2 minute read

I originally posted this as a comment to John P.’s Digital Daily post on this topic.




Summary: Mozilla CEO John Lilly is calling foul on Apple for both placing Safari into the update service as well as making the default action ‘Install’.  Lots of folks have jumped on Apple for the default setting; Lilly says it violates trust.

What does this have to do with trust?


I’ll answer myself: nothing.


I’m looking at this now (inside a Fusion instance of XP). I see an Apple Software Update dialog box with three items listed:

  • iTunes + Quicktime
  • Quicktime
  • Safari

with their respective versions & sizes noted in the right margin. In the left margin is where the controversy lay: each of these items, even Safari – a new piece of software that has never been installed on this image – has an ‘Install’ checkbox that is auto-checked.


That means (not to belabor the point) that these items will be installed or updated when I click the Install button.

The bottom button is clearly marked:


Install 3 items


Let me make that point crystal clear: it is labeled ‘Install 3 items’ not ‘Update 3 items’ or ‘Fix 3 items’ . Install is the active verb.


And that dialog box will sit there – doing nothing – forever, unless you click ‘Install 3 items’.


If John Lilly wants to argue that users shouldn’t blindly click ‘Install’, then I agree. But that’s not his argument. He’s suggesting that Apple is trying to sneak Safari onto the Windows desktop. I call bullshit. Is Apple trying to distribute Safari? Of course, and this is the best channel they have for that purpose.


Read the dialog. It clearly states what is about to be installed by clicking the ‘Install’ button. If you don’t want one or more of those things installed, uncheck it.


For testing purposes, I wish to keep Safari off of this XP instance. Thus, I unchecked ‘Safari’ and not surprisingly, it was not installed.


This is ALL about revenue. No one wants to get blind-sided like they did with Adobe’s shockwave / flash player. By the time anyone figured out what Adobe had done, the player was on 90+% of the desktops. Talk about a channel.


I’d love to hear other opinions on this.


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