I’m a bit late on this, but please have a read if you haven’t already.
I actually had this happen to one of my home systems, and I wasn’t very happy about it. I liken search bars to pop-ups: annoying, can slow systems, used for ad revenue… so maybe I’m overreacting. I don’t like that the search bar was added to IE, but the fact that it was added to Firefox is really annoying. “However, the more dubious behavior remains the clandestine installation of a component into a third-party application, even for users who do not need it.” Quit messing with other people’s programs! Then to make matters worse Microsoft blamed it on a bug. “Unfortunately, we discovered a bug in the latest update that was installing the Firefox extension for users with the Windows Live Toolbar and MSN Toolbar (specifically people who have not upgraded to the latest version of the Bing Bar),” they told Arstechnica. Interestingly enough, I don’t use either of these search bars, or the Live program package.
… by the way if you see an update that says, ““In an Internet browser, you specify a homepage that is not a fully qualified URL. However, Windows Live Toolbar, MSN Toolbar, or Bing Bar may not categorize your homepage correctly. Therefore, the homepage reporting may be generated incorrectly for users who select the Help improve our services option when they install these toolbars,” just select Hide Update.