Where did this new toolbar in my browser? I didn’t ask for it.
Actually it’s likely that you did.
Before you protest that you most certainly did not, I need to point
out one of the most annoying techniques being used to deploy more and
more and more toolbars.
It all counts on your not paying close attention.
This afternoon I was installing an update to the popular Java runtime, which is software that is used by some websites to provide rich functionality beyond just displaying static pages as I do here.
The update consisted of the normal installation program which proceeded to ask me the normal installation things and agreeing to the software license. (Another annoyance, but that’s for another day.)
Then I came to this screen:
I almost without thinking hit Next.
In doing so, I would have been asking to have the Yahoo toolbar installed.
Note the circled item – the option to install the Yahoo toolbar is selected by default. If you’re not paying attention and just trying to get the update installed and get on with your life, it’s trivially easy to miss the fact that you are asking for a toolbar to be installed.
Personally, I find this very annoying.
I have nothing against the Yahoo toolbar. It’s a fine toolbar, and if you want what it offers you should absolutely run out an install it. I don’t.
I have nothing against Java or Sun, really. Java also serves an important role for web sites that want to do more than just display pages.
What annoys me is:
And this installation is not the only case. It’s not uncommon at all to see installations that include, somewhere along the line, an “option” to install a toolbar or some other unrelated software.
Why? Typically because they get paid to do so. I can even kinda, sorta understand it for free software as a way to recoup some of the expenses involved, but the practice is certainly not limited to only those.
So aside from griping about the practices of some software vendors, what’s the real take-away here?
Understand what it is you’re installing, and read each step of the installation options. You might find that you’re about to “ask” for something you didn’t really want at all.