Why you should abort a software install the moment you see a ‘bundle’ offer

Example of deceitful bundle

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.

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Why you should abort a software install the moment you see a ‘bundle’ offer

10 thoughts on “Why you should abort a software install the moment you see a ‘bundle’ offer

    1. I’m sure there is a better alternative (VLC?). Like I said, you can also ask the vendor if they provide a bundle-free installer. If they say NO, treat you like a jerk, or otherwise disrespect you — well, then you know who you are dealing with, as it’s a valid question.

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      1. I never liked the BSPlayer. A fair and excellent alternative is Media Player Classic. Installer is bundle free despite it being an open source free software solution. I have been using it for some time now and never had any complaints.

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  1. George says:

    Excellent article, thank you. I’ll be brief and blunt, most people are idiots (myself included) and will press Next for speed, even though they’ll spend more time later waiting for their new, shady updaters and antimalwares’ to finish (their PC off). Awareness, of course. That requires patience and true education both of which are lost nowadays. Your way of doing software is indeed remarkable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I dunno if my way of doing software is ‘remarkable’, but it’s at least ethical. The flip side is that consumers have to pay a little. Not everything in the world can be free, and things that purport to be free, rarely are!

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  2. Scott says:

    I’m always happy to pay for the ethical, competent producer. I hate people who can but refuse to. People shell out a small fortune just to see a crap movie, but they won’t spend 1/3 the amount to buy a great piece of software it took someone months or years to create, and which they will use for at least as long. People are idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With the bundled stuff I keep thinking of the older folks, like my parents, that use a PC and do not and never will gain the awareness of bundled software. Almost each and every time I sit at my dad’s PC I find some superfluous piece of software that I then delete.

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  4. George says:

    Anyone got affected but the recent uTorrent affair? I was: a silent installation with no warning or accept/decline option at all! Perhaps it was a mistake (server issues blah blah) but there’s no excuse and given their history, I tend not to believe such mistakes. Many unsuspecting, non-tech users are now having their CPU used to the max for others to benefit.

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    1. I had not heard of this uTorrent incident. That sounds very shady. I will have to research this. Similar things have happened to many popular freeware applications. That is why it is important for users to pay a fair licensing fees for software they use. That way, we can pay the people who do the work, and keep the fraudsters trying to squeeze a buck out of ‘free’, out. Makes sense to me anyway.

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