As a computer user (and an IT professional) it never ceases to bother me when I go to download a piece of software that insists on trying to trick me into installing “bloatware”, “crapware”, “adware”, etc.
In fact it doesn’t really matter what the “other” software is – I didn’t ask for it and I most certainly do not want it (no matter what it is!).
The worst part is that this majorly affects my impression of your brand! Take this example case of Adobe Flash… for reasons I don’t quite understand this software needs to be updated constantly but even though it includes its own networking capabilities it insists on re-directing you to its website to be downloaded at which point you can download it by clicking the great big button but if you do you’ve inadvertently agreed to let Adobe bundle a 3rd party application install. So every time you go to download an update you have to manually refuse to install other apps with it.
I have nothing personal against “McAfee” in this case but Adobe is losing my respect by trying to force apps on unsuspecting users. Its a shady practice and is tarnishing Adobe’s reputation.
If you work for a software company that is tempted to offset the hosting costs of your downloadable apps by installing tag-along software – seriously consider the ramifications. IMHO it is just not worth the long term negative impact it will have to your company’s public image.