One step forward and then another one backwards.
You may recall that in the last few weeks there was a lot of buzz surrounding the Ask Toolbar which is installed along with Oracle’s Java software if you miss the opt out button.
The buzz related to the fact Microsoft had classified the toolbar as malware, specifically the versions of the toolbar that had search protect code in them that kept users from modifying the search defaults, and this allowed their Windows Defender Anti-Malware program to remove the toolbar as an unwanted program.
In fact, we asked you all last week what you thought of Microsoft’s actions and 99% of you supported it.
While that move by Microsoft may not have been the catalyst, Oracle is part of a change this week that involves a partnership with Yahoo! and that has sent the Ask toolbar packing.
This past Wednesday, during the annual Yahoo! shareholder’s meetings, Marissa Meyer revealed the partnership with Oracle that will add an option to the Java install process prompting users to set Yahoo! as their default search engine. This change takes effect next month.
As you can see in the below image this is apparently another Opt-Out program that requires the user to uncheck the box to keep the Java installer from changing the users browser defaults.
I applaud that they are no longer installing the difficult to handle Ask Toolbar and only offering to change the default search engine however, if you really want to impress people then make it Opt-In not Opt-Out.
Unfortunately, that is not going to happen because the two companies are betting on the typical install process and how many users simply click the Next button to quickly reach the actual installation process.
In my opinion anytime a company adds or changes a feature in their software or service it should be Opt-In by default.
Otherwise it is simply taking advantage of unsuspecting users.