It’s a sadly common practice among many software vendors to bundle add-ons for Firefox or Chrome which are either required to be installed, or are installed hidden from you as you’re installing the software you want. A good example of exception to this is uTorrent who ask you whether you want install their search bar add-on; even if you select to opt out, you can still install uTorrent. Sometimes though, you won’t even know there’s an add-on that automatically installed in the background.
“These add-ons installed by third parties present a number of problems: they can slow down Firefox start-up and page loading time, they clutter the interface with toolbars that often go unused, they lag behind on compatibility and security updates, and most importantly, they take the user out of control of their add-ons”, wrote Justin Scott, Product Manager for Add-ons at Mozilla.
So what Mozilla has done is create a new feature that basically asks you if you want to enable or disable an add-on that got recently “installed” every time you start up the browser. UNtil given explicit permission to enable the add-on, Firefox 8 will disable all add-ons.
Going in deeper to clean up the issue of unwanted add-ons, once the user has upgraded to Firefox 8, they will be presented with a one time option where all add-ons installed outside of Firefox (i.e. through 3rd party software) will be listed and users will be asked which ones to keep and which ones to disable.
These features can be tested in a later release this week, in the latest release of Firefox Aurora.