Realplayer has a connotation amongst enthusiasts. In fact, one can generally look it up under its synonym bloatware
in the geek dictionary. With its reputation, then, it's hard to fathom this latest move: both Google and Mozilla, very credible names for reliable, low fuss software, have signed agreements with RealNetworks
The agreement seems innocuous enough at the moment. For the time being, RealNetworks will simply add more bloat to its ware, offering to install Firefox and the Google toolbar/desktop along with the myriad other things it piles on. What is still unknown is what benefits Google and Mozilla will be providing RealNetworks, which one could speculate to include better browser integration and perhaps more favourable search status.
Despite the connotations, the alliance makes sense. RealNetworks is the chief competitor to Microsoft in the online media content, with a site that gets a little over 2 million visits a day. Though the move will certainly not knock Apple out of the #1 seat, it wouldn't be all that bad taking over the #2 spot. Research has shown that Microsoft's dominance just does not extend into the internet world like it does in the software world, and so users being innundated with the names of all three products (Firefox, Google, and RealPlayer) every time they go online might just be enough to make the agreement worthwhile.
Got a thought on the agreement? Are you with me that any mention of RealPlayer violates Google's "Do no evil" clause? Tell us your thoughts in our forums