Michael miss

Don't waste money on this sketchy Michael Jackson tribute.

Celebrity deaths are always followed by those who try to profit from the public's collective grief. The suspiciously named Michael Joseph Jackson Screensaver is a prime example of such behavior: yes, they mean "the" Michael Jackson, middle name Joseph. Who knew? But someone threw together a handful of photos of the late lamented King of Pop, hoping that grieving fans would pony up. We are neither impressed nor amused.

It's not that it's an awful screensaver. It has a fair number of features, including the ability to play users' own music. You can customize the transitions between images, the screensaver's behavior in relation to the mouse, and other typical settings. The screensaver has fairly high-quality images, but it's obvious that the creator simply scavenged them from the Internet without permission; some of them even have watermarks from other Web sites. Way to steal other people's work and try to make money from it! Not only do we question the origins of these images, but also there really aren't that many of them, given the long span of Michael's career. We'd viewed them all after just a few minutes. The huge banner across the bottom of the screensaver encouraging users to register the screensaver just adds insult to injury. Overall, in addition to ethical problems with the screensaver, we just didn't think that it was worth paying for.

Michael Joseph Jackson Screensaver has a five-day trial period. It installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We do not recommend this program.

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