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Apple Modifies Windows Software Updater After Safari Ruckus

Apple Modifies Windows Software Updater After Safari Ruckus

by , 1:15 PM EDT, April 18th, 2008

In March, it was noticed by Windows users that Apple was using the Apple Software Update program that installs with iTunes to promote the installation of Safari as well. That confused some users and drew criticism for being a deceptive practice. Now Apple has modified the Installer to version 2.1 that clearly displays the difference between updates and new software.

Many different Windows users had mixed feelings about the Apple practice first identified in March. Some considered it par for the course, aggressive by Apple, and because they perceived Safari to be a better browser than Internet Explorer, didn't mind. Others, however, saw this as a deceptive practice that could dupe users into installing something they didn't want.

Among those who were most vocal was John Lilly, the CEO of the Mozilla Group. At first, the move was seen as a blow to Mozilla's Firefox. Later, Mr. Lilly clarified that competition is good, but the particular technique Apple used "undermines the trust relationship great companies have with their customers," he wrote.

Now, Apple appears to have responded to the criticism by altering the layout of the Installer to identify software being updated and proposed new software.

Apple Software Update in Windows

After the update, which is managed by the updater itself, the version will show this::

On Thursday, the Mozilla Group noticed the change, but is still not satisfied with Apple's changes. Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's Director of Community Development wrote in his blog: "This is a good first step. Now Apple needs to stop checking the box for "New Software" items by default. With that change, I think I'd be pretty happy to let the Apple Software Update service back on my Windows machine."

On Friday, according to Computerworld, Apple spokesperson for Mac Hardware & Professional Applications Anuj Nayer said, "In this latest release we have made it easier for customers to identify between software updates and new applications." However, he declined to verify that the changes were in response to recent community criticisms.

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