Apple software updates irks competitor

25 Mar 2008

The CEO of Mozilla, the organisation behind open source web browser Firefox, has criticised Apple for slipping its own web browser Safari into iTunes updates so that users must untick a box in order not to download it along with their latest iTunes update.

Previous to this, Apple had only offered software updates to existing users of iTunes or Quicktime but this new update includes Safari, even if the user has not got it installed already.

John Lily, CEO of Mozilla, wrote a blog post in which he denounced this bundling of Safari into a software update as wrong: “It undermines the trust relationship great companies have with their customers, and that’s bad, not just for Apple, but for the security of the whole web.”

Lily went on to say that keeping up to date on software is crucially important for end users and this therefore involves an element of trust, as far as the user’s security is concerned, every time they download a new software update or fix.

He said keeping software up to date and secure should be the only agenda and while he is not criticising Safari in any way as a web browser, this new updater from Apple “is [making it] incredibly easy, the default even, for users to install ride-along software they didn’t ask for, and maybe didn’t want”.

In Ireland and the UK meanwhile, Safari has a small share in the web browser market, accounting for 6.49pc, while Firefox takes 35.61pc and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer takes 53.18pc.

By Marie Boran