February 21, 2005
Macromedia Player Payloads
For some time now—and to the dismay of many developers—Macromedia has bundled the Yahoo! Toolbar with the ActiveX (Win IE) version of Shockwave for Director; now the Flash team follows suit with their own Toolbar install.
In a continuance of this somewhat disturbing trend, the most recent release of Shockwave for Director 10.1 checks for the existance of the Yahoo! Toolbar and offers to bundle still yet another piggyback package to users who fell for or chose not to opt-out of the first one, this time partnering with Weatherbug.
While the end user may disable Toolbar install, it is enabled by default. Macromedia would better serve its customers by allowing an opt-in rather than requiring an opt-out for such offers.
Upshot: we should expect calls from clients who may be surprised to find that the late-model Flash/Shockwave content we've pitched and/or delivered comes with an unexpected payload for their users.