Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:18 UTC
Apple If you have Apple's QuickTime media player and/or iTunes installed on your Windows machine, you might want to keep an eye on apple's Software Update tool. Apple is once again using the update tool to push unwanted software onto users' machines without asking for permission.
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Simple solution ...
by WorknMan on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:32 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Just don't install Apple products on your machine - problem solved. If you need Quicktime, use QTLite instead. As for iTunes, I dunno... try Media Monkey?

These 'updaters' are getting to be out of hand. They reek of malware, but legitimate companies are using them. The one from Adobe is the WORST.

Perhaps this wouldn't be an issue if Microsoft would build a '3rd party software' option into their Windows updater, so people could get all of their updates in one place. Then, there wouldn't be an excuse for 9 million different programs to install their 'helper' apps in the system tray. Linux figured this one out over a decade ago. WTF is taking MS so long?

Reply Score: 16

RE: Simple solution ... - Mediamonkey
by jabbotts on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:42 UTC in reply to "Simple solution ..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Great choice, when I was in the market for a Windows media manager, the Monkey blew everything away especially iTunes.

As for a third party software repository, it won't happen. I've said a few times also that it would be a huge benefit to the end user. Imagine, visit Windows Update and pull your extras from there along with your Microsoft product updates. There in lies the problem; MS isn't going to provide installs and updates for competing products. iTunes conflicts with Windows Media Player updates. Firefox conflicts with IE updates. Flash conflicts with Silverlight. The shareholders would never stand for such end user benfits.

True repository based platforms have so far had the benefit of not being the point of competition. Mandriva does not compete based on what browser the user chooses, they compete based on the overall distribution. Debian also competes through more applicable attributes (stability and security) versus limiting end user choice intentionally through the software available for install. The different business model is focused on benefiting the end user. Hence, the more Linux and BSD like platforms figured out the repository system long ago.

Edited 2009-09-28 16:45 UTC

Reply Score: 5

jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

There in lies the problem; MS isn't going to provide installs and updates for competing products.


I think the bigger problem is that MS isn't going to assume responsibility for all third party software. If one of those updates included a virus or spyware, it would be Microsoft's fault. If a new version of third party software broke on upgrade, it would be Microsoft's fault.

The user is going to equate that anything that comes through Microsoft/Windows Update is coming from Microsoft, so the blame is always going to go to Microsoft. I doubt they want that on their reputation.

Reply Score: 3

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Exactly: think about all the problems with the App Store. Microsoft has no compelling reason to assume the huge cost and liability of trying to become the One True Distributor of all software that runs on Windows.

It might be more reasonable for the system updater to have hooks so that third-party software could register itself (and its update repository on the web) with the thing; this way, System Update could provide an update service for your installed software, without Microsoft having to maintain (and quality-control) a central repository. But I can see such an API being a huge attack target, for obvious reasons.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There in lies the problem; MS isn't going to provide installs and updates for competing products. iTunes conflicts with Windows Media Player updates. Firefox conflicts with IE updates. Flash conflicts with Silverlight. The shareholders would never stand for such end user benfits.


Why not, they do it for hardware, and probably some hardware devices (such as keyboard and mice) that compete with their own. Also, since this will greatly decrease the amount of crap that runs at startup, people's machines are going to run better, which means happier users, which ultimately benefits MS in the long run. Because most uninformed users will install all kinds of apps that have updaters or 'helper' applets running at startup, and then blame Windows for being so slow.

Per the comments of another poster, they could scan for viruses/malware when updates are uploaded. I've downloaded a driver from Windows update that BSOD'd my machine, so I don't think the liability thing would be an issue (if it hasn't been so far with the hardware drivers).

The different business model is focused on benefiting the end user. Hence, the more Linux and BSD like platforms figured out the repository system long ago.


I don't really subscribe to the notion that Linux/BSD (and FOSS in general) is end-user oriented. If that were the case, we'd have one single repository that worked on all distros instead of every distro having their own. And don't tell me such a thing isn't possible. There's too many smart people in the FOSS world for them not to be able to figure that sh*t out.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I agree that they could so it. As you point out, the driver system is pretty much a repository system including the package signing. Technologically, it could be implemented and I agree that it would benefit the end user a great deal as it already does with other platforms. Virus issues are less a risk even given the scan on upload proactive approach. I even think users are smart enough to understand that issues are on the software developer's shoulders not the repository provider (MS). As it stands now, bad ATI driver frustration is directed at ATI and Downloads.com is not held accountable for issues in software downloaded from it.

