Thread: OpenCandy
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Old 12. Apr 2011, 11:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
Super Simple
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11

Originally Posted by mr6n8 View Post
I do not view the position of Gizmo's as an attack. If it were an "attack", then products with OC would have been banned. Gizmo's article on OC is clear that there is no evidence that OC is malicious.

We have visitors with varying levels of experience in software and to be responsible to the less informed, it is necessary to advise of any extraneous addons that are not necessary to the functioning of a product.

Many of the less experienced users are under the impression that these additional softwares are necessary to the product they intended to download.

Which is my concern with OC, toolbars etc.-Essentially they prey on the "weak"
Weak being those less experienced users.

Why is the OC process mandatory during install?
Why not a screen giving the user the option-explaining the needs of the developer of the software and the fact that the software suggested by OC is not necessary to use the underlying software.

Why isn't it clearer on the suggested software page that the suggested software is not necessary for the underlying software to function?
I have not received an OC suggestion, but from the images I have seen of the suggestions, there is no such disclaimer.

Why is there an "opt out" process with OC?
Meaning that the user must take a step to refuse a software suggestion. It is my understanding that this is a decision of the software developer using OC.

The answer to all of those is that it is less likely that a user will download the suggested software. Which means that the inexperienced users are more likely to download the extraneous software that they may or may not need.

Edit: I do understand you defense. You have selected this as part of your install process and in that sense it is a reflection on you.
I also believe that OC is preferable to toolbars etc. Although I do not know how selective OC is in choosing the software it suggests, it appears from what I have seen that the softwares suggested are legitimate. I have not seen a listing of eligible softwares at the OC site, so I can not say for certain that this is so.

Regarding attack, that was lazy on my part. The comments section here included that. I didn't distinguish or I wasn't clear about that.

But I understand your concern about inexperienced users. That puts your position in perspective better.

A friend of mine loathes OC, and has a scathing review of it here.

She's got a list of some OC powered installers there that she updates:
  • aMSN
  • Any Video Converter
  • ApexDC++
  • aTube Catcher
  • CDBurnerXP Pro
  • CrystalDiskInfo
  • DarkWave Studio
  • Dexclock
  • Driver Sweeper
  • Duplicate Cleaner
  • DVDVideoSoft products
  • eRightSoft products,including Super
  • ExtractNow
  • FL Studio
  • Free YouTube Downloader
  • Frostwire
  • IE7Pro
  • Image Tuner
  • IZArc
  • kantaris
  • Media Info
  • MediaCoder
  • MediaInfo
  • mIRC
  • Miro
  • Office 2010 Trial Extender
  • Orbit Downloader
  • PrimoPDF
  • PSP Video
  • RedKawa
  • SIW
  • Soldat
  • Startup Manager
  • StepMania
  • Super Simple Photo Resizer << That's me
  • TechTracker
  • Trillian Astra
  • True Burner
  • Unlocker
  • Vistaglazz
  • WebShot
  • WinSCP

There are some excellent titles in there.

She and I will never agree on the topic. Meh... Y'know... Can't agree on everything.

What I don't like is that she lumps me in with spyware. I don't do that. Could I? Sure. It's not that hard to write malware. I have code in software that I've written that's a core part of a lot of malware. But, it also has many legitimate uses. If I were doing something naughty, I would have no problem being accused of it. I'm not though, so I do take issue there.

There's no way to please everyone though. My neighbour is quite proud of the fact that he's not paid a cent for any of his software, and I don't mean he's got FOSS or freeware. That's one end of the spectrum. I'm on the other end of the spectrum with enough money spent on licenses to buy a nice new car. Not a Bently, but not a Proton either.

I've spoken privately with some of the people at OpenCandy, and I honestly believe that they are out to come up with one of the best ways for developers to fund their development, and a fun, novel way to introduce new software to users.

There needs to be a balance in there somewhere. I think OC has an excellent balance. It's far in the clear for any privacy concerns. (I've posted information on that and what information is communicated in my blog post Opening Up OpenCandy.)

For inexperienced users, that's a tough issue. It seems to me that having reviewers say that OC is there is a good thing. What I'd be concerned about is labeling like my friend who I mentioned above. There's no need to be an alarmist. But communicating the facts openly can't hurt. I don't write spyware, and never will. I've been asked to do it before. I said no.

But you're bang on there saying, "it is a reflection on you."

I'm fine with people choosing not to use my software. It's not for everyone. But I don't see any need to start insulting me (it's happened - not saying that you are) for trying to make simple, easy to use, and free software available to anyone that wants it. Rather than looking a gift horse in the mouth, it's like spitting in the horse's face.

Here's a slightly different perspective...

The example on the review page here shows IZArc.

Now, I've worked in that sector, and I can tell you that the compression software market is incredibly competitive and extremely difficult. Keywords that you need to rank for are more competitive than the first few porn keywords that pop into your head. I've checked. The lossless compression market is one of the most crowded, most competitive, and least profitable out there. I know people that write compression software, and they're often 1-man-bands. WinZip's revenue shrinks every year. It's not a good market to get into. It's hard. Very hard.

IZArc has been around for quite a while, and a lot of people like it. Now, with OC, the author has a way to try and get paid for some of his work.

Scaring people away from him will hurt him.

He has nothing to fear from the truth because he's not doing anything wrong. He does have something to fear from alarmism though.

Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy View Post
Maybe my meaning wasn't that clear. I'm not hostile towards developers at all. After all, we'd be in a bit of a sorry state here without them

What I meant to convey was it isn't up to me to tell folks how they should or should not fund their efforts and then distribute it afterwards. I am though entitled to comment on the general circumstances as is everyone else. Ultimately folks like me will vote with their feet but there will always be enough of the others around to make producing this kind of software inclusion a lucrative enough business. The figures from the AV Comparatives security survey I posted in the security thread earlier demonstrate this well enough. Just because it's possible though, doesn't make it right and I think the feedback we have received so far demonstrates that adequately enough.
Got it!

Regarding this:

Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy View Post
...there will always be enough of the others around to make producing this kind of software inclusion a lucrative enough business.
I've had a number of people ask me about revenue, so I wrote An Initial Look at OpenCandy Revenue where I detail the first few days of revenue. If I may be so punny as to give you my $0.02, you'll see there that revenue is less than $0.02 per install of my software.

NOTE: That is an extremely small data set, and I can't speak to the general nature of OC or averages there. The small size of the data set makes it somewhat unreliable. It can only be taken as a single instance for what it is. i.e. Don't read into it too much.

But, for the sake of conjecture and running with it anyways...

You simply cannot purchase traffic to make that a viable business. It's far from lucrative. It's supplementary though. For mISVs though, it can be significant. For ISVs with large download volumes, that's a potentially good supplementary revenue stream.

But, for that to happen, you need to:

* Get visitors to your web site
* Get people to download
* Have downloaders install the software
* Hope that some take an offer

To put it one way, you need to get 50 people to install your software, to *almost* make $1.00! Once the taxman reaches into your pocket, well, you need 100 people!

For mISVs like myself, this can provide motivation to further develop a software title, or to develop and release more.

For larger ISVs, this can pay for development time to fix bugs or add features.

Either way, this is a net benefit for the user.

I understand that inexperienced users may become confused. I think that sites like Gizmo can help there though by providing people with good information. I hope that information, here and elsewhere, is balanced though, and presents people with objective, factual information about their available choices.

I hope that I've presented a balanced view there.
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