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Thursday, June 5, 2008

InstallShield 2009: Value Added Services???

Recently I read Windows Installer Expert Extraordinaire Stefan Krueger recently blog:

A remark about the "Value Added Services": Please consider carefully if you really want to install things like the Yahoo! Toolbar with your software. Your customers may not appreciate it. Personally, I get annoyed if a program tries to install unrelated software or browser add-ons. On the other hand, you'd be in the company of Adobe (Adobe Reader wants to install Google Toolbar) and Apple(QuickTime wants to install iTunes, and iTunes wants to install Safari during update). InstallShield expert Christopher Painter seems to have similar objections.

I also noticed Rod Trent of myITForum tonight post:

If this won’t kill a product line, nothing will… Yahoo! and Acresso Announce Multi-Year Yahoo! Toolbar and InstallShield Distribution Agreement

Here’s a quote from the article:

As software companies face slower growth, the strategy focuses on options for them to generate additional revenue and provide new capabilities for their customers.

This makes both companies seem really desperate for sales, and to me, this is not a value-added services strategy, as they say in the article. We know Yahoo is in trouble, but this article really smells of another buyout for Acresso on the horizon -- and so soon after the separation from Macrovision.

Then this evening I received the following email from a reader:

From: Anon
Subject: Big Ball of Yuck

News Article]

Wow... did you know about this back when you blogged about bundling crapware with installs? What a load!! I know they're spun off and looking for new revenue streams, but seriously...

To clarify, yes I was aware of this and yes I agree with Stefan. This topic came up during the IS2009 Beta Cycle as a thread called "Forget the Yahoo Toolbar" [Edit: Despite the fact that previous discussions from previous beta cycles have been made public, Acresso has gone back and censored this forum by locking it down with a password] and many of us fruitlessly voiced our disagreement. Unfortunately I couldn't talk about it due to an NDA. ( Well, technically it was just a good faith confidentiality agreement. I never really signed an NDA which is why I blogged about certain enhancements to InstallShield while honoring Yahoo!'s sensitivity on the matter. ) My thinly veiled blog about rogue software installers was about as far as I was willing to go to try to get attention to the subject without spilling the beans.

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