When an End User License Agreement acceptance pane is required, a standard user interface ``widget'' is used to display the license agreement, with Microsoft providing a pre-filled English license agreement ``[populating] it with the names of the products to be installed'' [Microsoft Corporation, 2005]. Apple provides sample agreements, but encourages developers to create their own with the help of legal advice [Apple Inc., 2003]. The layout of these agreements is a small window, usually in the centre of the screen, with a text area box that contains the content of the agreement, along with some text that asserts that the user consents to the terms and conditions of the agreement and a check box that provides a small amount of effort to check, and usually two buttons, one labelled ``Continue'' or ``I agree'', and the other labelled ``Cancel''. Some examples of such boxes will be shown in the following cases.
The problem with this being a standard design component in the collection offered by software developer environments is that it encourages lazy and poorly thought-out license agreement user interfaces and policies: the Microsoft offering that fills in a basic agreement with the names of the product allows for the possibility that the company creating the software may avoid reading the terms that are going into the license agreement themselves, which would make it even more difficult for them to explain the terms and conditions to a user. Even if the developers do take the time to create their own agreement, the presentation of it in such a tiny box that requires a lot of scrolling through is certainly not conducive to extensive reading by a user, especially if the agreement runs into the thousands of words, as is common [Good et al., 2006,Magid, 2005].
The chief Microsoft security advisor, Edward Gibson, stated that ``each of us is responsible for what we allow to take place on our computer. The days of not taking responsibility are gone'' [Gibson, 2008]. This coupled with the seeming reluctance of Microsoft and other software companies to improve informed consent procedures, whether through making the widgets used to build EULAs more suitable for the lengthy legal documents or even setting examples themselves of more accessible agreements shows that there are serious issues with End User License Agreements not only in implementation, but in the way that the industry thinks about them.