— blending the mix

Will the best feature about Windows Live ultimately kill it?

The following link is a gadget for the [tag]Windows Live[/tag] desktop: Google – MicrosoftGadgets.com.

Designed to incorporate all sorts of clever and useful productivity features, [tag]Microsoft[/tag] hopes that the programing community (like the Firefox one) will create useful tools that will bring people flocking to use Windows Live as their new home page.

BUT, follow the comments down on the 6th most popular download and see the root of the problem:

Be warned…

This Google gadget encodes a publisher ID for the Google AdSense program. Look at what is “hidden” in this gadget:

This is a publisher ID so that the gadget publisher can share in the profits when you use it. It also embeds extra ads into your search results! I don’t think this is fair we weren’t told this up front by the gadget developer. You can read more about Google AdSense here: http://services.google.com/feedback/online_hws_feedback?client=pub-8209065128435831&hl=en

If your looking for an honest Google gadget, check Live Google Search v1.1 that has no hidden agenda. It simply directs you to the standard Google search URL recommended by Google.

The gadget designer has hidden his affiliate code into the gadget so that every use of the gadget will increase his likelihood of receiving [tag]Google Adsense[/tag] income.

BUT, that is not all:

I was also a little disturbed, but not surprised, to discover the way your iTunes gadgets work. Instead of reading an RSS feed from Apple and directing the user to iTunes Music Store, the gadgets are simply iframes into http://www.ifindcds.com. When a user click on one of the links, it uses a URL from the domain http://click.linksynergy.com (which is really http://www.linkshare.com, a company that runs an affiliate marketing program).

Then there is your Amazon gadget. It’s sole purpose is to make money for you as well. Whenever anyone uses it to buy a product, you share in the profits (see the Amazon.com associate program for details).

He has done the same thing for an iTunes gadget as well as an Amazon gadget.

The very best feature (for me anyway) is being able to customise my desktop with gadgets to suit my own needs.

Unless everyone bothers to check the comments about a gadget, people like this are going to RUIN the credibility of the good, honest and useful gadgets that are out there which ultimately, will do nothing but destroy Windows Live

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