So you’re installing software X. You see a bundle offer pop up. Uh oh!
In the case cited in the image here, installing a duplicate file finder utility got me an offer for a plethora of AVG products I neither wanted or needed. If I had wanted that additional software, I’d have downloaded it.
After figuring out how to decline this offer, I got several more offers – in case I wanted them (or could be tricked to opt-in).
What is a ‘bundle’? It’s that deceptive offer for some unwanted toolbar or other crap that has nothing to do with the software you chose to download and install. To me, it violates user intent.
So far as I know or can imagine, no user, ever, has been grateful to receive the extra bundle(s).
These installer bundles have become increasingly deceptive and pervasive. Assuming you don’t miss the opt-out option, it is, at that point, that you should ABORT the installation of that software in it’s entirety – not just the bundle. Find a competitor or ask the vendor for a bundle-free installer (they may oblige).
Bundles do this for society:
- They violate the sanctity of countless PCs.
- Users are reluctant to install any new software or trust any vendor.
- PC performance is worse than ever due to inefficient software environments full of all kinds of crud.
- Endless amounts of technician work is being caused by these inefficient PC environments, plus additional costs, I’m sure.
- Freeware and Shareware, usually direct from developer, has had it’s reputation tarnished. In some cases, it is their own fault, as they ‘sold out’ to a bundler. But the innocent also suffer the consequences of market erosion.
- It’s not just software vendors. Download sites like CNET set a new precedent when they started wrapping downloads in their own special installer.
- Nefarious companies have bundled up popular F/OSS software and made a killing via Google AdWords. I think their operations still continue. (basically, you see their Ad first since F/OSS software has no budget)
- Somebody gets paid every time they trick someone into installing X. All for… what?
When installing the software of a bundler, you are doing business with a company that cares so little about your PC that they’ll happily fill it with crapware to generate more revenue. (Important note that there are download sites who wrap non-bundled software up into their own bundles, so this isn’t true for all software development companies).
Think about it.
The solution is simple though: Consumer awareness. Consumers need to ASK – Does your installer offer me anything other than the product I am intending to download and install?
Be an aware consumer. Stand up for yourself. We have to. This is capitalism, and that’s how it works.
That is why Bitsum has always been bundle-free. We’ve opted out of the ‘easy money’. In return, we need your support. We care about your PC. Care about us. We offer superior and real solutions I won’t get into here. Visit our site if you have any interest.
EDIT: Note that this was also posted at LinkedIn, in an effort to reach the people that matter. Unfortunately, many of these people’s incomes are derived from deceitful bundles, whether they know it or not.