Mozilla has taken action against the Skype Toolbar, an extension for the Firefox browser which is added by default when the Skype application is installed.
The Skype Toolbar detects phone numbers in web pages, and recreates them as a clickable button to allow users to dial said number directly in the Skype app.
Because a lot of folks have Skype, and have performed a default installation, the toolbar is pretty widespread across the Firefox user base. And Mozilla says that it is one of the top crashers of Firefox 3.6.13.
In fact, according to the Mozilla Add-ons Blog, the extension was the culprit in nearly 40,000 crashes of the browser last week alone. And it isn’t just the crashing that’s the problem.
Some versions of the Skype toolbar can cause page rendering times to slow up considerably, and this apparently affects the majority of web content. Not good…
Therefore, Mozilla has made the decision to “soft block” the Skype Toolbar in Firefox. Soft blocking means the extension is disabled, and the user is informed of this action, and can reactivate the toolbar if they so wish.
Expect the Skype Toolbar to be added to the block-list in the next couple of days. Incidentally, none of this messes with the actual Skype application in any way.
Meanwhile, the Mozilla and Skype teams are putting their heads together to pin-point and solve these issues, so the extension can be unblocked and allowed to roam free once again.