Maxthon 3, Now With Crapware

By | February 10, 2012 | 46 Comments

Maxthon 3, Now With Crapware

At least it’s not a malware.

You know that time when you’ve slept with a gorgeous woman only in the morning to find out that she is actually a man? Neither do I.

Anyway, upon trying the Maxthon 3.3.4.2000 Final, which has recently been released, there was a suspicious checkbox that, for the entertainment purposes alone, I’ve left unchanged; it said something along the lines of:

Kingsoft PC Doctor

As it turns out, it immediately installed already mentioned “Kingsoft PC Doctor” software, which should make my dual core CPU perform like an octocore monster.

While I have no issues bundling plugins like Adobe Flash or PDF Reader, as they are arguably essential for a full Internet experience, this is something beyond that. According to Maxthon, they have “added the recommendation of Kingsoft PC Doctor software for installation as there’s a cooperation between Maxthon and Kingsoft.”

Strangely enough, few weeks ago I have received an offer to include some sort of toolbar to our FavBackup software, which I pretty much ignored. There are things that are more important than the money.

Sure, it’s optional and yes, you can uninstall it, but hey, if you want your users to respect you, you’d better start respecting them as well.

What do you think?

Update: See the official company’s response in the comment section below.


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Rudradeep

    Maxthon 3.3.2.1000 is installed on my pc, when i tried for updates it shows no update available and you are using latest version of maxthon !!! :O

    • Anonymous

      So you are telling me you want the crapware.

  • Saex Conroy

    maxthon is a piece of garbage

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Not any worse than Chrome (or dare I say Firefox for that matter).

  • web

    so, if you install other software only to find out it you also installed chrome.

    this means chrome is crapware, right?

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      It would be like installing a toolbar but instead it’s bundled with Chrome. Great.

      I’m not surprised something like that comes from Google.

      • Anonymous

        A) Why would they bundle competitors browser

        B) Why chrome?

        • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

          I’ve seen many toolbar installers (and other software) with the option to install Chrome. Google’s way of pushing their products down people’s throats is a better way to describe it.

          • Anonymous

            I am saying:

            Why would Maxthon (a browser maker) bundle another browser (chrome) in their install file.

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            I wasn’t talking about Maxthon. :S

    • Tiago Sá

      No, Chrome is spyware.

      • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

        I’ve used Chrome once before and that was when it was first introduced back on Sept 2, 2008. Since then I’ve learned the truth about Chrome and would rather work with Chromium, the truly open-source codebase that Chrome is based on.

        • Armin

          Call me a noob, but I’ve never figured out how to get Chromium on Windows. It always directs me to Chrome instead…

          • Mikah

            Thats what Google search is for, search  ”  download chromium ” without the quotes. I did have the snapshots bookmarked but the links never seem to last for more than a couple of weeks.
            http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Internet/Browsers/Portable-Google-Chrome-Chromium.shtml

            http://download-chromium.appspot.com/

            Chromium is a portable & comes zipped so extract it to a folder & either make a short cut to it or pin it to the task bar.

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            Google have changed the links a few times but this appears to be the one that’s here to stay: http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromium-browser-snapshots/index.html

            It has the first ever build of Chromium all the way up to the latest pre-built one. Sadly, Opera can’t render it at all.

          • Mikah

            never crossed my mind that Opera would have trouble rendering such a simple page.

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            Opera can’t even load cuttherope.ie (it sticks at 0%).

          • Grrblt

            I’m using the latest stable and just beat the first three levels without any problems.

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            This is in Opera, yes?

            Maybe the core updates in Opera 12 might have broke it.

          • Mikah

            Plays fine for me with Opera Next, any issues are likely to be HWA and your graphics card.

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            I have HWA disabled/blocked mainly because I have a laughable Intel GME965.

          • Mikah

            It also runs fine on 11.62, I did get a warning about it being slow but it seemed just as fast on my PC

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

             Mine just sticks at 0%. This is getting really hard to read. :P

      • Anonymous

        How is it spyware?

        Are you saying it follows everything you do. Like cookies?

        Are you saying that when you use another browser you are not tracked at al?

        Are you saying that the locate API is always on and google can track you?

        Are you saying your phone isnt a bigger risk?

        Are you saying that foresquare, facebook, twitter social networks are more secure than the tracking the browser does.

        Do you think you  are truelly anonymous when using tunnels provided by the giants that are corporations.

        • Anonymous

          Chrome is “spyware” the way any browser that uses search suggestions is “spyware” by sending your keystrokes to someone else. But Chrome isn’t the only browser with search suggestions in the browser search field.

  • http://daPhyre.tumblr.com daPhyre

    You are right! Maxton was OK until now. There is one thing that is to offer software while installing or as a unchecked checkbox for an extra, like Java always offers OpenOffice. But with this “strategy”, most of the time the software will be installed, and for those most users, won’t know what happened or what to do with it (how to uninstall it).

    As you say, this isn’t essential for webbrowising, so yes, It’s crapware. A bad path for this browser…

    • Karl

      Hi – 

      Maxthon Karl here. I’m point person for Maxthon outside of China.  I would hardly call it crapware, but that is not for me to determine or define.

      Sorry if the partnership with Kingsoft’s PC Doctor offended you all.  We implemented what we thought was a pretty standard co-bundling relationship.  Just so you know, (not that it matters) we only do these in very limited situations. The defining requirement is this: “does the software being offered add significant value to the user?” 

       In the case of Kingsoft’s PC Doctor, we tested its claims and decided that, yeah, it is a pretty good thing to offer users. (Despite the obvious and sometimes comical errors in English localization.)

      Anyway, not a big deal to uninstall if you don’t like it.  

