Starting this month, users who install or update Oracle’s Java software will be prompted to make Yahoo their browser’s default search engine and home page.
This is 2015.
I get that Yahoo is trying to lure (read: trick) more unwitting people into using their service, but perhaps instead of piggybacking the installation of a framework that some still find necessary… they should improve their offerings such that people want to use Yahoo instead of curse it for having overtaken their defaults and not remembering how.
I removed my reliance on Java a few years back and haven’t regretted the decision. If I happen to run into a web site that demands it (which has been close to never), I simply find another web site.
There are some who aren’t as lucky – who need this framework on their system for some random need. It’s for them I weep. I’m not calling into question the inherent value, promise, or quality of Java outright – I’m calling into question these smarmy tactics (which are no less smarmy than prompting the user to install the Ask toolbar).
If an installer wants to install something you didn’t ask for (and would probably NEVER want to install independently), stop installing that software. They’ll get the hint. Eventually. Maybe.
Unfortunately, only savvy users will know how to avoid these pitfalls – they’re not the intended target. That’s what companies like Oracle are seemingly counting on: prey. This isn’t a value add – it’s tantamount to junk.
Is there a checkmark to NOT install what wasn’t a part of the user’s plan? Sure, but how many people blindly click through install processes or wonder if by leaving that checkbox unchecked they’ll somehow be getting a lesser experience? “It’s checked by default, so it must be okay.”
No, it’s not okay.
I’m willing to wager that one of the top searches on Yahoo is “google.”
Such trickery will not solve this “problem.”