Mozilla CEO John Lilly posted a scathing post about Apple auto-updating Windows users’ iTunes and Quicktime programs while adding in Safari 3.1. Lilly starts out by describing how important it is to update programs for the sake of security. He says:
There’s an implicit trust relationship between software makers and customers in this regard: as a software maker we promise to do our very best to keep users safe and will provide the quickest updates possible, with absolutely no other agenda. And when the user trusts the software maker, they’ll generally go ahead and install the patch, keeping themselves and everyone else safe.
He goes on to say that Apple has violated that trust. Basically, Apple is resorting to near-malware lows by pushing Safari 3.1 on Windows users. This is not a problem on Apple machines because they all come installed with Safari. But when people are using Windows machines and iTunes or Quicktime, it is pretty bad that they must also download Safari. There is a checkbox that they can uncheck so that it does not install Safari.
Photo via John Lilly
John Lilly’s blog sounds like he is shocked and appalled that Apple would stoop to this level. He does not sound like he trying to bash another browser company. He even adds a disclaimer at the bottom affirming that.
In the comments of the blog, Gen Kanai states that if Microsoft did the same thing, there would be an uproar across the internet. It seems as though Apple is testing the water; they seem to be trying to test the halo effect a little too strongly. This is clearly a business practices issue. As of this writing, there are 224 comments on Lilly’s blog.
I personally haven’t heard that much about Google having any complaints, even though they do the same thing all the time with their Google Toolbar. My grandpa has about six toolbars up on top of his browser from Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, Answers, MSN Live search and probably some others.
This is a new low for Apple. What are your thoughts?