You can come to your own conclusion on the integrity of this product when you type “ASK TOOLBAR” into google, some of the immediate suggestions that come up are: ask toolbar removal, spyware, virus, uninstall, delete.

Here’s some other interesting information on the current practices of ASK toolbars.