Some thoughts on the Yahoo! Toolbar offer on the Macromedia website

First of all, I am sorry that I have not been posting much for the past couple of months. As I posted earlier, I was on sabbatical and vacation for two months, and more recently I have had some personal issues I had to deal with and have been trying to buy a new house. Things should settle down soon, and I will be posting a lot more (there is a ton of cool stuff coming down the pike to talk about).

There has been a lot of discussion going on over the past week or so about the Yahoo! Toolbar offer on the Macromedia website. Before I go into too much detail about it, I just want to clarify what the offer actually is and is not.

Currently, if you are using Internet Explorer on Windows, and do not have the Yahoo! Toolbar installed, and you visit the Flash Player Download Center on the Macromedia website, you will be presented with an offer on the download page to also download the Yahoo! Toolbar. I just want to make this point clear, the offer is on the Macromedia website, is optional, and is not part of the Flash Player or Flash player installer.As stated in the Flash Player FAQ:Macromedia has not and will not include 3rd party software or 3rd party software offers in the Flash Player installer.I wanted to emphasize this point as there was some concern that the offer was actually in the player. It is not, and will never be.You can still trigger the install of the Flash player directly from your site without the user having to visit the Macromedia website (95% plus of player installs are installed through this mechanism).So, having clarified what exactly is going on, I want to acknowledge that we have not done a very good job of communicating with the community about the offer and why we are doing it. We have been working hard the past week to improve this, and have updated the Flash Player FAQ with much more information.One of the main questions that has been coming up, and which we discuss in the FAQ, is why did we do this deal with Yahoo!. The Yahoo! Toolbar offer is actually part of a larger relationship with Yahoo!, which we believe will significantly benefit both current and (especially) future Flash player adoption rates. However, this offer is only one of the first visible signs of the relationship, and thus we have had to be vague on the other aspects of the relationship as they have not yet been announced.Yahoo! is one of the biggest Flash customers in the world, and through various initiatives has played a major role in introducing Flash content to end users, and driving Flash player downloads. They are also at the center of one of the hottest areas on the internet now (information management / searching), and if you look at other apps and content being created in the same space (as well as the work Yahoo! has already done), you can begin to see how Yahoo! could really benefit the Flash platform, introduce the platform to new people, and overall improve perceptions about the platform.Of course, as many of you have guessed, there is also a distinct monetary aspect to this deal. The revenue from the Yahoo! Toolbar offer is directly funding some major initiatives (both announced and unannounced) that will be a vital part of the success of the Flash platform. We have already given some sneak peeks around 8ball and the next version of the Flash Player (maelstrom), but there is so much more coming down the pike. Indeed, we have already invested more time and resources on development for the next version of the Flash player than we have for any previous version of the player. And while we have only given sneaks, I truly believe that because of all of the work we are doing (and the input you have given us) this is the year that Flash as a application and creative platform will be taken to the next level.But, again, I want to emphasize that the direct revenue is only one aspect of the relationship, and that one of the primary reasons we have partnered with Yahoo! is that they were interested in working with us on a number of fronts, and not just focus on one offer. Expect to hear more about this relationship over the coming weeks and months.We set the default of the offer to encourage people to install the toolbar because we want this relationship to be successful. However, as many of you have pointed out, this, coupled with the design of the previous offer page was potentially misleading. Therefore, after much discussion with many of you one on one, we have basically redesigned the page from scratch. Our primary goal was to make it much clearer that the Yahoo! Toolbar offer is optional and separate from the Flash Player. Is it perfect? Probably not, but we feel it is now significantly clearer than the previous offer page.You can view the updated page here.Here is a screenshot for those of you who can’t see the offer above because you are not running Internet Explorer on Windows (of course I am sure everyone is using FireFox with my Macromedia News plugin, right?).
Click for full sized screenshotFinally, we need to provide better information about all of the options available about how the Flash player can be installed. We do have a number of options, but it is difficult to find info about all of them. The primary resource that we have is the Flash Detection Kit which allows for the seamless download of the Flash player (around 95% of Flash player installs are done through the seamless, automatic ActiveX installation). However, at least in my searching, I could not find a single document that discussed Flash Player installation in depth and covered all of the options (this technote is the closest that I could find). This is something that we are working on.To summarize, we did not do a good job of communicating about the offer on the website, and the benefits that will accrue to the Flash platform and Flash designers and developers from the relationship with Yahoo!. Hopefully the updated FAQ, Flash Download page, and the conversations that I am sure will occur over the next couple of days (and additional details over the coming weeks and months) will help to change that.You can view the Flash Player FAQ here.You can view the Flash Player Download center here.You can download the Flash Detection Kit from here.

78 Responses to Some thoughts on the Yahoo! Toolbar offer on the Macromedia website

  1. Daniel Wild says:

    Hi,I’m always worried about concepts that mix up stuff/content/services. Everytime you are able to watch a person with less computer/internet knowledge, this is a desaster.At least DON’T preselect additional options.cheerio, d.

