I needed to read some PDFs on the Windows XP I use at work for testing. (Fortunately it is not my primary workstation.) So I go to the Adobe site and click on the "download Acrobat reader" link. And I was reminded yet again about the Windows user experience, and some of the many reasons I don't like it. How do people put up with this crap...?
Having clicked on the link to download Acrobat Reader, it downloaded a 6.8MB installer, which didn't take too long, and was a reasonable size for a viewer. But when I double-click to run the installer, it turns out that it is some download manager utility, and not the Acrobat program at all. It then proceeds to download a further 28Mb of stuff. Finally, when it has finished downloading and starts the installer, it comes up not with Acrobat but with a Yahoo Toolbar installer!
I never intended to download a "Yahoo Toolbar", I never asked for it, and there was no warning it was going to happen. I have been duped! And I'm sure that many unsuspecting users would simply click "Next" without reading just what it was they were installing - or what kinds of insidious EULAs they were agreeing to. I cancel it, expecting the real Acrobat installed to finally come up.
But - no. Then it comes up with a "Photoshop Album Starter Edition", whatever that is. I certainly never asked for it, and I didn't want to download the 6.8Mb for that either. I click Cancel, and after some nagging, this unwanted intruder goes away.
Finally, Acrobat itself gets installed. So now I finally have Acrobat Reader - yay. And it is taking up 96.6MB on my hard drive. For a viewer, fer crying out loud! Can you say "bloatware"?
To compare, the free/open xpdf utility for X/Unix systems, is only 1.6Mb. And on the Mac, the Preview tool is 3.0Mb. (This doesn't include system libraries already installed of course.)
Is it normal for Windows users to be hijacked like this? To be hoodwinked into installing extra toolbars, gizmos, useless junk to clutter up your systray? It's no wonder people end up with so much crap installed. I am certainly surprised that a large and reputable vendor such as Adobe would resort to treating their users in this way.
Is this the experience you want as a user? Or would you like a little respect?
Okay, breathe slowly... I think I'm calm now...