Adobe Acrobat 8.1 Got Firefox Installer via GetPlus

Written by on June 16, 2007 in Enterprise, General, Tips, Utilities - 9 Comments

Yesterday I just noticed that Adobe is using a Firefox installer for its Acrobat Reader 8.1 updates. After visiting the Acrobat download page, and hit the “Download Acrobat Reader”, I was waiting for a download box but the Firefox installer was launched instead. The downloaded simply download Adobe products, Decompress, then install the software on your system, with support for pause and resume.
adobe-reader8.1-firefox-updates.png
After investigation, I found that Adobe was using GetPlus intelligent download manager. The solution is commercial product of NOS Microsystems Ltd, and what I find interesting is that it mixes download management with compression in a very easy and neat way. Usually you download an installer then you run it yourself, now using such tools the download and install are managed automatically from the download manager. My satellite connection not that fast, but downloading the 8Mo of Adobe Reader was really very quick using this tool. Anyone can confirm if the procedure is the same for mac and Linux ?

9 Comments on "Adobe Acrobat 8.1 Got Firefox Installer via GetPlus"

  1. Nicholas June 17, 2007 at 1:46 am · Reply

    The Abode Install crashed my browser everytime I attempted to use it. I was forced to open IE and download the program that way. Isn’t this new approach to downloads a security risk? Additionally, 81 megs, wow it’s Microsoft bloat Adobe style.

  2. Bob Brown June 23, 2007 at 9:42 pm · Reply

    There is a complaint and a tip here: Download Adobe Reader file with Firefox.
    I don’t like download managers very much, and they aren’t necessary on a fast connection.

  3. Moby Disk June 26, 2007 at 5:32 pm · Reply

    Actually, I found this download manager to be a real pain. In IE6 it uses an ActiveX control, which I have disabled so I didn’t get a download link, or an automatic download, or a gold bar at the top — nothing. This is the worst-case scenario for a software download. They should AT LEAST provide a direct download link in case all their ActiveX magic doesn’t work.
    In Firefox, it tries to use an XPI installer and XPI is on a whitelist, so it only works if you are downloading from mozilla.org or mozdev.org. If it works for anyone else, then that person has a security problem on their system and you should get that looked at. If Adobe can aut-install, then someone else probably can too.
    I really wish companies would stop trying to combine complicated, unreliable, insecure technologies to save users from double-clicking an icon. This is a basic computer skill. I teach users that if they see something like this that installs automatically, they should cancel it and call me because there may be a problem. It is very difficult to help people learn the basics of computers when software companies do everything they can to hide relevant and necessary details of how the computer works. It isn’t complicated – I’ve seen 70 year old women with no computer experience who could download and install something on their own. Stop insulting them by making it harder. Am I supposed to teach grandma how to view page source, find the activex control, and reverse-engineer the parameters in the control to find the actual download link?

  4. ThAixStYLe June 29, 2007 at 5:21 am · Reply

    While I generally agree that it appears software publishers are dumbing down software to be ultra user-friendly, this new installer for Adobe Reader isn’t too shabby. Assuming that everything works right, it is really convenient and it appears to be faster than the previous method of downloading, self-decompressing, then installing. Now, the installer progressively decompresses as the data is being downloaded, effectively saving more time. The point here is time is being saved and user-friendliness is kind of like a bonus. It’s just as easy to download and then run the installer.
    Regarding the whitelist–it makes sense to download and run content solely from approved sources. Since you want to get Adobe software, then it should be generally okay to add adobe.com to the whitelist when the bar shows up at the top. The same thing goes for the Active-X control for IE.
    I do agree that there should be a direct link to the traditional installer for those that don’t like the DL manager or are having difficulty with it.
    However, I’m not too sure that the DL manager is to blame when it doesn’t appear to work. I have tried them on MANY machines (I work in a computer service and repair establishment), with both the Active-X control and through the XPI with no problem on clean installs of Windows. The issue may arise from some incompatibility with some other software running on your individual machines.
    To sum it up, I think that the new XPI is a step in the right direction, but Adobe should really consider adding a direct download link to a traditional installer in case of problems. Personally, I like to a keep copy of the installer on my USB flash drive because I have to set it up on so many machines in a day. It’s nice to be able to drop a folder of installers on 5 or 6 computers and making them good to go without having to first connect to the internet.
    Just my 2 cents.

  5. amarjeetkushwaha July 26, 2007 at 6:25 am · Reply

    hi i wants to use adobe reader 8.1

  6. Jack July 2, 2008 at 3:25 am · Reply

    sophos reports adobe downloader getplus as Mal/Behav-066. If you download acrobat reader in firefox and are running sophos antivirus it will report Mal/Behav-066. GetPlus sucks

  7. mota July 3, 2008 at 7:50 am · Reply

    I tried to download reader 9 in FF3, because it is reported to correctly refresh on pdf window size change in vista. It lunched this crappy getPlus download manager. Download progress is at 100%, but installation does not starts. And everytime FF3 opens this getPlus popup appears doing nothing. Now I cannot view any pdf in FF3, great.

  8. lexie November 10, 2008 at 11:12 am · Reply

    kaspersky listed this getplus DL manager as invader.
    why?

  9. Lyberty September 17, 2009 at 10:52 pm · Reply

    lexie wrote:
    “kaspersky listed this getplus DL manager as invader. why?”
    Answer: because it is.
    See http://www.f-secure.com/vulnerabilities/SA32546
    then
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240797
    (Also note the ‘GetPlus Service’ that has no information about itself in your services.msc control panel.)
    The Adobe Acrobat people will never learn to stop installing crap without user consent. Just say ‘no’ to invasive-ware.

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