  2. N Rohler says:

    The new page perfectly addresses all of the concerns I had – thanks for addressing this.In my opinion, the new page seems much more straightforward and easy to understand (esp. for those who don’t read download pages closely)

  3. Paulc says:

    While this is a significant improvement, and an acceptable solution if there is no alternative to not doing this, it doesn’t address my concern of MM undermining their brand credibility.Simply put: if you wouldn’t sell ad space on your website, you shouldn’t be doing this. It’s worse to do it with your products than in a banner.Don’t talk about how much Yahoo has helped you in the past. There’s no reciprocal download on Yahoo! main page. It’s a money-driven decision.Yahoo is in the business of promotion, MM isn’t.People who rely on MX for a living hold you to a high standard because you’re their mealticket. That’s why they hate seeing Flash ads and poorly designed sites. Anything that taints MM’s rep has a direct impact on them.

  4. Kenny Bunch says:

    Mike,Coming from a large corporation I understand that there are things that may not be apparent to your customers. Your statement’s were eloquent and well thought out. Personally, I really appreciate how you and your company go to great lengths at educating and satisfying your customers. It speaks volumes. Thanks again. Hope things settle down for you in the future.-Kenny

  5. mike chambers says:

    >Don’t talk about how much Yahoo has helped you in the past. There’s no reciprocal download on Yahoo! main page. It’s a money-driven decision.Yes and no. Money did play a role in this, but as I stated in my post, we did this with Yahoo! because they were very interested into entering into a longer term, multi-faceted relationship, and not just a one off deal.Of course, we haven’t announced other aspects of this yet, so It is difficult to talk about it. But, as I posted above, Expect to hear more about this relationship over the coming weeks and months.mike

  6. CDL says:

    Mike, your statement that these add-ons are not in the installers INCORRECT.While visiting the Macromedia site today, I was prompted to upgrade my existing Shockwave installation which I did. The Yahoo Toolbar option was in fact part of the Intaller!!! The installer window says “Macromedia and Yahoo! are please to offer you the FREE Yahoo! Toolbar with your Shockwave Player download. At the very bottom far left of the window is a pre-selected!!! checkbox that says “Install Yahoo Toolbar for Internet Explorer. I agree to the terms above.” followed by a “Next” button.Most folks will barely look at the small print and will simply click the “Next” button and find themselves having installed something they never wanted!Third-party toolbars/plug-ins should never be attached to Shockwave or Flash in this manner. It is too easy for folks to mistakenly install these unwanted third-party products. There isn’t even an “Are you sure? pop-up” and it certainly shouldn’t be pre-selected!!!

  7. mike chambers says:

    >While visiting the Macromedia site today, I was prompted to upgrade my existing Shockwave installation which I did.I think there is some confusion, as the Flash and Shcokwave players are completely seperate players. The Shockwave installer does include the offer for the Yahoo! Toolbar. The Flash player installer does not.The Shockwave install, for technical reasons, has always been significantly larger, and has never been a transparent process in the way the Flash install has been. For better or worse, we have always almost always had install screens in SW and they have had a variety of messaging, including promotional information. Flash on the other hand has usually been triggered by active X and has been effectively a transparent install. This has been fundamentally based on the very different technologies and design centers of these two runtimes.I would like to focus on Flash in this thread. Just to be clear Macromedia has not and will not include 3rd party software or 3rd party software offers in the Flash Player installer.[edited : to provide some more information]mike

  8. Thanks for addressing us so openly Mike, I know many other companies that wouldn’t have made the efforts I know Macromedia has been making on the web and behind the scenes.I still find myself uneasy with the toolbar being opt-out rather than opt-in because, despite your best efforts, there will be some people who will still not notice the offer at all and will install the flash player only to find they have a toolbar in their browser. It will only be a few people sure, the redesign of the page does make the offer much clearer, but there will inevitably be some people in this position. I assume the contract between yourselves and Yahoo! requires the toolbar to be opt-out however because more people are likely to accept the offer this way.I hope that the positives of the partnership outweigh those people who may end up with a toolbar they didn’t want. Thanks to your attention to this matter I’m optimistic they will.

  9. David Martin says:

    Mike,Fine to offer Yahoo, Google, MSN toolbars etc.. but the user should manually click the box. Usability, User Control, User Respect are violated here and it doesn’t set a great example.I have extended our concerns to those responsble in Macromedia and I truly hope this is resolved, as it is damaging the flash brand.

  10. Allen Varney says:

    As long as the Yahoo offer continues to be opt-out rather than opt-in, the tension in the community will continue.Also, no one is reassured by these extremely delicate semantic distinctions between the toolbar being “bundled with the installer” vs. “being automatically installed by a separate process that a naive user could easily misunderstand.”But the main point of concern, just to repeat, is opt-out rather than opt-in..

  11. Keith Peters says:

    Mike, the only screens I ever saw gave you a choice to download Yahoo or not. As such, I’ve never had a big problem with it.But several people have told me that this was added after all the public outcry, and that before that, it was in fact an automatic part of the download. You state a couple of times that it has not ever been an automatic part of the download.Can you definitely verify that this is the case so I can tell them what they are full of?

  12. mike chambers says:

    >But several people have told me that this was added after all the public outcry, and that before that, it was in fact an automatic part of the download.Yes. It has never been part of the Flash Player Installer or Flash Player.It has always been an offer from the webpage.There was some mis-perceptions intially about what was actually going on. We didn’t do a good job of getting the correct information out in a timely manner. Hopefully, this post can help set that straight.mike

  13. brandy says:

    that liscense agreement seems like a bit much, eek! Makes me wonder about what the hell the toolbar is/does.I like the “iterated” new look, but I still agree with those who think it’s not a good idea to mix the two.

