Next time you update Java, Yahoo might swoop in to swiftly become the default search engine on your computer.
If you don't pay attention when you're prompted to bring your Java software up to date, you could end up with Yahoo suddenly set as your default search engine due to a deal between Yahoo and Oracle.
More specifically, the two companies have reached an agreement to promote the Yahoo search engine alongside any future updates to Java software from Oracle. Users will be prompted to update to the next version of Java starting this month, and asked whether they want Yahoo as their default search engine on Chrome and Internet Explorer.
As the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out, the checkbox for users' reply is checked as affirmative by default, thus giving the green light for Yahoo to power your Chrome and IE searches. In other words, if you don't pay attention to untick that check box, you might end up with a surprise.
The new partnership with Oracle marks the latest in a string of deals for Yahoo, part of a wider effort to promote its services. Back in December 2014, for instance, Yahoo signed a deal to become the default search engine in Mozilla Firefox, replacing Google's Chrome. According to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, that deal has proved to be profitable so far.
Yahoo has been around for ages, but currently it holds only a modest market share of the lucrative search market. Google is the dominant player, amounting for the vast majority of desktop traffic in the U.S., while Yahoo is a distant second, based on recent market analysis.
Oracle's Java could be the answer to a bigger market share for Yahoo, as it runs on 90 percent of computers in the U.S. and billions of PCs worldwide. This new partnership between Yahoo and Oracle is good for three years.
As the WSJ further highlights, even a small percentage of Java users who agree to have Yahoo as their search provider would suffice to mark a significant boost in the search engine's user base, which rests at just 12.7 percent of the search market at this point.
If you don't want to have Yahoo as your default search engine, however, pay special attention this month when you're prompted to update Java.