Apple pushing unwanted software via Windows update tool, again?

By on September 28, 2009, 6:15 AM
Last year Apple received its fair share of criticism from Windows users after enabling its software update tool that is usually installed along iTunes and Quicktime to also download and install the Safari browser. The result? A tripling market share in just a month. Later on Apple would rectify and stop checking the Safari download box by default.

In similar fashion, Ed Bott, blogger at ZDNet recently found Apple's software installer enabling another unwanted piece of software by default when prompted to update iTunes on a clean Windows 7 installation. This time the prompt was for downloading the "iPhone Configuration Utility", despite of the fact he doesn't own nor has he connected an iPhone to such computer. While this may seem like the perfect excuse to get back at Apple, this doesn't look as purposeful as last year's attempt to grab some market browser share. It is however some sloppy practice on Apple's part.

Perhaps the real story behind the story is the lack of consistence you get when every single manufacturer wants to push application updates while leaving standby processes running in the background. For once, Microsoft should promote a platform that could be shared among developers, streamlining the experience for the user. That's not to say third party companies couldn't do much better themselves rather than bloating your OS installation by default: Apple, RIM, Adobe, Nokia, even Google, you name it.

Editor's note: Two hours after writing this story I was prompted by Apple's Software Update utility to download updates for iTunes, Quicktime and also the iPhone Configuration Utility.




User Comments: 11

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LightHeart said:

All updaters/installers (Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, everyone) should clearly tell you what software is going to be installed/updated. Any additional software beyond the original should be opt in and be unchecked by default.

Docnoq said:

Ah, to be free of iTunes and all the crap it brings with it. Cheers to foobar

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

This is why I don't install any Apple software on any of my Windows machines. Apple software only goes on my Macs.

Guest said:

does ford tell dodge what to to do (hell NO) (and yet you can drive both cars )

so why in hells creation do you think that Microsoft should tell apple what to do with there software

third party software is on there own if its not a driver for a device Microsoft wants nothing to do with it.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I agree it sucks when I have to make sure to uncheck something dealing with an iPhone just to update iTunes (because I don't have an iPhone). But it isn't just Apple that does this, Winamp, Irfanview, and Daemon Tools all do that and those are just the first 3 programs I use that I could think of.

Pretty much the only thing I don't read when installing things is the EULA because if you don't accept that then you aren't installing anything. I read everything else to make sure I'm not leaving anything checked I don't want.

Guest said:

Hey this is great! Now only if Apple would install os X over Windows 7.

Guest said:

Dont install Auto updater, and if you do install it, then disable it. Problem solved.

Guest said:

Dude it's not mircosoft complaining it the users that are. Who would want useless software installed with out your permission. Installing software like that is the job of virus and spyware makers an we know how much we despise them

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Lol I was reading this right after the Apple software updated came up. Luckily I read all updates before I hit go and unchecked everything but iTunes. I do find it a bit annoying apple keeps trying to install software I don't want. But I don't think its entirely their fault. To many people blindly install software without reading anything. I never just mash 'next' I stop to read the components/software its trying to install. To many installers try to sneak things in like Yahoo toolbar and crap like that.

Guest said:

For anyone not wanting to use iTunes at all, I would like to suggest Songbird.

Guest said:

In looking for a solution to my problem, I found this article as well as pieces about Mozilla CEO Lilly objecting back in March, thus why I'm commenting now.

My problem? Despite unchecking the Safari's box in the update utility from Apple, I have had Safari installed on my machine against my wishes nearly every single time and I'm more than a little pissed about it. It's no longer about sneaking in a browser when people aren't paying attention; it's about installing software on your machine against your wishes even when you're paying attention, much like malware and spyware.

Ask Apple just what it intends on doing about THAT, should enough people have the same problem and get fed up with it.

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