$38 billion in revenue... one cheesy click at a time.

by Tom Davis

You WILL Get Fries With That

I recently went through one more round of Java updating and it reminded me of something most of us really dislike - watching for default offers being included with software and software updates. There are other examples of a company automatically including something unless I actively say no, but right now Oracle is at the top of my list for small minded business practices. I am sure they think of it as "engaging their audience" or "providing more value." I know it is a small minded attempt for them to me as their customer to another company.

McAfee OfferPictured to the right is a dialog that you must pass through as you install a security update for Java. This update is essentially fixing a security problem with Java. I know I have to stop and do it, but it is still a irritation. But Oracle compounds the irritation by offering me up to one of their "marketing affiliates". Of course, they are doing this because they love me so much as a customer. They love me so much that they already checked "Yes" for me. BTW, other times I have gone through this process, they offered me a Yahoo Toolbar for my browser. Which I also do not need.

Rather than actually offer me some value and let me decide "Yes", they are actually turning this around and offering me to their "marketing affiliate" and making me decide "No". I am sure they get some tiny payment for getting McAfee on my computer. I guess Larry Ellison is running low on money.

Forcing me to turn off this check box as I am blowing through the process of yet another Java security update is not making happy customers. If I had missed the opportunity to refuse this "offer" I would have ended up spending another 30 minutes dealing with removing something I never wanted. These may be fine products, but this is not the time to bring it up. Frankly, I distrust their motives for bringing it up in the middle of an unrelated process. They are really hoping I will miss my opportunity to refuse the offer - because they get paid when I miss it.

Imagine if Microsoft or Apple had "default offers" attached to their updates. I am sure they have no shortage of "marketing affiliates" who would love to provide some minor value to gather my identity. I admire their restraint.

UPDATE: A few days later I am updating Adobe Flash and they too offer me this same McAfee software - and the check box is thoughtfully checked for me. So, I guess I can add Adobe to my list of small minded marketers.