Distributing the ASCOM Platform

Think of the ASCOM Platform as analogous to Apple's QuickTime for Windows. Lots of programs use the ASCOM Platform, and you can expect many of your customers to already have it installed. The Platform Installer will be maintained by the ASCOM Initiative as an open source project. It will be downloadable from the ASCOM web site. It is subject to revision as changes in the Windows OS demand, and to fix the (hopefully rare) bug in the platform's support components.

This leaves you with a few choices:

Your first reaction to this is probably "Oh I don't want my users to install two things!" or "I don't want my customers to have to download the Platform separately!" Ok, but consider these things:
  1. The installer is 5+ megabytes in size.
  2. Since it is used by most Astronomy software, your customers will likely already have it installed.
  3. What happens when the Platform on your installer disk is older than the current Platform (particularly if the newer one is needed for a newer version of Windows, for example)?

Would you embed the Apple QuickTime for Windows installer in your installer? Why or why not? Give the above some thought and make a heads-up decision. We don't insist that you address this in any specific way, but there are some compelling reasons to get the Platform from the ASCOM download location one way or another.