Joho the Blog » Real defaults: A letter to Rob Glaser
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Real defaults: A letter to Rob Glaser

Dear Rob,

I heard your talk at Esther Dyson’s PC Forum about the importance of getting the defaults right, so it’s with rueful irony that I spent five minutes this morning trying to figure out how to keep your product, the Real player, from auto-loading every time I start Windows.

I must have pressed some well-disguised button in my previous session because when I restarted XP this morning, the first thing to load was your AOL-wannabe entertainment center. “All” it takes to keep it from auto-starting is: Go to Tools-> Options and then Auto services->Message Center->Configure Message Center. Then uncheck everything. And even then I’m not at all sure I turned off “Launch at start up” because there’s no box with a label like that. I may have only turned off the Message Center and I don’t kinow what the Message Center is although I’m sure Real doesn’t have enough to say to me that it requires its own special messaging client.

I use Real because there are streams encoded only for the Real player. I don’t want Real at the center of my entertainment universe. I don’t even want Real in the middle of my screen.

So, Rob, please get the defaults right. And no matter how right you get the defaults, please make it dead easy for us to change them. The whole experience makes your product look sleazy.

PS: Please don’t tell me that Real has hijacked my file associations. Again.

Your pal,

The David Weinberger Message Center

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