Hi. These are user to user forums, so you probably wont get anyone from Adobe to respond.
For what it's worth - many have been critical of this practice. You pretty much have 2 options:
- Be careful in the download that you unselect any additional software that it prompts you to include.
- Use something like Chrome which has Flash Player built in.
Sorry for the frustration. While I totally get where you're coming from, Flash Player is tremendously expensive to maintain and distribute, and we offer it to you for free. The decision about how we do the relevant cost-recovery happens way above my pay grade.
That said, most of the time it's simply that people were trying to get back to the thing they were doing when they were interrupted by the updater, and they just missed the opt-out checkbox.
I've personally researched this extensively to ensure that we're always respecting the selected choice (feel free to go back through my post history and look at the dozens of similar investigations I've worked, with zero actual failures) and am pretty confident at this point that we're doing the right thing (at least from a technical perspective). If you show me a video capture or give me a set of repro steps that is consistently broken, it would be at the top of my priority list, and I'd be more than happy to escalate it directly to the installer team and get it resolved. For better or worse, despite making that offer at least several dozen times, I've never seen a case that resulted in a bug on our side and I've spent hundreds of hours looking at it.
On the good news front, there are a couple ways that you can enjoy Flash Player without running into the bundled offers:
- Use Chrome - Flash Player is a bundled component of Chrome, so there's nothing to update or install beyond Chrome itself.
- Use Internet Explorer on Win8+ - Same deal here. Flash Player is built in to the browser, so all updates come directly from Windows Update.
Thanks for the response and alternatives. Can I uninstall Flash? Thereby getting rid of the update notifications, and what appeared to me an install of Mcafee without my permission. I can't supply you with a video of the process, so I'll take the blame for not paying VERY close attention to what was a trusted source to me. I don't necessarily want Flash stripped from my browsers by mistake, but I'm done using Flash if it means more experiences like that installer.
For anyone else wondering, you can indeed uninstall Flash and still retain it's use within Chrome. No more updates or Mcafee SneakWare! Thanks again Jeromie!
Thanks for your feedback.
I've posted a number of in-depth, thoughtful responses on the general issue of bundled offers and the distribution business over the years. I'm not going to recount them here, but feel free to look through my activity feed if you're interested. The short answer is that the distribution business is what pays the bills and allows us to offer Flash Player for free to the 1.5 billion people that currently use it.
The reality is that Adobe is a publicly traded, for-profit corporation, and Flash Player is a tremendously expensive project to develop, distribute and maintain. We have a fiduciary obligation to our shareholders to deliver value via the business, and when you get right down to it, it's the job we get paid to do.
While Adobe does sell an authoring tool for developing Flash content, the audience of people writing Flash content vs. the audience of people consuming it is different by several orders of magnitude, as are the related cost, risks and complexities. The bundled offers you see from our distribution center are an important aspect in funding what we do. That's actually happening in a different division of the company (we generate the executable bits, and they go into a pipeline where that stuff happens downstream), but regardless, the methods by which Adobe structures its business are well beyond my sphere of control. The business guys don't generally tell the engineers how to write code, and vice versa.
My personal role here on the forums is primarily as a courtesy to people that are running into problems. I take time to voluntarily visit the forums to help users like yourself. It's typically on my nights, lunches and weekends here and there (I'm actually on vacation at the moment) when I have a few minutes of downtime.
Adobe doesn't provide free support for free products, and the staff here, including myself, are spending their own time as a courtesy. It's hard to find volunteers, because while computers are frustrating, making things personal burns people out very quickly, and new volunteers quickly choose to spend their time elsewhere. I totally sympathize with their decision -- I just have pretty thick skin at this point and a support background, and I like helping people get unstuck.
Like you observed when you read my posts, there are avenues for getting Flash Player that don't include bundled offers. Those browser vendors contribute directly to supporting Flash in various ways, and business relationships between Adobe and those vendors exist that facilitate that direct distribution. For browsers where those relationships are not in play, the product is delivered with bundled offers, which ultimately makes the product free and accessible to 1.5 billion people, regardless of personal means (which is a big deal for a large swath of the Internet).
While I'd love to live in a star trek style post-scarcity meritocracy where we're all free to pursue our best selves and focus on improving the public good, that's not the reality that we live in today, nor is it the framework in which we can practically operate the business.
Until that day comes, I really enjoy being able to pay my mortgage, have good health insurance, and fantastic benefits like tuition reimbursement. My paycheck continues to clear because we pay the bills, and we pay a bunch of really talented business people and data analysts to determine that the bundled offers are the most effective model available today.
The bundled offers are useful enough to a large enough contingent of our audience that our advertisers continue to renew their contracts, which means that plenty of people enjoy and pay for the services included in the bundled offers. The fact that we're generating revenue is what allows us to continue to offer Flash, to provide for the care and feeding of a group really talented and dedicated engineers, and to invest in the long-term stability and viability of the product. It would be disingenuous of me to apologize for the practice, since it inherently offers me the opportunity to work on the product.
That said, if you don't see the value in what the Flash Player team offers, I respect that decision, and it's absolutely your prerogative. You're more than welcome to uninstall the product and opt out of the ecosystem. You always have the option to use the web without Flash, or to try out one of the available open-source alternatives, which you can find with a cursory google search.
You can find our uninstallers here:
Of course, if you decide later that Flash was providing functionality with real value and you choose to use the product again, you're welcome back any time. You can always download a fresh copy of Flash Player at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
As you also noticed from my previous post, the Flash Player deliverables included as components of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer on Windows 8 and higher, and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 are all built-in components of those products, and are not tied to Adobe's installers and uninstallers.
You *can* run the uninstaller and it will only remove the Adobe-installed instances, so your Chrome and IE/Edge on the Windows versions listed above will be unaffected. Just for completeness, we *do* publish manual removal instructions for Windows 7 and below that when executed on Win8 will profoundly mess up your IE installation, and it will be difficult to get Flash back to a working state. We provide guidance to that end in the instructions, but I still end up fixing a couple people a week.
Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts.