Oracle defends ‘crapware’ bundling

If you installed the security update that Oracle Corp released some two weeks ago to fix a zero-day vulnerability in Java, you must have noticed the patch installing something else that has nothing to do with fixing the flaw.

Many users realized that after the Java patch, the Ask.com tool bar was also installed into their machines – even if they had not wanted the question-answering search engine’s tool bar in the first place. Take a look at the box below marked Java Setup, which also “recommends” the free Ask.com browser.

Not surprisingly, a few users were miffed. Sometimes called crapware by critics, software that is bundled with a new PC or other software packages without the express knowledge of the user has been the bane of users for decades.

However, according to reports from Networkworld.com, Oracle has given no indication it will end the practice.

At a conference call with Java User Groups, Donald Smith, head of Oracle’s OpenJDK team, said contractual obligations prevented him from commenting on the subject of bundling deals. He also did not say if Oracle would stop the annoying practice.

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Oracle releases Java patch but users not yet safeIf Oracle is remaining tight-lipped about bundled software, Windows user and app developer Long Zheng is not. In a blogpost on Istartedsothing.com, he provides a glimpse on the economics of crapware installers.

In the post, he talks about InstalMonetizer, a company that calls itself a “Windows-based software monetizations platform.” The company he said is funded by a $500,000 investment from top Silicon Valley investment firms indicating that there’s big money for such company’s out there.

Read more on this blog here“Let’s not beat around the bush,” wrote Zhong. “This is a company that makes drive-by installers that bundles all sorts of life-saving tool bars and adware when installing apps on Windows.”

He says, all too often it is hard for many software developers who have poured their money on developing their app to say no when firms like InstalMonetizer approach them with bundling deals.

Read the whole Networkworld story here
 

 



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