Apple Was Just Testing You All : Lawyers Follow

Oh, this is hilarious.  All the brouhaha about Apple being aggressive / sneaky … trying to install the Safari browser via Apple Update:

Well, now we know thanks to The Register that it was just a test.  They wanted to see if you abide by the legal terms:

Yes, you agree to only use it on Apple computers.  And if you took the bait and installed Safari on your Windows PC, expect the Apple lawyers anytime.  (OK, not reallysmile_tongue).


Update: The Apple Software Update points to this page, a list of all Apple software licences, where, digging a little we find these two documents:

The text in the Update program is clearly taken from the License for Mac, the Windows version of the file uses brand-neutral language, just mentioning “computer owned or controlled by you”.


Related posts: Hardware 2.0, 9 to 5 Mac, Ryan Stewart, CNetArs Technica and Channel Register.


Apple Sneaky, Microsoft is No Angel, Either

I’ve been observing an annoying trend on TechMeme for a while now: when a good discussion happens over the weekend, obviously some writers will miss it – then they sleep on it, come back to it a few days later and TechMeme picks it up as a new theme.

That’s what we’re seeing today with ZDNet blogger Ed Bott coming back to the Apple Update brouhaha and trying to place Microsoft on a morel higher ground.

In summary, the issue was that the Apple iTunes update program all of a sudden wanted to install the Safari browser on Windows PC’s and had it as the preselected default. That’s certified bad behavior. Even worse is the fact that it’s not new at all – a fact missed by almost all but yours truly. I pointed out that:

  • the same update program has been trying to install iTunes on a Windows machine where I don’t have it, don’t need it forever, despite unselecting it every single time
  • the update runs because I do have Quicktime installed, and Quicktime itself is as aggressive as it gets, re-installing itself in the XP systray no matter how many times you remove it.

To me this was all about respecting users choice or not. But the discussion went the “wrong way”:

  • Apple fans are a religious cult who came in hordes to defend Holy Apple. (before you chastise me, just look at how often I point to Apple as a better choice, without becoming blindly faithful)
  • Most debate focused on whether Firefox or Safari is the better browser (IE dully ignored) – nice tactics to change the subject…

And now here comes Ed Bott with a provocative title: What Microsoft can teach Apple about software updates:

For the record, I think Apple is dead wrong in the way it’s gone about using its iPod monopoly to expand its share in another market.


Ironically, an excellent model for how this update program should work already exists. It’s called Windows Update, and it embodies all the principles that Apple should follow.

Dead wrong.

I can’t believe anyone in their right mind would quote Windows Update, known for delivering patches that mess up one’s system only to be patched again and again as the ideal model to follow. One does not have to go too far, just look at the reports on systems disabled by the recent Vista SP1 update. The worlds richest company could not put a decent operating system together in five years, and a full year later the best they can deliver is a botched update!

But since Ed takes the opportunity to place Microsoft on the moral high ground in general, let’s not forget about another recent Microsoft update coup:

The windows live installer, released last September while offered an opt-out screen like Apple does now, then proceeded to install Windows Desktop Search, without ever asking for permission or even notifying the user.

Not only this was outrageously bad practice, completely ignoring the users right to decide what they want on their computers, it was also performance degrading, especially on systems that already had another desktop search installed (see system bar above).

So back to Ed Bott: yes, I condemn Apple’s latest move, but please, please, never in a million years would I think of setting Microsoft as the model to follow.


Update:  This window just popped up on my system:

Windows Firewall blocked Foldershare – a Microsoft product, which just got updated a few days ago. Only (?) problem is, I have (I should have) Windows Firewall turned off, since McAfee is installed, too.  WTF is this message?  Or has Win Firewall been turned on by some update, without asking me?   And why is it my job to investigate?


Related posts: Inner Exception, Tom Raftery’s Social Media and ParisLemon


Apple’s Sneakiness Did Not Start Today

The entire blogosphere is up in arms against Apple, for their attempt to sneak the Safari browser onto Windows machines, via Apple Update.   Everybody is shocked, after all we’re more used to such behavior from the (Micro)Borg, but Apple are supposed to be the good guys…

Except they aren’t, and have never been.  The sneakiness hasn’t started today, it just went unnoticed for a good reason.  What’s wrong with the screen image below?

Safari selected as default?  Nope.  Nothing new there, that’s what everybody’s talking about today.  What’s really wrong is the selection of iTunes.  Wait! – you may say, this is the iTunes update program in the first place … Wrong!

I happen to be one of those weirdos who don’t have iTunes on my computer.  This is a Vista PC (no, I am not happy with it, but that’s another story) and I’ve never ever had iTunes installed. In fact I don’t like to have Quicktime either, for its stickiness (close to impossible to kill if off the systray), but I need it as some videos are only available in this format.  

But why is this thing pushing iTunes on my machine, without any config option to unselect it once and for all?  It’s just as much of an aggression as the Safari invasion today.

Now, it’s the top of TechMeme – but where is FSJ? 


Update (3/22):  A commenter below warned:

Be careful not to touch the “Thin Skin of Apple Fans”.:-).

Boy, was he right.  Look at otherwise reasonably objective Dennis Howlett come to Apple’s defense, who is turning it into a Mozilla issue, talks about “Badmouthing the competition”.  Dennis, you know Apple is out of line, if this was Microsoft, you and I both would condemn it, like we did in the past. 


Related posts: VentureBeat, InfoWorld, Asa Dotzler , MacDailyNews, InformationWeek, ReadWriteWeb, Brandon Live,