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Sun use Java update to push Open Office

I was quite surprised to notice today that the usual Java runtime automatic update which is present on almost all Windows machines (using software written in Java) was trying to convince me into downloading and installing the completely unrelated product, Open Office in addition to the its latest Java update.

Sun use Java update to push Open Office

Although Open Office is free and open source, Sun Microsystems reputedly have a large controlling influence, I guess this is through investing their own developers to work on the platform. I don’t know why they would want to push Open Office as opposed to any other open source product or even why they aren’t using the space to advertise something more commercially valuable.

The origin of this feature is even more interesting. The Sun Developer Network reveals the birth of this feature as a couple of “bug” reports logged in November 2007. Interestingly, these “bugs” in the Java deployment updater are classified as “high” priority and not minor as most feature requests are usually.

This all seems like rather a lot of work to push an unrelated free office product, although advertising during software installations is an interesting technique that I might explore for future releases of our own software.

Does anyone know definitively why Sun Microsystems is pushing OpenOffice in it’s Java updates?

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3 Comments

  1. Matt Hanson Matt Hanson

    Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..

    Matt Hanson

  2. Companies are getting more and more desperate in trying to unseat the stable Microsoft products on Windows. Witness Apple having Safari included in the iTunes & Quicktime updater.
    I have tried out OpenOffice on Mac OS and unfortunately find it slower and the UI uninspiring. MS Orifice is one area where Microsoft is still innovating and Sun together with the Open Source community will need to do better than just adding it to the Java installer to compete.

  3. mike mike

    Steve,

    I agree with you.

    I’ve used OpenOffice on Windows and it’s not as good as Office 2007. Office 2007 is still better for Exchange/Workgroup integration and usability. However OpenOffice is free and gives a good bang for the buck for a user. For small businesses and/or light use I would recommend seting up with Google Documents and store all your data in the cloud.

    Cheers,

    Mike

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