Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

An Open Letter To Sun Microsystems

To: The Head Honchos at Sun
From: Every computer user (as voiced by Tech Paul)

Re: Open Office downloader/Yahoo toolbar.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Your practice of shoe-horning additional software into the update packages for the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) is morally and ethically wrong. Java_plus_Yahoo

The most odorous aspect of this is the fact that you place a check in the checkbox by default, and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of unwanted installs occur because of it. This whole deal is shady at the time original install, but particularly vile in an update.

If we — for some unfathomable reason — actually want another toolbar, or the Open Office “downloader”, we will go get them.

This practice stinks. We all hate it. Shame on you.

Come on, guys — you’re better than this!

[note: we are aware that this unethical behavior is not by any means limited to Sun Microsystems, or Yahoo. This *crud* has become an industry practice, and people should pay close attention during any software install. Un-check those checkboxes! The ultimate responsibility is ours.]

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 27, 2009 - Posted by | computers, tech | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] Excerpt from:  An Open Letter To Sun Microsystems […]


    Pingback by YourBlogOnline | Best knowladge database » An Open Letter To Sun Microsystems | March 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. I had just updated JRE to recent release 13 and there was no bundle of any kind. I think they abandoned this practice few versions ago.


    Comment by Rarst | March 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Rarst,
      I think it would be simply fantastic if you’re correct and I will be quick to apologize (and pull down the article) but this happened to me just yesterday — version (aka Java 6 update 13)

      … maybe.. you already have the Yahoo! toolbar, and the installer detected that.. and skipped the prompt? (just guessing here)


      Comment by techpaul | March 27, 2009 | Reply

      • Hmm, strange – same version here.

        I had a thought that it might remember previous decline of additional stuff and re-checked on clean virtual machine to be sure – no prompts.


        Comment by Rarst | March 27, 2009 | Reply

      • One more thought – are you using online or offline install? Offline here.


        Comment by Rarst | March 27, 2009 | Reply

        • My prompt to update (“patch”) JRE came via Secunia PSI on my personal machines, and I clicked on “Download Solution” which takes you right to Sun’s update installer (online) which I clicked “Save” (I never click “Open” or “Run” directly) and then double-clicked the package.

          On machines which don’t have PSI, the Java Updater prompt (a pop-open alert) were acted on, with identical results.
          I will try to do a “Run”, and see if there’s any difference.. but I don’t expect any. This practice is widespread, common, and has been the SOP for as long as I can remember.. people simply don’t read the fine print.


          Comment by techpaul | March 27, 2009 | Reply

          • I am always download complete package (identical to one called offline installer at Sun site) from FileHippo. And kill update scheduler btw. :)

            Try that one.


            Comment by Rarst | March 27, 2009 | Reply

            • Because I am aware of this, I simply un-check the box.

              But this .. “strategy” relies on those less-than-savvy folks who have been conditioned to just click “OK”/”Next”/”Fine”/Shutup”/”Goaway” to get to that wonderful “Finish”.
              And it works.


              Comment by techpaul | March 27, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] I find this type of thing as repugnant as I do the ole add-a-toolbar-to-the-installer trick (see, An Open Letter To Sun Microsystems) I will share their letter with you. “Tech Paul, I am getting really sick of these download […]


    Pingback by I Support A Good Cause « Tech – for Everyone | January 7, 2011 | Reply

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