  14. Phil Harnish says:

    Off topic perhaps, but Director installer does offer to install the Y! toolbar for IE (even on firefox).

  15. Mom says:

    Director has had Yahoo Toolbar for quite some time. It is opt in as a step, not a launch like Flash, last I checked.

  16. Nick says:

    It should be opt IN … can’t Yahoo! and MM live with that in the interests of the Internet community at large.. ? Opt-out is ethically wrong!”Users can choose not to install it” <— “Users should be allowed to choose IF they want to install it”. The thinking behind opt OUT is this:A high percentage of Internet illiterates will not really notice that little check-box and install software that they don’t really need [and ve ken now take over ze worrld]In a couple of months time, there will be a few other checked options :Shockwave PlayerMacromedia CentralYahoo! MessengerYahoo! PagerMacromedia News :PAdobe SVG Player.. perhaps not :PAnd in the interests of design we’ll place all this in an iframe where people can scroll down and opt OUT of what they don’t want…*shrug* It’ll be Users Vs. Real all over again..———All that said, I’m happy to see that MM is making the effort to address this issue. This is a definite improvement, but unacceptable. All users who do find this acceptable should realise that this should be nipped in the bud, before it becomes the defacto standard.This should really not be a tough decision for MM..

  17. Duncan says:

    Hi Mike,If my mother ended up on this page i think she’d ask me where she needed to click in order to download the flash player, as at first glance it looks like only the yahoo toolbar is available for download as there’s no install button by the flash player copy and MM logo, checked or unchecked it looks the same. It would make more sense to keep the split pane as is, flash on top and y! on bottom with an install button for each. Jeez, now i sound like the clients i do work for! Then again i’m not sure if there has to be some sort of opt-in / out feature as per the agreement with yahoo. Anyway nice to see your back…

  18. Mike M says:

    How about 2 buttons:Install Flash player with Yahoo toolbarInstall Flash player without Yahoo toolbarNo opting in or out neccessary.Personally I think it stinks it’s still an opt out, that’s the real issue here – not whether the page is clear or not. Obviously that’s what Yahoo has stipulated in it’s contract and now MM are tied to that. If that’s the case fessing up and just saying – ‘sorry guys we signed a contract can’t change that bit now.’ Would probably go down a lot better than a lot of BS about this being in the long term interests of the flash player.

  19. Liam says:

    You’ve updated the design only for the english version. could you do it for other langauges as well

  20. Frank B says:

    I have to agree with many of the comments above Mike – I personally feel this is a sell out – I would have expected this sort of thing from Microsoft and not Macromedia. I have held MM in high standard for as long as I have been using their products (Since 1993), but this has been a dent in my eyes. How many people have got websites or cd roms with links directly to this page stating along the lines – Click here to go to MM to download the latest Flash player? Ignoring the MM flash button – just links?? To compound the problem, the ‘optional’ toolbar is opt out! πŸ™ How much worse can it be! You say it is not a part of the flash player, in a programmatical sense this is true, but for Joe Public end user who just points and clicks, they may as well be.All of the reasons you gave for reason why it is a good idea are great for MM and Yahoo (Or Yahoo! as it seems you are obliged to call them) but what about the important people? Us?? Sorry Mike, it seems that MM and Yahoo are just cashing in on the fact that Flash is so widely known and accepted that people are just used to clicking Download! and accepting what they see as face value. A bank gives you opt outs and small prints – not a friend.

  21. paddy says:

    Macromedia Flash Player and Yahoo Toolbar just don’t mix.customer: ‘expresso to go please’, assistant:’would you like a FREE spoon of peanut butter in that?’2 things I love – but not togetherOut of curiousity would people prefer if it was the google tool bar?

  22. Peter Witham says:

    All I ask is that you don’t let the powers that be let Flash head down the path they took Director and spend all this time making a great product to then let them screw it all up and shifty focus to something else. I spent to long being convinced to switch from Director to Flash to have it all happen again :)Why is this relevant? Because it’s almost impossible to get my corporate clients to install the shockwave player now.Keep pushing forward Mike!

  23. Google is heavily using JavaScript for numerous services (Gmail, Maps).Maybe Yahoo! want to depend on the Flash player instead of JavaScript to provide a better experience in the long term.

  24. Casey Jones says:

    I’m sure the fact that Yahoo has announced a new mobile gaming studio has a lot to do with it. a search for a lot more articles.You can imagine Yahoo saying …we’re going to use our weight to push the penetration of the flash/flash lite plugin into the mobile market, now, what can you do for us?…I’m sure the Director plugin addition was just a throw-in from MM.Casey

  25. Greg Fuller says:

    Just putting in my vote for opt-in. I will still be a little uncomfortable even with opt-in, but it would be a big improvement.

  26. jvc says:

    This just throws a lot of confusion that is just not worth the money. Is Flash a Yahoo! product? Is Flash just for serving ads? Does it contain spyware? Flash is a good enough technology by itself – leave it alone.

  27. Rob Warren says:

    Well, it is amazing how quickly holy writ can change. I cannot count the times MM has said that features were not included in the Flash player because of size considerations. The small footprint was always the driving factor. Now the download has nearly doubled in size.Perhaps the only thing more surprising would be if the Pope started endorsing birth control.This might, however, be a good sign. It just might mean that the absence of certain features can no longer be blamed on size of the player footprint. Then again, it might not….

