I’ve been using Foxit for some time (maybe a couple of years) now because Adobe Reader had become a bloated piece of crap that slows down my machine, crashes browsers and uses way more resources than it should.
But now Adobe has gone one step beyond just making a crappy product – they want to covertly install other crappy products that you didn’t ask for. Click the image on the left for a screenshot of the Adobe reader download page. It wants to install “Acrobat.com on Adobe AIR” (no option to opt out) and McAfee Security Scan Plus (you can opt out by checking the box). Adobe has gone so far as to do this with Flash too and that even installs McAfee without giving the user an option to deselect it.
McAfee Security Scan Plus is just a piece of crap software that gives you the same information as Windows Security Center i.e. if you have your Antivirus, Firewall etc. turned on. If not (or sometimes even if you do), it tries to sell you McAfee stuff.
So do yourself a favor, uninstall Adobe Reader now and get Foxit Reader. Foxit also seems to have fewer security issues and it patches holes faster. It doesn’t annoy you with startup items, doesn’t install other crap without your knowing and is much smaller in size.
So far I haven’t been forced to get anything with Flash upgrades but it that happens, Flash is next to go. And thanks to Steve Jobs and his hatred for Flash, more and more websites are begining to move to HTML 5 or at least begining to offer that option. Adobe really needs to get their act together. I’ve been hit by a fake antivirus at work from what was possibly a flash (or maybe pdf) exploit and it is nasty. If McAfee suddenly appears on my machine out of the blue along with Adobe reader, how does one tell it apart from the Fake AV software?