Apple Changes Update Policies - Still No Biscuit
As I have mentioned in other posts (Retro-bundling - another suck of the Apple, MacBook Air debuts; iTunes Pesters Me Again, Removing Apple Mobile Device Support, I didn't want iTunes - now I've got iPod, too?, etc, etc), this has long since stopped being an issue for me, because I've removed all the Apple software from my machine as a bit of a protest against Apple's inability or unwillingness to provide me the means to manage my own systems.
Now, I understand that Apple has finally heard some of the complaints from various blogs around the world, and has done something about it.
They have separated the updates from the new software. The new dialog looks like this:
But it still marks the new software by default to be installed.
This is the behaviour that is wrong - okay, so it's now clear as to the difference between an update and a new software, but the key again is that Apple is marking new software for installation from an update tool.
An update tool should be a piece of software that most users say "yes, do whatever", and that doesn't then cause significant additions to the software. By automatically checking new software, Apple is eroding the trust that users will have in the update tool.
Again, I don't mind that they're encouraging users to install Safari - I don't even mind them spending time persuading their existing install base to use it. What I'm perplexed at is that Apple feels that they have to slide it in under the door, rather than sell it to users on its own merits.
And, yes, I'm quite well aware that you could also say the same of any browser that ships with an operating system - except, really, you've got to have a browser shipping in your operating system these days. Yeah, the guys who ship the operating system have an advantage - and they worked hard to build that advantage in the first place. They have a certain momentum behind anything they offer, and even if the system is as open and transparent to all application vendors as it is to the OS vendor, the default installed applications will generally have a larger market share than the 'after-market' tools, just because of users' inertia.
[Note that the paragraph above applies to Apple / Mac / Safari, just as well as it does to Microsoft / Windows / Internet Explorer]
However, I don't think that users' inertia is a cause for sleight-of-hand tactics like retro-bundling.