  28. mike chambers says:

    >All of the reasons you gave for reason why it is a good idea are great for MM and Yahoo (Or Yahoo! as it seems you are obliged to call them) but what about the important people? Us?Yes, this is a difficult part because this is only the first part of a much larger relationship, and I can’t talk about stuff we haven’t announced yet. I tried to give a feel for the situation in my post, but apparently did not do a good job. So, instead of talking about what we havent announced yet, or about why we think the relationship will have a direct and significant impact on both current and future Flash player pentration rate growth, I’ll focus only on the very tangible.We are investing an enourmous amount of time and resources to try to take the Flash Player to the next level as an application and content platform. Indeed, as I mentioned above, we have already invested more resources in the next version of the Flash player (maelstrom) than any other previous version of the player.However, taking the Flash player to the next level, especially as an application platform, requires an entire ecosystem of products, solutions and resources. We already have some of the products and solutions (Flash Authoring, Flex, etc..), but also have some gaps that we have to fill if the Flash platform is going to go to the next level. Revenue from the Yahoo deal is directly funding these initiatives and products (both announced and unannounced).How does this directly affect you? Well, for one, creating a solid platform, with an ecosystem of products that makes it easy to develop and deploy applications and content ensures that Flash is going to be able to continue to lead in a space where there are a lot of competitors on the horizon. What does that actually mean? We are investing the resources both in the player and products to ensure that the Flash platform can compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.However, and I can’t emphasize this enough:this offer is only one of the first visible signs of the relationship, and thus we have had to be vague on the other aspects of the relationship as they have not yet been announced.We would not have done this if we were not confident that it wasn’t going to ultimately benefit the entire Flash ecosystem (which includes the Player, products and designers and developers).mike

  29. David Martin says:

    Enough. You (Macromedia) have the option to make it an opt out or an opt in. Whats it going to be? Your redesign is not the solution we can settle with.

  30. mike chambers says:

    >You’ve updated the design only for the english version. could you do it for other langauges as wellYes. We are working on that right now. We are putting the pages up as soon as they are ready (English was first).mike

  31. Sean Christmann says:

    Mike, I think one of the larger concerns here is the expectations of how you’re going to handle this down the road, If we give you an inch now, are you going to take a mile?Yahoo toolbar is currently in beta for firefox, and afterall, firefox users only make up…what 7% maybe of your users, so if you add this onto the firefox download page in a couple months are you going to be repeating the same lines of, “Well this new addition only affects 7% of the market which represent internet savvy users who know how to opt-out of deals, I don’t see what the the big deal is.”

  32. Josh says:

    I am willing to withhold judgement on the yahoo/mm partnership in general, pending future announcements (though I must admit that I am sceptical), but PLEASEDO NOT FORCE ME TO OPT OUT OF DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING THE [ed: STUPID] YAHOO TOOLBAR!!!The flash player download is a de-facto requirement for lots of webbish activities and an important extension of browser functionality. The Yahoo Toolbar is not, and to bundle/pair/associate one with the other will inevitably contribute to the diminution of the strength of the flash brand, at least in my eyes.This move will confuse unsavvy people, and will irritate us more savvy folks. a bad one-two punch from mm…Okay, I just previewed this post; my goal is not to sound like a jerk. I just cannot stress how irritated I was when I resintalled firefox and went to grab the Flash player, and was presented with an opt-out for an unrelated feature. It just rubs me the wrong way.

  33. mike chambers says:

    >I just cannot stress how irritated I was when I resintalled firefox and went to grab the Flash player, and was presented with an opt-out for an unrelated feature.The offer is only avaliable if you are using Internet Explorer. Are you sure you were using Firefox?If so, that is a bug we need to fix.mike

  34. Duffy says:

    MikeIs Macromedia choosing to switch to “opt in” an option here?Please charify.ThanksPS I vote for opt in over opt out any day.

  35. Mick says:

    Don’t get anything in firefox anymore and I use a yahoo accountDownloaded in IE and to my horror got the yahoo bar (even though I use Yahoo)Sure that Yahoo are going to drive through and promote amazing Flash innovations but the people I deal with who want to stop flash are going to have a field day with this!

  36. John says:

    O man.. I’ve been wondering about this, for the past month or so… i cleaned my fairly new laptop a 2-3 weeks ago, noticed i needed to download flash again, and did so, and without knowing that Flash installed a Yahoo Toolbar into my IE nor did I notice that it was preselected to download it, nor was I prompted to download it, I already get enough spam as it is, and my IE is already messed up on this semi-new laptop, so I don’t even bother with IE as it is.So the bottomline is, for the fact that I didn’t even know I download it, I was quite disappointed, know that I know the details of it, I feel a bit better.But Im more worried about the fact that this came from MM originally, and I love you guys, but this sort of toolbar spam is not good. But hey, I love the idea that the revenue & general muli-faceted deal can help Flash grow & be more invested into, Im all for it, I’m just worried that MM might be looked at, as a advertiser/promoter for these already well-known mega sites.

  37. Larry says:

    Anything for a buck, huh?

