Java Toolbar Installation Trickery

I just read a post over on False Precision that has a link to this video of Sun Microsystem’s CEO Johnathan Schwartz talking about a whole new product venture that is based on, can you believe this, nefarious Marketing tactics.

Apparently, Java, that ubiquitous little runtime that is installed on nearly every PC and is constantly updated, is now a distribution platform for Sun.  

This boggles the mind.  Firstly, as everyone who has tried to install Java knows, you have to be very careful and read the fine print as the default install settings will put all manner of crap onto your computer.  Secondly, when are companies going to realize that my intention to install their product DOES NOT make me a distribution channel they can profit from?

Have they never heard of Permission Marketing?

I was struck by this over the weekend when I opened a Sunday newspaper (yes a newspaper) and out fell about 30 brochures.  As they cascaded to the floor and formed a sea of glossy and not-so-glossy waves at my feet, it hit me – I’m not a treasured customer, one of the last few willing to pay for information on paper, I am a distribution channel.  A single, anonymous node in a network of other anonymous nodes designed to be sold and traded to the highest bidder peddling their useless wares.

This is how being treated as a distribution channel makes people feel Sun!  Please learn from this.  I may have to use your products because they are simply everywhere, but I will never forget how you made me feel.  And that will hurt you at some point.  

PS: The 10th search on Google for ‘java install toolbar’ is a post on MaximumPC about a year ago that talks about the Java install process and the toolbars that get installed by ‘default’.  The comments are not pretty.  I am linking to it in the hope of getting it bumped up.

One Response to “Java Toolbar Installation Trickery”

  1. May 27, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    Thanks for the comment over on FP and for the link. I can;t believe this isn’t a bigger deal with people. The fact that Sun would actually create an official product out of tricking people to install software clearly shows an amazing lack of leadership at that once great company.