Updated Shockwave Player Installer Released
Check out Macromedia’s related announcement about the Shockwave player. Basically, what it means is that U.S. users installing Shockwave for the first time will now be asked if they want to install “Weather Bug” as well.
So the complete experience for most users installing Shockwave now includes installations of both the Yahoo Toolbar, Weather Bug and a huge plug for Shockwave.com.
This makes me sad and mad at the same time. After so many complaints from developers about the Shockwave.com promotion years ago, and a huge fuss over the Yahoo Toolbar last year, we now have yet another “unprofessional” element in the Shockwave installer. I know that the proceeds from these revenue streams help to fund Director development and Shockwave player promotion, but I don’t think they are worth the price.
These 3rd-party promotions in the installer hurt developers in two ways. First, potential clients are turned off from using Shockwave because their audience will be hit with these promotions. Second, and more important to me, it means that my Web publications are promoting other products without and compensation to me. If a new user comes to my site for the first time, and then gets the IE auto-install of Shockwave, they will see promotions for Shockwave.com, Yahoo Toolbar and Weather Bug. These three products don’t produce any revenue for my sites and they compete directly with the sponsors of my sites. Heck, Shockwave.com competes directly with my sites period.
Meanwhile, Flash developers pay half the price of Director for their tool and don’t have to deal with any of this. And Macromedia spends probably 10 times the effort developing and promoting Flash.
So to end this rant on a positive note, I must say that it is only because Director is such a fantastically great tool that I will continue to use it.