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Claria Turns Over A New Leaf


 

Claria Turns Over A New Leaf

Claria, one of the biggest adware/spyware using companies in the world, has decided to abandon the adware market and has begun a new life as an honest company. Let's hope that other adware offenders will follow their example.

The late adware giant Claria finally announced that it would stop supporting all of its GAIN-family adware that specialized in displaying pop-up ads during browsing. The company made it clear that it would leave the adware/spyware business and that all of its software should be removed as soon as possible. All of the instructions necessary to uninstall GAIN-labeled software have been published on the companies own corporate website and anyone who has GAIN software installed on their computers is urged to remove it before Oct, 1, 2006.

Only a few months ago, Claria was rumored to have been able to pull in around $100 million a year from the notorious GAIN/Gator adware programs, all the while drawing the ire of anti-spyware advocates and essentially the entire Internet community. After years of intense pressure, it apparently got to be too much and Claria decided to back out from this unethical but highly profitable business.

For now, Claria is going to turn its attention to their PersonalWeb project: a site and service that hopes to revolutionize advertising and target marketing on the Internet. The deal struck by Claria with Yahoo Japan to create custom home pages for its users with their PersonalWeb technology seems to be a huge step in the right direction for Claria as it has attracted several additional investors such as Softbank America and Canada's Rogers Communications.

While Claria does not abandon the idea of showing ads (PersonalWeb will be showing advertisements, too), it has broken up with the adware business for good. Only time will tell if this complete 180 will work out for Claria or not. If it succeeds, we hope that other adware companies may decide to abandon the business, as well, in favor of more ethical activities.

What caused so much consternation about Claria and the Gain Gator series of programs was how it was often bundled with other programs, such as Kazaa, and those programs refused to function without the presence of Gain Gator on your computer. This left users in a true Catch-22. Either you keep a known spyware/adware program on your PC so you can run a program you enjoy, or you lose both. While Claria's profits have been a matter of public record, it is unknown how many licenses for Kazaa Gain Gator helped to sell, since it was the only legal way for you to run the popular file sharing program without the spyware.

Claria originally introduced Gain Gator in 1998 and it soon became one of the most notorious programs on the Internet, routinely outsmarting many of the best uninstalling programs available at the time. Gain Gator might go down in history as the most well known piece of adware in history, but it won't have many folks mourning its passing.



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