I just read the story over at Cybernet News and thought it was worth commenting on. Apple apparently found a way to increase the market share of its Safari web browser by bundling it with its popular iTunes software. They report a new version of Safari when a user searches in iTunes for updates. This happens even if Safari has never been installed on the system before.
The update menu states that the user should select the items that he wants to update and Safari is in that list. Many would call it gray-hat or even black-hat tactics to artificially pump up the installed user base of a product this way. Most of the inexperienced users won't probably even realize what the are installing and assume that Safari is a part of the iTunes suite.
Apple already received some fire from the Mozilla CEO which is in my opinion justified. One should also consider that only a fraction of the users who actually download the Safari browser using the iTunes update will use it actively. If they do not know what it does why should they use it ?
Apple should definitely stop calling it an update and stop providing it in the Apple Software Updater if no previous version of Safari had been installed on the computer. It's plain wrong in my opinion and lets to much confusion.
Update: With the requirement to install iTunes on computer systems to active Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad or iPod, come plenty of opportunities to distribute Safari on these systems. Despite those efforts, the Safari browser market share has remained relatively steady in past years. This can be an indication that the bundling is not as efficient as Apple hoped it would be.
Update 2: The latest version of iTunes does not install the Safari browser anymore, at least not on Windows where the browser is currently not updated anymore for.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.