      Thanks for your interest, negative or otherwise. :)

      -Karl 
      GM, Maxthon International

      • http://daPhyre.tumblr.com daPhyre

        Thank you for your reply. Not many companies do that, and I recognise it is something that shows the good interest of a company for their users.

        I’m an experimented user, so I wouldn’t have any problem with it. But I’m talking for most of my friends and family, the common inexperienced users. I remember how they installed a lot of “recommended” or “popular” software that came with “free extras”. They didn’t even noticed them, and continuously I had calls from them saying “Hey! I have an ‘x’ software here that is doing ‘y’ and I don’t know it”. That in the best case. In the worse, they just called me because their computers were slow, and noticed their computers filled with dozens of “extra software” that only made their slow computers even slower…

        I’m not against companies alliances, nor with promotion and availability of extra software. But when these are installed by default, it only make worse the experience to “common users”, and that is something I have never liked.

        If you can take in count my recommendation, I would propose that you do something like Java updates does: Talk to the user about the benefits of your partner’s product, and at the end, offer the option to install it to (Unchecked by default). This way, you and your partner will have true happy customers, and those uninterested or completely ignorant about these, won’t have a word against you.

        I wish you success for present and future, is not either that you are doing it all the way wrong. The browser is going on a good path.

  • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

    Maxthon has had the option to install Kingsoft PC Tools for a few releases now and you don’t have to install it (although being ticked by default reminds me of the iTunes-Safari fad).

    It’s not unusual to see this sort of browser bundling but I wish I could install a browser for a browser, not something wanting to help maintain my computer.

    Kingsoft is one of Maxthon’s partners BTW, so why not have it as an option?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002742332264 Kingsoft Logan

    hi all,

    Yes, we are partner of Maxthon. Kingsoft pc doctor comes bundled with the latest Maxthon, and  you always have the option to whether or not install the program by
    ticking or unticking the option when installing Maxthon.
    Besides, kingsoft pc doctor is not malware or some crap shareware, it’s completely free. Sorry for that if it makes you trouble,  and the software can be
    easily uninstalled with Windows control panel or its built-in
    uninstaller.

    Regards
    Kingsoft Logan

    • apád anyád

       *raises hat*

      Never seen anything like this before: a company reacting on comments with such topic.

    • http://www.favbrowser.com FavBrowser.com

      Thanks for that, updated original post.

      I agree that it’s not a crapware on itself, but any software that is bundled by default is crapware, be it PC Doctor or Photoshop Trial.

      • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

        In my eyes it’s only crapware if there isn’t an option to not install it.

        • Karl

          Shane,

          Maxthon Karl, here.  That’s a pretty decent dividing line between making and offer and exploiting someone’s interest in one thing to shill for something else — can you uninstall it. 

          Kingsoft’s PC Doctor is free and, frankly, a good piece of software. 

          We completely understand the desire to not be assaulted with tons of offers for things you don’t want or need. Unfortunately, co-promoting software with other companies that share our values is a necessary evil in our business, especially if you’re not one of the big players like Google.  . 

          If you don’t want to be Google or Microsoft’s minion, you’ll have to put up with a little mild co-promotion every once and a while. That’s one of the unfortunate economic realities of the browser business. 

          Thanks
          Karl 

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            I wasn’t implying your method is unethical, I was just making a note for other companies to follow.

            The title says “now with crapware” and I personally think something is only crapware if there isn’t an option to not install other software. Maxthon does offer an option to not install Kingsoft PC Doctor and I’m happy with that.

            I have used the software before and it’s a good little tool to have on a system. I have no problem with co-promotion or any sort of marketing.

            Maxthon is still a browser at heart and has a hardworking team behind it. Any advantage would benefit the browser and their partners equally.

          • Anonymous

            Firefox manages to do the “co-promotion” without installing additional software, though.

  • Abababababab

    Maxthon is faster than Chrome, Firefox but few notice this good browser. Also unfortunately, they have to make some money to keep their excellent team running. I was unhappy at first when I noticed king soft, but well, ok. at least I like the browser.

  • Anonymous

    Guess Maxthon is running out of money. Other browsers like Firefox, Sleipnir, Opera and so on, all manage to survive without installing additional apps though.

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Promotion != no money — it helps either one get noticed.

      • Anonymous

        The Maxthon guy said it was for economic reasons the other day. He said you have to put up with this stuff unless you are “Google or Microsoft’s minion” and that it’s an “econonimc reality.”

        • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

          It’s a necessary evil having promotions with other vendors. I suppose it could be for economical reasons but it still doesn’t mean they haven’t any money.

          • Anonymous

            Crapware is a necessary evil? No, others are doing fine without it.

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            I meant co-promotion not crapware. :L

  • http://www.eprestamos.do/ ePréstamos – Préstamo rápido

    Well, it’s up to you if you read during the installation. I hate those toolbars, cleaning, antimalware craps, but this won’t stop me using Maxthon.

    The only bad thing of Maxthon is, that is not for Linux :)

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Luckily they are planning to do so this year. :3

  • Krunch007

    To be honest, I love this little piece of browser. I have it installed everywhere: on my PC, on my laptop, on my Android phone. It just seems too bad that so few people see reality. Yes, it is faster than other browsers, and even if it weren’t, the possibility of having an account with my favorites and settings and all that stored in a cloud to be synchronized with all my devices would certainly have been enough for me to use it.

    I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in their choice of partnership though. I would have nothing against it if it really were something useful. Still, I guess you gotta keep your eyes peeled when installing something. I don’t know how many of you remember, but there was a while when popular programs were using unorthodox methods to gain some more money, like BSPlayer using ADware, or ZoneAlarm using Scareware. At least you know this program is safe, in the sense that it doesn’t seem to be able to do anything.