Feeds

Sun Java piggybacks Microsoft searchbar, divorces Google

The old checked-by-default trick

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?