Feeds

Sun Java piggybacks Microsoft searchbar, divorces Google

The old checked-by-default trick

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Sun is now distributing Microsoft's Live Search toolbar atop its Java Runtime Environment, after parting ways with Google's browserware.

According to Sun's press release, Internet Explorer users downloading Sun's JRE "have the option" of downloading the MSN toolbar too. But it's worth noting that the install-Microsoft-app button is checked by default. Sun automatically loads Redmond's browserware unless you specifically tell it not to.

"All our toolbar deals are opt-out - so MSFT toolbar will be opt-out as well. Box will be checked but user can decline to download it," a company spokeswoman told us.

That's right, Sun has a history of piggybacking additional software atop Java downloads, including its very own OpenOffice software suite and Yahoo!'s search toolbar for Mozilla's FireFox browser.

As you can see, the install-Yahoo!-app button is checked by default too:

Yahoo! and Sun Java

JRE piggybacks Yahoo!

And things work much the same way with OpenOffice.

This is isn't nearly as sneaky as Apple slipping its second-rate Safari browser onto PCs via its software updater. But it would be nice if Sun (and so many others) didn't play these games with naive netizens.

Sun wouldn't tell us how much Microsoft was paying the company to distribute the MSN toolbar. But you can bet it would pay a lot less if that box wasn't checked by default.

We commend Sun for eventually acknowledging that its MSN-atop-Java setup is opt-out. But we do find it amusing that so many companies like to play both sides of this issue. When we first discussed the Microsoft tie-up with Sun's Eric Klein - the man who announced that Sun would put Java on the Jesus Phone without checking Apple's anti-Java EULA - he insisted that Redmond's toolbar was opt-in only.

Until today, JRE also piggybacked Google's browser toolbar. But as it makes room for Redmond, Sun has divorced the Mountain View ad broker. Sun Java will attempt to install the MSN toolbar only if you're in the US and you have Internet Explorer installed. According to Sun, JRE was downloaded 525 million times over the past twelve months. And this number leaps by about 65 per cent each year. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.