Sure, as far as the business of browsing is concerned Apple and Mozilla are competitors, but Mozilla CEO John Lilly makes a good point here. Apple’s attempts to sneak Safari for PC past unsuspecting updaters this past week is hardly the first time Apple has used tactics that some might consider to be less than friendly to get its software onto a computer. An excerpt for a recent entry on Lilly’s blog:
Apple has made it incredibly easy—the default, even—for users to install ride along software that they didn’t ask for, and maybe didn’t want. This is wrong, and borders on malware distribution practices… It’s wrong because it undermines the trust that we’re all trying to build with users. Because it means that an update isn’t just an update, but is maybe something more. Because it ultimately undermines the safety of users on the Web by eroding that relationship. It’s a bad practice and should stop.
The statement comes of course, as a response to the news this past week that Apple was pushing Safari on PC users through the Apple Software Update application. The problem? Safari is included as an update to be installed even on PCs where it had not been previously installed. By nature, isn’t an “update” a newer version or an addition to existing software? Shady indeed. Apple is well aware that “click Next until it goes away” has essentially become the way of the walk and is apparently banking on that practice to get Safari onto PCs. Hey at least they’re not bundling it with iTunes… yet.