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Sneaky Safari Updater opinion roundup


The news that Apple has stealthily included Safari in its Software Updater bounced all over the Mac blogosphere today, and earned cheers and jeers (well, mostly jeers). Here's a quick roundup.

  • The most attention probably comes from John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, who unequivocally calls the decision "wrong," and says that doing something other than "updating" with an "updater" betrays the public trust.
  • Darby Lines at The Angry Drunk says that the whole matter is just plain "whining" and that Apple is hardly forcing the software on anyone, especially considering that there's a checkbox right next to the name of it. And it's not like, as many people have said, installing Safari on a PC is actually a bad move.
  • The Inquirer actually makes a worthwhile joke: "Some iTunes users report that the box to sign up for Safari appears pre-ticked." At least we think that's a joke -- you'd only say Apple was "targeting" and "hijacking" Windows users if you were joking, right?
  • Microsoft Watch calls the program a "rogue updater," while Paul Mison fisks them pretty completely and shows that even if Apple did somehow hurt the computers by installing a reasonable, standards-compliant browser, Microsoft has done much, much worse.
So what's the deal overall? As we said earlier, Jobs very plainly told us this was going to happen, and though, yes, users who don't pay attention may end up with extra software, it's extremely easy to not install the software. While a warning might have been nice, Apple isn't really outside its bounds here, so it's unlikely that they'll change it anyway.

The only real result is that users, whether PC or Mac, are reminded once again to pay attention to what they're clicking on. It's unexpected that Apple would be the company to remind us of that, but it's as true as ever.

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