Apple Software Updater (for Windows) is still a deceptive turd.

27 03 2009

‘Bout a year ago there was a hullabaloo when Apple decided to force their Safari web-browser onto anyone who had other Apple software (for Windows) installed – like Quicktime & iTunes (which bazillions of Windows users have because they own iPods), by automatically pre-selecting it for installation amongst updates to the already-installed software.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise what they were aiming for – ordinary computer users (especially Windows users) don’t usually pay much attention to the details of such prompts, they’ve been dumbed down (by necessity) to just click yes to software update offers.  Next thing you know, you’re using Safari instead of whatever browser was the default before.  Nice one Apple.  As a sysadmin for several client’s networks, this is a friggen PITA at best – very few ordinary Windows users *ACTUALLY* invited you in.

In response to the justified outcry, they added a facility to exclude any offered item from current & future update offers.  Seems fair, right?  But to use said feature, you first have to UNtick the ones you DO want, TICK the ones you DON’T want, then drill into a menu to say “don’t offer me these updates again”, then then REtick the updates you need.  Are you fucken kidding me, Apple?!?

But wait, it gets worse – there’s yet another major disingenuous aspect to this new ‘feature’:

Apple Software Updater remembers your selections only on a per-user basis, not – as it should be – a system-wide basis.  So if a different user is in control when the scheduled check for updates next runs, all the unwanted software is offered again, ticked on for installation, by default.  Great… :(

I also suspect that when any product moves up a full 1.0 version increment, it’s again offered, despite previous instruction not to.  We’ll see very soon when Safari 4 comes out of beta…

You don’t fool me, Apple.  FUCK OFF with your insidious worming your way into my client’s systems.  It’s hard enough to administer flocks of “dumb users” without their default browser being switched out from under them (which can have major consequences for some sites – particularly intranet sites in business that require specific browser brands/versions), or MobileMe Control Panel or Bonjour being needlessly installed.

The deliberate cunning behind how Apple Software Updater for Windows works in its fine detail is a clear display of Apple’s uglier side.  Shame on you Apple, it’s just plain deceptive & dishonest, and very Microsoftish.  Mozilla worked their butt off to get Firefox to where it is in market share, and they earned every % of it honestly.




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