Apple bundles Safari with iTunes Update - gHacks Tech News

Apple bundles Safari with iTunes Update

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 software updater

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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    1. Mark said on March 25, 2008 at 2:02 am

      iTunes = bloatware.

      I remember cringing everytime I had to load itunes just to put some music on my ipod… I’m glad I switched to the zune.

    2. Jd said on March 25, 2008 at 2:46 am

      Sounds a lot like the [insert name here] toolbar trick. This does surprise me coming from Apple though. I would have thought they would be above this.

    3. vance said on March 25, 2008 at 5:37 pm

      I never used the Apple Update Software that comes with iTunes so what I do is I uninstall it.

    4. Marc-O said on March 26, 2008 at 5:21 pm

      well, iTunes already decided that I needed Quicktime to listen to music, I guess they felt the need to force more things onto their customers… It’s crap, but not surprising. Well, I don’t really need iTunes for anything right now, so off we go, bye bye iTunes.

    5. marcus said on March 29, 2008 at 9:55 pm

      Time to kill IE!!!
      I like the way apple do it..(even it´s not ok) Microsoft is doing the same when bundle windows with all kind of crap programs no one is using anyway..
      Don´t take me wrong here, but you know what i mean..

      1. madam said on December 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

        Windows isn’t bundled with anything. Vendors provide all that bloatware. If you install from a win7 DVD, you won’t have any bloatware. That’s just one reason I prefer to build my computers (dual boot with win7/ubuntu).

        IE isn’t my favorite browser, either. Still, my life wouldn’t change much if I was forced to use it, and my browser is almost always open.

    6. asdf said on April 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm

      i know what you mean; you’re anti-microsoft and pro-apple. It’s perfectly fine when an upstanding company such as apple does this, why not? It’s apple, and they are perfect. But, it’s bad bad bad when a horrible company like microsoft does it. Get off my internet you stupid hypocrite

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