  38. Sekati says:

    The thing is opt-out is used solely for the added benefit that it suckers people who don’t pay attention or know any better into accidental installs. and if the product is _good_ in both usefulness and spirit you don’t need to trick people into installing it.It also encourages naive users innate distrust in new technology. This alone reflects poorly on MM (which is a trade off for them), but also for the designers/developers/clients who make the platform what it is: and for whom there is no payoff. From our perspective this is nothing but a threat to our livelihoods.I also think it is a really poor “damage control” approach to hide behind the “its a separate process” argument: we are all smart people here, and knowing what we know about the opt-out philosophy we know that whether the installer executable triggers the toolbar installer or if they are packaged as the same binary is nothing but cosmetic.Additionally, while I will admit I surely do not understand the corporate pressures that may have forced MM into this partnership (and while strategic alliances may be sometimes necessary evils to survive) I just cannot accept the “yahoo helps our adoption rate” argument. Flash player is the most adopted plugin in history: it has no adoption issue AFAIK. Flash is installed on most every OS for several versions (except for linux folk who know what they want and mostly what they are doing). So why try to pass the partnership off as “helping adoption”? Why not just say “we need this to stay in front”? In the end we all know the adoption rate helped by a vast majority is the y! toolbar, and mostly via accidental install: if a person is already using yahoo its hard for them not to get this offer every time they use the site: and they’d have installed it by now if they really wanted it.All that said, I _highly_ appreciate the frankness of this post: I like seeing someone just come out and say what we all know: “we kinda beefed up here”. But it still worries me as it threatens my ability to sell your technology as a viable/respectable one which my clients can trust and I can be proud of – and I just dont like things that make me worry about my future.

  39. pGwtech says:

    I became a Flash developer because it enabled me to create and publish my creative works in a way no other technology provided. Creative works that I can easily stand behind and present to others proudly. I became a Flash developer so I could rely on my own skills, create my own unique product offerings and never have to sell something I didn’t believe in – but, now I find myself in such a compromising position. You made your entire community of Flash Developers stand behind an affiliation we did not choose.We have selected the Macromedia Flash technology to stand-behind, to promote, to champion to the world.We did not choose the Yahoo toolbar with Flash.I highly recommend that you make it an opt-in offer.

  40. Karl says:

    I think all the critics of Flash cracked open the champagne when they heard about this toolbar deal.It is us developers and designers who defend mm and Flash out there and you just made our job impossible imho.BTW if the Yahoo Toolbar is so good why not let people opt in for it, I am sure they will if they really want it.Karl

  41. chall3ng3r says:

    great to hear from you after a long time mike πŸ˜€

  42. David Miller says:

    I buy a new car, say a Land Rover Discovery, pay $35,000 for it. But in order to actually drive it, I have to display advertising that will affect the cars performance. Not graphics on the door, but one of those taxi billboards that sits on the roof and plugs into my cigarette lighter!Of course, I can always tell the dealer “no thanks” and check the appropriate paperwork. But that is an added hassle that I am paying for? hmm . . .

  43. John says:

    Macromedia is great, but they aren’t perfect, so you have to give the credit that they’ve been open about this problem, and want feedback, I just wanted to add some more points to help solve this problem, or look at it from other points of view.What ever happened to Macromedia saying, “We won’t increase the size of the Flash player for fear of losing downloads, then turn around and include a 3rd party download as part of the bundle?” ouch guys. And I found another problem with this bundling idea, you guys will be putting a HUGE dent in your corporate flash arena, you know how many IT guys & depts have had to put soo much time into convincing their corp or client to use flash in the first place (which had no ad-ware), and then you bundle third-party ware, after you say you wouldn’t. Not only that, but what about the clients that are in competiton or have rules not allowing, adware to be installed on their corporate networks ? You really think they’ll keep on using flash when they have to see the Yahoo! ad everytime someone installs flash in IE lol, talk about mass spam-ware distrubution, u guys are making reg spammers look good :DI think the biggest mistake that MM did with this, was that there was no community input, nor testing or research, I think this whole thing could’ve been avoided, at no loss to Macromedia’s brand creditability before any harm was done, sadly this hasn’t happened, and now you guys have a big PR messup on your hands, so which is it ? Yahoo! ads for all, or a happy developer & client community.. Or have yahoo bundling, at the benefit MM gets cash or distrubution rights, but at the cost of almost 80% of flash clients & developers having to see this adware crap.

  44. Bazard says:

    For my concern, I worry about one thing, it is that you have chosen Yahoo! and not MSN. So we will be going into a new Web Battle.I know you are having a big time as Microsoft refuses to install Flash Player 7 in Windows XP as default, as flash player 7 can autoupgrade by itself, once it is installed, Microsoft can’t prevent the update.They also give you big troubles with SP2 and the activeX bar for enabling flash content.So as now both Yahoo! and MSN want to tackle google, they try to take as much as space in this battlefield to target the larger audience.Flash 7 looks more and more like visual basic and I think it is the reason why Microsoft freaks out. So maybe they have in their plan to make a new Visual Basic to be a Flash like, like Adobe tried to do. They can install their own player and they can force the installation for each OS update (which happens every month, with their security patch) and so they can have 90-95% of internet users ready to use their technology.If they can provide a .swf export then i am sure they will get the attention of lots of people in the flash community.I am only speculating anyway, because i really don’t see why you have chosen Yahoo!, you can still create a new technology content with them using flash player 8, but I would be really surprised if Microsoft doesn’t react. So did you really choose the right partner ? in short term you can get some benefits but in long terms ? does flash and yahoo will be linked for ever ? you should focus in providing only technology, as soon as you team with advertiser, your role have changed.For the future i also guess now you are tied with them, and by being paranoid maybe in Yahoo! managing heads they probably also thought about charging a super performing flash player and make it free ONLY if you download Yahoo!… wow thanks Yahoo! :PWell that was just my reflection… by the way, in buying Flash MX 8, will we be prompted or forced to install yahoo tool bar ???In that case then I can’t wait to get a free AS2 compiler to avoid using your products. At least I will be able to control what I install and use on my computer.

