Hal's (Im)Perfect Vision

Crapware is in the news in a big way this week thanks to Oracle’s recent Java “security” update and a blog post by Long Zheng that exposes the economic incentives for software developers to bundle crapware installers.  He also points out that respected Silicon Valley VCs are funding Crapware-installer InstallMonetizer.  Ed Bott pulls the story together in his ZDNet piece.

One of the things coming out in all of this is that Microsoft, usually seen as one of the victims in the spread of crapware, is not completely innocent in this matter.  For example, Microsoft’s Online Services Division (OSD) at one point used InstallMonetizer to distribute its Bing and MSN toolbars.  And for a period (before Sun was acquired by Oracle) OSD had a deal to distribute the Bing toolbar with Sun’s Java distribution.  OSD wasn’t alone in this as Developer Division used this technique (and often piggybacks on OSD’s deals) to distribute Silverlight.  So how did we get…

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