CNET’s download.com has been, from what I can tell, a stalwart bevy of free and free-to-try software on the internet for over a decade. Today they continue to note their status as “safe, trusted, and spyware free.”
Despite this, user comments note gripes with “bloatware” that comes with software. In my case, I’ve learned to read the download screens carefully. I mean, how many times have I avoided adding a toolbar to my web browser?
So, what does it mean now that some of CNET’s downloads are now set with extra screens that try to push bloatware and browser changes, directly from CNET? Sure, it’s not spyware, so the tagline is still true, but what does it mean that a trusted download site is giving users “special offers” to gunk up, in my opinion, their computers? Here’s an example of one of their newer screens that appears in the middle of a software download:
What do you think? Is this OK — or has CNET taken a step too far?