  45. easto says:

    I agree with d in the first post that it should not be preselected by default people that don’t know might think that they need it when they don’t.

  46. Russ says:

    just one more reason I feel good using firefox…

  47. Alex123 says:

    Mike,Some of us were able to read between the lines in your initial post. Sounds very exciting, and I (we) truely hope the relationship with a search engine will propel the Flash platform and content. I can only trust that Macromedia is monitoring the download/bundling situation closely.Thanks for the clarification. Hope more is to follow. Godspeed.

  48. I, for one, understand the importance of additional revenue streams, as I’m sure many others do. If doing this enabled Macromedia to create better software, which will enable the des/dev community to create richer applications, then great.Fixing the page is good. As long as it’s apparent to the user that it’s optional, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  49. Paul B says:

    As a business owner I can understand the reasons why Macromedia have undertaken this deal with Yahoo!. A company can not continue to grow without partner support and this is something Yahoo! has a chance to offer us.The interesting thing when reading these comments is that these complaints derive from developers themselves, not the end client or their users. Why is it that we complain within the industry, get all hysterical, when the likely impact of this on our clients is little to none!I run a rather large Web Development company specialising in RIA apps. Not once have I had a complaint or lost a deal because of the OPTION to download the Yahoo! toolbar. Why? Our clients simply aren’t worried about it and neither are their end users. If your worried about that they might be, why not prompt the install from your site not MM?If this deal with Yahoo! is going to provide Macromedia with the means to do greater things with Flash and the Flash Player, as Mike has stated above, then I am all for it. After all that’s how I derive my income and am able to employ other developers who do also.I for one can’t wait for the release of 8 ball… Thanks Mike for the work your doing at MM to make my life easier!

  50. Philippe says:

    When will the page be redesigned for the foreign languages too?

  51. aardvark says:

    Mmmm. I think we’ll be seeing the open-source community begin developing a replacement for Flash very soon. This is intolerable. The pricing has become intolerable. The OBVIOUS greed and monopolistic practice has become intolerable. I do not believe we can avoid building an open-source replacement. See Firefox. See ?

  52. aardvark says:

    Mmmm. I think we’ll be seeing the open-source community begin developing a replacement for Flash very soon. This is intolerable. The pricing has become intolerable. The OBVIOUS greed and monopolistic practice has become intolerable. I do not believe we can avoid building an open-source replacement. See Firefox. See ?

  53. Seb Hughes says:

    By doing this you only make one customer happy and that is yahoo and the other milliosn of flash user very unhappy. Was it REALLY worth making millions of customers unhappy jsut for 1 customer

  54. dan mode says:

    see my reply in the Flash NG or here on my blog: Macromedia Flash Player and Yahoo! Toolbar

  55. aardvark says:

    O, by the way, this is NOT Macromedia’s first “sell out” For those not so technically curious… Macromedia has a cross domain policy with USAToday. Now, what that means, is that Macromedia can (and there is not convincing reason they could give that they do not) collect information about Flash users, and correlate that same information with the privacy invasion tactics they now have in the splash screen of the IDE. Believe me, it is a mountain of invasive data they are gathering. They can tell every time you launch the IDE, and when you close it down. AND, I know for a fact that they DO monitor it. I’ll spare the details, but the point is… WE as a community need to realize that not all software developers are pure of mind. Some, and Macromedia is proving this with their actions, have been corrupted by greed and no longer have morals. The idea has become with those developers… “if we can do it, we should do it” Bah, humbug.

  56. Seb Hughes says:

    Aardvark in what you said , on the macromedia website they have trust logo saying they dont send any of your infomation to 3rd partys, so they lied ay :@

  57. aardvark says:

    I had not noticed that. I made the discovery while studying their site’s source code. They do some cool and efficient things, but sharing and/or gathering user data isn’t too cool. So, I guess they do fib.The unintended consequences are enormous… wait, no, they didn’t accidently create a cross domain policy with USAToday, that was done on purpose.Anyhow, I’m not too much of a privacy advocate, but I’ve begun to see an emerging pattern lately. Plus, it is getting expensive and annoying trying to preserve some semblance of privacy. What worsens the situation, is we technically savy are weak and few (or already corrupted). Most consumers are just ignorant or crazily don’t care… but they sure gripe about being innundated by spam, junk-mail, and identity theft.*These companies are making googles of money by profiling, selling and reselling user data. 2) *With thick sarcasm I ask “How cool is that they can tell everytime you launch Flash?”*Think about the information one can extrapolate from these mere http requests coupled with identifiers from high traffic portals like USAToday and YAHOO, wooooo hooo, man, that is indeed worth millions.*The pattern or excuse is that “Everybody is doing it” All the [men] profiting from such tactics have rationlized that it is ok to peek over your shoulder all day, jot down notes about you and then take it to the market Is it?… jeesh, I’m ranting, but it really pinches a nerve. I guess I’m just a bit “old school” I remember when it was illegal for companies and indivduals to “tap” your line. The tactics companies take now, go far beyond mere taps and our lawmakers are so “old school” they just can’t keep up.*Is such really required to turn a profit, to make a quality product?*Finally, think like a typical non-tech consumer… imagine allowing an electrician into your home to install some things your aren’t savy enough about to OPT OUT of, so he installs a hidden video camera, a microphone, etc. That is exactly what is going on here. Read the ultra fine print, and between the lines πŸ˜‰