The issues that I see though:

- Microsoft is in the business of making money, software and services happen to be the tool used in that pursuit. This is different from an organization how is focused on making really great software with profit happening to be the outcome of that pursuit. The shareholder's best interest will always be most important and under US corporate law, it is actually required that something benefits the customer must be discarded if it conflicts with benefits to the shareholder.

- Microsoft's core business is not hardware. They do some hardware but if it was there core target product, they would be raising barriers to competition from other hardware vendors. Apple demonstrates this clearly with the "it's our hardware or nothing for our software" and the near bundling relationship between different hardware commodities. Software is Microsoft's core business tool for generating profits and maintaining barriers against competition. Providing easier access to competitive office software, browsers, mail clients and other categories that compete with MS own products goes against the business directive of a computer in every home and Microsoft on that computer.

I think it would greatly benefit the customers and that the most problematic reasons for it not happening are political business decisions rather than any technological limitation.

Now, I suggest that BSD and Linux based platforms are more end user focused because a core goal is to give the end user choice. Don't like Firefox then here's five other browsers to choose from. Don't like Pulseaudio, here's two other sound systems to choose from. Don't like the default window manager, here's ten other's to choose from. Don't like the default kernel, there's probably more than three different ones to choose from or you can get your own from kernel.org and add it in. For the most part, OpenBSD or NetBSD or Debian or Ubuntu or Red Hat or Mandriva don't care what brand of software is on the other side of the wire; high interoperability benefits the end user. There is not one central repository which all platforms based on Linux or BSD draw from because each BSD and distribution is actually a separate product which happens to use the same commodity parts as other products. Each separate platform does provide it's own repository with huge selection of available software because that does benefits the end user.

Even in the distribution license. Of the four rules one must follow with Linux based platforms, only one is slightly restrictive if you happen to be a developer who modifies then redistributes source code changes. Otherwise, it's purely permissive. The BSD license is even more enabling of the end user by not including the same restriction on developers.

It's a end user or consumer focused endeavor. Given a choice that will benefit the shareholder or benefit the end user, the choice more often than not is made in favor of the end user.

By contrast:

MS Exchange does not play well with anything but Outlook and anything but minimal support requires paying money to MS and signing documents before getting full interface specs. The browser interface provides minimal features unless you use IE to benefit from the full Exchange webapp front end. Both halves are sold separately and you'll need multiple licenses for each.

While there may be some argument at the application level, it's the same when you look at the user's data. Closed file formats which do not fully work without the specific branded software unless a new file format can be used as leverage to promote sales of the new application version. Wait a while and the newer application version drops support for the older file format entirely because it's more important that the user base buy into the newer version at it's new retail price.

Hardware driver API is just different enough that hardware vendors targeting Windows end up with hardware hostile to other platforms. Each new version of Windows causes issues with the previous version's drivers because again, each API much change just enough to add some scratchy sand to the mix.

Microsoft didn't give a hoot for the third world and China's rampant piracy until there was a risk of competitive software providing the end user with more choice. Suddenly the cost of a Windows install dropped in india and Microsoft's top executives had to meet with Chinese government. It became important when MS suddenly had to show the shareholders they where persuing every possible market and stamping out competition at all costs. Anything that gives the end user more choice is a threat or cancer to be destroyed.

Software vulnerabilities have knowingly existed for years in Microsoft's products but not been addressed until they become publicly embarrassing and thus only long after becoming well known and used with malicious intent by criminals. It's more important to save face for the company rather than benefit the customer with open disclosure and a prompt software patch.

Given a choice that will benefit the end user or the shareholder, the choice is very rarely made in the end user's benefit at the expense of the shareholder.

Reply Score: 3

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I don't really subscribe to the notion that Linux/BSD (and FOSS in general) is end-user oriented.


