Case Study: Offers and Wrappers

This entire page of “wrappers” and “offers” is from one installation of a free trial version of Microsoft Word that came from a popular download site, NOT from Microsoft. Note the generic installer provided by the wrapper program. Microsoft isn’t the publisher of Panda Antivirus; that would be Panda Security, a Spanish company. Panda is not a bad product–it’s just bad targeting, to provide an antivirus free trial with a word processor program.

MSWord-PandaSecurity

This product wouldn’t be a problem, but this download of Microsoft Word didn’t stop with just Panda. It also offered these products during the same installation of Word:

MSWord-OptimizerPro

And here is a search hijacker:

MSWord-Linkey

Speed boosters in general are worthless. Adding more software that runs in the background doesn’t improve speed–it destroys it.

MSWord-PCSpeedBoost

Note the misleading logo that looks like Microsoft’s Windows trademark–RegCleanPro is not from Microsoft, and is not a product anyone should install. It’s basically a competitor to OptimizerPro, above, and has equal value–they’re both worthless.

MSWord-RegCleanPro

And one more search hijacker, just in case.

MSWord-AdvanceElite

And finally, this, the product known only as ‘V9’… It’s a damaging browser add-in that takes over your search settings.

MSWord-V9

Now, in all fairness to the designer of this particular monetizer, we didn’t test to see if it stopped making offers if we agreed to the first one. Some wrappers do that–they present offers until you take one, up to a preset limit.

So why would anyone download a free trial of Microsoft Word from anywhere but Microsoft? No one should. Always go direct to the source and get the download from the company that published it. While that doesn’t guarantee that there will be no wrapper and no offers, it’s a sure bet that a real company trying to sell you a product isn’t going to distract you with something you’re not interested in or that destroys your operating system.

Oh, and the free, unwrapped trial of Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Word, is here:
http://products.office.com/en-us/try
The link is subject to change, but always easy to find by going to Microsoft.com.