  58. Will says:

    Add this to the ever growing list or reasons why I really don’t like using Flash anymore.And to think, I used to defend it…

  59. mike chambers says:

    Let’s be clear – we do NOT “collect information about Flash users.” We are an eTrust compliant and verified company and abide by the requirements required for this certification.You can find more information on this, as well as Macromedia’s privacy policy here:>and correlate that same information with the privacy invasion tactics they now have in the splash screen of the IDE.I am not sure what you are referring to here. The start screen in the Flash IDE does dynamically load SWFs from our web server, and that http request (like every other one) is logged in the web server logs.However, we don’t track Flash IDE usage, and there is no way for us to associate that http request with individual users (or even individual copies of Flash).If you are concerned about our web server logs, then you can disable the Start panel by clicking the check box in the panel.We do not track Flash IDE usage.As for the crossdomain.xml file reference, we’re doing demo and development work for some soap-based webservices and will need to tweak that file from time-to-time for testing.mike

  60. mike chambers says:

    >When will the page be redesigned for the foreign languages too?It should be updated for non-english pages now.Sorry for the delay.mike

  61. aardvark says:

    “there is no way for us to associate that http request with individual users” Then I must be mistaken. See my experience was, that I installed Flash IDE on my home system first after I purchased it. And later, after verifying EULA AND actually wasting the time to call and ask a Macromedia rep, I installed Flash IDE in compliance with the agreement on my office computer. Months went by and a freak surge fried my home computer’s primary harddrive, processor, mobo, and a stick of RAM. So, of course I was unable to “transfer my license” BUT, when I finished rebuilding everything, I was able to successfully install Flash with no hassle from the activation. HOWEVER, when I returned to work and started up my system and Flash, after working in Flash for about 1-2 minutes, it de-activated itself and alerted me that it needed to be re-activated for verification or something along those lines. Well, that was just weird, but I didn’t think much about it. So, I did what it said. And forgot about it, till I got home and continued my work from there. About 2 minutes into my work, the same freaky message came up and Flash shutdown, requiring re-activation. Now, I gave it some serious thought. I believe what occurred was the activation system was programmed to do just what it did. Now, I’ll admit, that I was already keyed up for this conclusion, because Altova’s XMLSpy did the very same thing. Their little message was a bit ruder than Macromedia’s though, it actually threatened lawsuit and accused me of using an illegal copy. Still, what a strange set of coincidences. Why else would software, which had been running just dandy on my office computer de-activate. What your saying, when you say you don’t track Flash IDE usage, is that you subsequently CANNOT de-activate what you believe to be pirated copies (even if obviously in my case was an error). Is this true?

  62. aardvark says:

    Let me re-phrase that last question to be clear. Can Macromedia de-activate Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Pro/Standard?

  63. Unreality says:

    Most ppl don’t like the included yahoo toolbar option.Most customers don’t like itIt pleased no one except macromedia & yahoo.That’s all.

  64. aardvark says:

    Unreality, I agree. Looks like many people agree. And because I am often called upon by friends and relatives to clean up the S#!^ left behind by unwanted applications that they have inadvertently installed because they thought they needed to or were tricked into; I can say that I can’t think of one person that says they do like such. I believe most people like to be informed about new softwares, but to opt them into installing something… well, it is a play on their ignorance. Not to be offensive of their ignorance, but it is well known by us professionals that MOST people just aren’t savy enough to know how to make good decisions about whether they will really benefit from particular applications. NO application is free, and most folks don’t recognize where the cost lies. I’m constantly having to remind my father-in-law of this especially. He is excited by EVERY “free” application offered, and every 3-4 months he brings his system to me to clean it up because it is running like S#!^. It’s pretty interesting to quarantine his system and filter through the traffic it generates merely on start-up. Let me jump back to my previous state “No application is free” Yahoo makes money from advertisements. Their toolbar MUST facilitate that in some way, greater than what their main portal does. Macromedia used to make their money by selling the tools to enable developers. Obviously, their business plan is changing… not sure where to go with that thought, but I perhaps it is something to think about. O, I’m still wishing for a response to “Can Macromedia de-activate Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Pro/Standard?”

  65. James Rowley says:

    I just think it should be an Opt-In, not an Opt-Out option.

  66. aardvark says:

    I would really like an honest response to “Can Macromedia de-activate Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Pro/Standard?” My colleague and I have a little wager on this. It is pretty obvious that your statement of “However, we don’t track Flash IDE usage, and there is no way for us to associate that http request with individual users (or even individual copies of Flash)” and my experience cannot be mutually exclusive. If my experience and conclusion is inaccurate, then I am curious about how and why two installations of Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Pro would de-activate within the same day. If your statement is inaccurate… well, I merely think that it should be clarified because people should be aware.

