For some time there has been an advert for OpenOffice.org showing on the screen as the regular Java Update downloads and installs. I'm very happy about Sun advertizing for OpenOffice.org like this and its a good way to spread the message to millions and millions of computers and users all over the world.
A few days ago I got a call from a journalist (http://www.computerworld.dk/art/45636) asking me about this. He also asked me about the small icon that appears on my desktop: Get OpenOffice.org. A click on it leads me to a Sun Jave page with link to downloading.
The icon is not a shortcut to the URL but a sjortcut to a small exe-file on my computer: ..\Sun\OpenOffice.org Installer 1.0\ooostub.exe. My first reaction was, that this will lead a lot of new users to the download site. I think its important that we (and Sun) uses this opportunity to spread the word, but I'm actually not happy that Sun is installing executables on my computer without my knowledge.
On the other hand... We know that our competitors are using much more tricky and much less honest marketing methods. One of the most frequent asked questions is this:
I bought a new computer with Microsoft Office 2007 preinstalled. Now 30 (or 60) days later, it doesn't work anymore. Hos can I edit my documents?If we want to keep up with this, we must learn to be more agressive in marketing. But I don't think its a good thing to install executable code on computers without the users permission.