Java: now with nasty crapware

As if Java didn’t have enough problems, Oracle/Sun recently started packaging it with the Ask Toolbar. Anyone installing Java must opt out of installing the Ask toolbar, or it will show up in their web browser and hijack their browser’s search settings.

Ed Bott at ZDNet took a close look at the Java installation process and posted his findings. He starts by saying:

Java is the new king of foistware, displacing Adobe and Skype from the top of the heap.

And it earned that place with a combination of software update practices that are among the most user-hostile and cynical in the industry.

It’s an excellent article, well worth reading.

To make matters worse, I recently discovered that I can no longer disable the Java auto-updater using the Java Control Panel in Windows 7. I can uncheck the checkbox and save the settings, but if I go back to the Java Control Panel, the option has re-enabled itself. My only option is to disable the SunJavaUpdateSched (jusched.exe) startup entry using a tool like Autoruns.

I’m starting to get a bad feeling about Oracle’s management of Java. Oracle may feel that they have the world by the throat, given the prevalence of Java, but at some point, the world is going to revolt and start looking at alternatives.

About jrivett

Jeff Rivett has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. His first computer was an Apple II+, built by his father and heavily customized. Jeff's writing appeared in Computist Magazine in the 1980s, and he created and sold a game utility (Ultimaker 2, reviewed in the December 1983 Washington Apple Pi Journal) to international markets during the same period. Proceeds from writing, software sales, and contract programming gigs paid his way through university, earning him a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree at UWO. Jeff went on to work as a programmer, sysadmin, and manager in various industries. There's more on the About page, and on the Jeff Rivett Consulting site.

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