Oracle packages adware with Java updates

Packing PC scanner with download too cheesy for 'enterprise' vendor

Oracle is supposed to be the kind of company with a little dignity, isn't it? The kind top executives are comfortable dealing with because they both speak the same dialect of business-school-gobbledegook?

The kind that sends over salespeople in suits and takes you out to lunch at a place with cloth napkins and real silverware, not crayons on the table with the plastic sporks?

And the annoying download is from McAfee, at least, not or someone even worse. Not the kind that looks up to telemarketers or works on its technique for cornering you on the sidewalk to hard-sell an obvious scam, used newspaper or trinket?

Not the kind that would let you look up the data you need on an update, then hide the download button under a flashing fake download button offering to SCAN YOUR PC NOW, hijacking your browser to an ad site or whipping up a persistent popup insisting you're not safe if it doesn't frisk you before you go to a different site?

It is, actually, according to Computerworld:

Starting last month, Oracle began bundling a security scanning tool called the McAfee Security Scan Plus with its Java updates for the Windows operating system. The software is installed by default with the Java update, so unless users notice and uncheck the McAfee installation box as they're updating Java, they'll end up downloading McAfee's software too.

Oracle's no stranger to pushy marketing, but add-on toolbars, packaged scanners and third-party product pitches disguised as a legitimate install process is not the kind of pitch you expect from a company whose products are sold mostly by people in suits to people in suits.

Shouldn't we be able to expect a little dignity or restraint from "enterprise" vendors?

At least enough to not feel as if we're being pitched at by carnies or are noob enough to download something that takes more time to clean out of our systems afterward than to find and load it in the first place? Especially if it's pushing so hard on getting paid for Java and snubbing open source?

Yes, I know we're talking about Oracle, which can provide a definition of 'dignity' only after formulating the proper query and offering to do so under an added-cost support contract.

And I know Java is free and comes with some small cost to Oracle to develop (especially after it drives away a lot of the people who were helping it for free). It seems to be building a nice little business with Java, and pretty well otherwise as well. I don't feel sorry for it.

Still. Makes me feel like I need a shower.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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