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Mozilla Cans Firefox Skype Add-On

Mozilla has announced that it would no longer bundle the Skype toolbar add-on with the Firefox browser after it emerged that the extension caused more than 33,000 crashes per week and other ancillary issues.

The Skype toolbar add-on is automatically installed with the open source browser and transforms phone numbers on any web page into a hyperlink on which the user can click to open Skype.

Justin Scott, who works on the Mozilla add-ons team, wrote that the entity had no other choice but to remove the culprit after the Skype extension team did not apparently return their request for help.

Mozilla's crash report site says that the SkypeFfComponent.dll@0x440c3 component was the number one cause of crashes in the most recent Firefox, version 3.6.13, over the last month.

Furthermore, it was found that the plugin (opens in new tab) caused a 325 times performance hit in some cases with a three to eight times performance hit on DOM manipulation performance not unheard of.

It is unclear whether Skype, like Google, pays Firefox for each Skype installation that is successful or for each call that is made through the plug-in system in which case, blocking the toolbar might have have a hit on Mozilla's revenues.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.