  67. Anthony says:

    The funny thing is….at this point in time… is safe to say, “Yahoo needs Macromedia more than Macromedia needs Yahoo”. They must have paid real good money to attatch their name to the Flash Brand. Fact of the matter is Macromedia has a pioneer product and has forever changed the way we interact with the internet these days.Macromedia? Don’t be a sellout in the future. They need you more than you need them. Also, don’t give in to greed….cause once it starts….it’s hard to stop. DON’T LET IT COMSUME YOUR MIND.

  68. DannyT says:

    Offering things is fine, but opt-out IS ethically wrong. The default is still to install Yahoo! toolbar.People do not go there to get a Yahoo! toolbar, they go to get a flash player, thanks for the offer, if it looks good i’ll take it, but DONT make my mind up for me please.

  69. Mike D says:

    I’ve just lost a big chunk of work cos a corporate client now won’t use any flash because they don’t want to risk having their site associated with any rubbish toolbar.I’m also beginning to get a trickle of negative feedback from users of other flash sites that I’ve done that are seeing this nonsense install.When 8ball comes out, there’s going to be an avalanche of very angry noobs out there that have accidentally been toolbarred and will let the world know about it.. there will never be a better opportunity for the inferior svg to progress. *sigh*

  70. aardvark says:

    I’m switching to Java. Not just because of this stupid stunt, but because of the rising cost of Flash and because I believe Macromedia’s morals are slipping. It seems that they are indeed spying on Flash IDE users. I posed questions, a few post above about this in hopes that Mike would clarify the situation. It seems he has lost interest in a damned hot topic… very funny.Anyhow, point is, they can’t employ a protection activation scheme that allows them to de-activate users installation and NOT be spying on their customers daily activity with the Flash IDE. So… since Mike clammed up when I spoke of my experience… I can assume he either is ignoring this hot topic (very unlikely) and hasn’t seen the question or ignoring the question because he can’t provide an honest answer without disclosing something about their activation scheme that Macromedia doesn’t want the general public to be aware of.So, bottom line. I’m switching to Java because I think these things are really starting to add up to equal “suck”.

  71. We are extremely displeased with the decision to default the download of the Yahoo! Toolbar with the Flash Player @ the download center. This makes it even more difficult to defend Macromedia products to our IT Department. They would love to ban the player. You are putting us in a tough situation.

  72. aardvark says:

    Yo Mike! I’m sorry, but I just can’t let this go. I really need to know. Did Macromedia de-activate two installations of Flash or not? If so, then your statements that Macromedia does not monitor Flash IDE usage are incorrect. Just learned something new today also, that is a applicable. “The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 law most recently amended in 2001, makes it a crime to access a computer without authorization.” This seems to indicate that executing remote procedure calls, even to protect software with activation schemes is illegal. Regardless of that law… I merely want to know. Is that what happened or not? It may seem this thread digresses from the topic, indeed, it does NOT. This association between two corporate entities involves sharing distribution channels (yahoooo toolbar) and data. And if Macromedia is gather or using any usage data for ANY purposes WE cannot assume to know with certainty that data isn’t being shared also.

  73. chloe says:

    I do not recommend flash to people any more.I do not want to be associate with this.

  74. mike says:

    If you don’t have express written permision from the websites you are installing 3rd party adware/spyware from then you are acting illegally and are liable to damages from every website you do your backdoor installs from and all loss of value of flash and shockware software that has been previously developed.When a website plays a flash movie or shockwave movie but has never licensed the software or installer from macromedia but has licensed it from a developer Macromedia has no legal right to install any software including automated upgrades of their installer or players or 3rd party adware like yahoo toolbar.What is next? Yahoo support freeze adware installs? Claria installs? Spyware installs? Bog brother installs? Porn installs? Once you open the box you can’t go back.You have pumped your company value to sell to Adobe so let this stop now or face a massive class action by lawyers already considering operating on a big contigency win. They are looking at this now and making preparations. Actually I wasn’t supposed to disclose that. They will do damage to Adobe and Yahoo on this one. Every internet user and publisher will be claiming.

  75. mike chambers says:

    Im sorry, but we don’t install any software without the users permission.If you go to to download the Flash Player, you MAY be offered to also download the Yahoo Toolbar. However, it is up to the user whether or not either the player or toolbar are isntalled.mike

  76. Dan M says:

    Mike,Can you address the opt-in/opt-out issue simply and directly? This is the crux of the problem with the Yahoo toolbar. This is also a fork in the road for Macromedia. What kind of company will Macromedia be?

  77. Hacket Tobitts says:

    Funny, I was just installing Reader on a new PC and I have to say the opt-in has always bugged me. So much in fact that it made me do a search., while I wait for it to finish downloading, to see if I was alone. Surprise! I guess I’m not.The 1st times I installed it after it was made available; it installed the Toolbar without me noticing! Why? Well when you got to the site, the option to click download comes up much faster then the option to ‘opt-out’. The page itself looked complete but sure enough on going back to it to see what I missed, 15 seconds later, ‘pop’, up came the 2 options to ‘opt-out’.As for the making it ‘opt-in’ vs. ‘opt-out’, I think it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t going to change as Mike never addressed one of the several posts regarding that.I guess this bugs me so much that I’m taking the time to make this post on an ancient thread to make myself heard.Hacket