Historically, it hasn't been; it's been shamelessly and self-consciously developer-oriented, on the theory that enticing developers (and making life easier for them) will ultimately lead to better software. Although that attitude's been changing lately (and that change has been meeting resistance, too).

But I'm just mindlessly repeating common knowledge, ignore me.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Simple solution ...
by WereCatf on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:59 UTC in reply to "Simple solution ..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

As for iTunes, I dunno... try Media Monkey?

I personally like Songbird a lot. It looks quite similar as iTunes, but it's free, doesn't try to install all kinds of crap on your PC, and has so far been absolutely rock solid on my PC.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Simple solution ...
by linumax on Mon 28th Sep 2009 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple solution ..."
linumax Member since:
2007-02-07

As a media manager, there are plenty of fairly good alternatives out there. Most outperform iTunes on Windows and some provide extra functionality that iTunes is missing.

However, trouble comes in when you want to sync your iPod/iPhone where alternatives at best support very basic sync, if at all.

With the ever-growing share of Apple in PMP and Smartphone market, more and more people fall into the iTunes (and consequently, QT, Safari, etc.) trap.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Simple solution ...
by jrbrewin on Tue 29th Sep 2009 16:06 UTC in reply to "Simple solution ..."
jrbrewin Member since:
2009-05-06

If this was, say microsoft, instead of apple, and the platform was, say OSX, instead of windows, people would be going absolutely and totally ape over the practice of doing default additional software installs.

so what?

so, someone needs to hold apple responsbile for this, and actually take them to task about this practice. They've been doing it for a year or two now, pushing safari on to users that didn't want or ask for it. When asked apple simple shrugged off the complaint.

lets be clear, you don't even need quicktime or itunes. I have a mac book pro with bootcamp drivers installed in windows, no other apple software components. again, by default it's prompting to install pretty much all of apple's windows software every time i boot the laptop up..

A total and utter disgrace! perhaps they should relabel the software as "apple malware pusher" instead?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Simple solution ...
by kaiwai on Wed 30th Sep 2009 02:18 UTC in reply to "Simple solution ..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Just don't install Apple products on your machine - problem solved. If you need Quicktime, use QTLite instead. As for iTunes, I dunno... try Media Monkey?

These 'updaters' are getting to be out of hand. They reek of malware, but legitimate companies are using them. The one from Adobe is the WORST.

Perhaps this wouldn't be an issue if Microsoft would build a '3rd party software' option into their Windows updater, so people could get all of their updates in one place. Then, there wouldn't be an excuse for 9 million different programs to install their 'helper' apps in the system tray. Linux figured this one out over a decade ago. WTF is taking MS so long?


Or what you could do is actually decide not to install it!

I want someone here to show me where Apple is forcing you to install this update - come on all you Apple haters, provide proof to me that Apple forcing you to install this update. Either put up or shut up.

Edited 2009-09-30 02:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Oh Apple what silly things will you do next
by FreakyT on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:33 UTC
FreakyT
Member since:
2005-07-17

Your "term" link doesn't seem to go anywhere...

Anyway, iTunes around 4.something was halfway decent. It's been all downhill since then. And QuickTime for Windows was always trash, all the way back to "you have a slightly different QuickTime version and therefore can't play any videos" errors on Windows 3.1.

Reply Score: 1

Just more of the same
by jabbotts on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:38 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

Install Quicktime and unless your paying attention to the download selection, you'll get the installer that includes iTunes; as welcome as Yahoo and Google browser bars now included with most installer downloads.

I go so far as to uninstall Quicktime+iTunes and reinstall with the Quicktime only bundle.

Updates are best handled with as much attention even if your on an osX machine, the age old rule still applies never auto-update and especially, never auto-install-updates on any platform. Look at what the update software wants to install else. It'll avoide getting IE8 before you want it, iTunes and other crapware bundlings with all you wanted was Quicktime, browser bars when all you wanted was the app they where parasitically attached too.

Reply Score: 4

Your statement is false
by mlankton on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:40 UTC
mlankton
Member since:
2009-06-11

Regardless what you think of the particular software, and you are definitely on the anti-Apple bandwagon lately, once again you have printed something rather misleading.

