shockwave player bundles more third party add-ons

Macromedia have announced an update to the Shockwave Player the Shockwave Player installer and apparently the only change to this version is the addition of something called the WeatherBug desktop weather application. According to this technote WeatherBug will only be offered to U.S. customers who also have the Yahoo Toolbar installed. You may recall that the Yahoo Toolbar is also offered as part of the Shockwave player installation.

I haven’t developed any web based Director pieces for 5 (or more) years so don’t know why this chafes me. Perhaps it’s that I worry a little that Macromedia will pull something similar with the Authorware web player (though I have my doubts). Macromedia seem to offer two basic explanations for this move saying that it is a part of their commitment to provide great services and user experiences to our customers as well as it being an effort to increase the visibility and resources dedicated to Shockwave Player.

I was curious about how the part about making the WeatherBug available to U.S. customers would go so I installed the Shockwave 10.1 player in IE and permitted it to install the Yahoo Toolbar. Next I uninstalled Shockwave and then ran the installer again. Sure enough I was presented with a “Macromedia and WeatherBug are pleased to offer the #1 desktop weather software” dialog. Not exactly what I was expecting as I would not consider myself a U.S. customer (in fact some of my Canadian compatriots are rather vocal about that). Still curious I left the Install WeatherBug box checked and moved to the next screen which prompted for a U.S. zip code and required a valid one to continue. I backed out.

Anyhow, I’m still curious if the zip code entry screen is the sole method for recognizing U.S. customers or if there is some more sophisticated “localization” detection going on behind the scenes. Anyone have a different experience? Also, my mind’s still open and I would be interested in hearing a bit more about the benefits of these promotions.

I first picked this up from Macromedia’s Tom Higgins.

Update: It seems the installer identifies U.S. users by the computer’s regional settings. I modified the setting and was able to reinstall without the WeatherBug offer.

3 Responses

  1. MacroMan says:

    February 18, 2005 at 10:13 am

    Hi Andrew,
    Don’t worry: just another MM bad move and nothing more.
    They’re not able to improve the shockwave player.
    They can’t reborn the agreements with Intel and Havok.
    They need Yahoo toolbar and WeatherBug(s) …
    very sad.

  2. andrew says:

    February 18, 2005 at 6:22 pm

    That’s what I don’t get MacroMan. Why do they need the added promotions in the installer? Is it simply a matter of economics?

  3. andrew lucking - software developer, amateur boatbuilder, bon vivant says:

    March 13, 2005 at 6:51 pm

    [...] that the WeatherBug will no longer be offered with the Shockwave Player installer. I had a thought about this last month when the installer first started including [...]

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