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21 January 2011, 11:25

Mozilla blocks Skype Toolbar

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Mozilla has announced that it is blocking the Skype Toolbar add-on for Firefox because it has met its "established criteria for blocklisting an add-on". The Skype toolbar is bundled with the Skype application; it finds phone numbers in web pages and converts them into clickable buttons which can then be selected by the user to make calls through Skype. The toolbar was found to be one of the top crashers for Firefox 3.6.13 and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Mozilla. Versions of the toolbar were also suspected of slowing down Mozilla by up to 300 times due to the way it scans and re-renders web pages for phone numbers. Both issues were regarded as "major, user-facing issues".

The Skype Toolbar is usually installed when Skype is installed, but it can also be installed when Skype is updated, which Mozilla says leads to a large number of Firefox users having it installed. All versions of the Skype Toolbar, including betas, are to be "soft blocked"; this means that the extension will be disabled and the user given the option to re-enable it. The Mozilla developers have made contact with the Skype Toolbar developers and are working with them to identify the issues behind the problems; they plan to lift the block when future versions of the Toolbar address those issues.


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