We know what toolbars for browser are. Quite unfortunately, toolbars are most of the times downloaded unintentionally. This means that toolbars get downloaded as an additional option with any software. Even though toolbars provide many additional features, they are in fact unwanted. There are several toolbars out of which Ask toolbar is a popular one. As a matter of fact these toolbars often change you default search engine to something and alters many other browser settings.
Microsoft has marked the Ask Toolbar as malware and unwanted software.
According to Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center:
Microsoft security software detects and removes this unwanted software. Older versions of software can restrict or limit your control over your search provider. It can prevent you from disabling or modifying your search provider.
But one thing is quite surprising, that Microsoft is considering the old versions of Ask Toolbar as malware but not the new versions. Microsoft has also confirmed to The Register that the current version of the Ask Toolbar is “compliant with Microsoft’s policies,” and that the toolbar will update itself every time a web browser it is installed in is opened.