Yahoo and Oracle have signed a new a new deal that will encourage users to set Yahoo as their default search engine when they install Java updates. During the update install process, users will see a screen that encourages them to “Get the best of the Web with Yahoo.” By default, the box will already be checked, and if users do not take any action, the install process will switch the default search engine for the browser to Yahoo.
Because 89 percent of PCs in the U.S. run Java, the move could potentially boost Yahoo Search usage dramatically. However, many developers and industry observers are criticizing the move and warning that it may backfire on Oracle and Yahoo. Harvard University business professor Ben Edelman called the practice “despicable” and said, “If we make security updates into marketing opportunities, consumers will rightly and reasonably ignore or defer updates and then we’ll all be faced with less secure computers.”