You state that Apple's software update tool on Windows is "push(ing) unwanted software onto user's machines without asking for permission".

Lies.

The user has to choose to install the software by clicking an install button following the software description.

I wish the people behind this website would stop defending Holwerda and listen to longtime OSNews readers, at least those of us who haven't already bailed. I am getting really sick of reading his partisan, unqualified contributions to this site.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Your statement is false
by anevilyak on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:45 UTC in reply to "Your statement is false"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

Except it shouldn't be trying to offer the software in question in the first place.

Reply Score: 9

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I go to update Quicktime and find the update utility presenting iTunes and a third app unrelated to quicktime presented - and selected. I wouldn't have a problem with the updater simply presenting the additional software but it's an Opt-Out approach where the user must deselect the unwanted software. That makes it unacceptable.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Your statement is false
by darknexus on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:58 UTC in reply to "Your statement is false"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Didn't you here? The anti-Apple stuff comes straight from the top, from David Adams himself. See this article:
http://www.osnews.com/story/21918
So it's unlikely it will go away and, truth be told, as much as I like Apple's products sometimes their business decisions and policies deserve to be justly criticized. This, I think, is one of them: they're leaving this new utility in the updates section of their updater, and leaving it checked by default knowing full well that most users don't bother to look before clicking the install button. It does make me wonder why, though. I can't think of anything they'd gain by installing an enterprise utility onto home machines unless there's something hidden in it. Perhaps this one was an honest error... or then again perhaps not. Who can tell in this day?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Your statement is false
by David on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Your statement is false"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Not actually true, FYI, though I can see why you might think so. That's why I'm writing this comment. I actually got a lot of push back from the OSNews editors when I decided to publish my little emotional rant, and I haven't ever instructed them to write anything about Apple, bad or good.

As for my "give Apple bad PR idea," nobody else ended up thinking it was likely to be an effective idea, and a movement followed by one person isn't going to be effective, so I dropped it.

Incidentally, I agree with the earlier commenter that Thom is a bit misleading in that the Apple software updater doesn't automatically install this software, it just prompts you to install it. On my Windows machine (my main machine is a Mac), I always uncheck and disable updates for Safari and any other Apple software that I don't need. So I agree with Thom that what Apple is doing is lame and annoying, but I'm not as up-in-arms about it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Your statement is false
by affect on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Your statement is false"
affect Member since:
2006-09-27

Not to dismiss any criticism of Apple, but do you feel as strongly about Microsoft's practices that in the past put many companies out of business using illegal, anti-competitive tactics? How many days did you call for criticism of Microsoft when they were found by the courts to be a monopoly which is hurtful to consumer interests?

I don't think there exists the moral company, but when I see a reaction so severe to one in particular and not another which is far more worthy of scorn, I start to wonder. Am I alone in thinking this?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Your statement is false
by David on Mon 28th Sep 2009 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Your statement is false"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I certainly see where you're coming from, but the difference is that I don't care about Microsoft as much. It's kind of like how I'm not out marching in the streets to protest the actions of a government that I don't live under. Yes, I'm upset about the way the Hugo Chavez is running Venezuela, but I'm more likely to take to the streets over an issue of United States governance, since that's where I live.

And, to be honest, Microsoft isn't nearly as worried about bad PR as Apple is, because Microsoft has successfully dominated its market, and no longer needs to worry about being unpopular with the media. Also, Microsoft treats its competitors, and sometimes partners, very badly, but is very good to its developers, and actually Microsoft is a paragon of virtue with its mobile platform compared to Apple.

In some ways, Microsoft is a lost cause, but Apple is right at the beginning of making a very big mistake by keeping its developer community sandboxed the way it is, and I hoped that a little pressure would prevent that mistake from contaminating the entire mobile computing ecosystem.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Your statement is false
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:54 UTC in reply to "Your statement is false"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You state that Apple's software update tool on Windows is "push(ing) unwanted software onto user's machines without asking for permission".

Lies.

The user has to choose to install the software by clicking an install button following the software description.


Push != install. Push as in, promote. Coerce. Trick.

Apple has - again - used its software UPDATER to install new software, making it LOOK like an update. In what universe is that acceptable? What if Microsoft did this? The world'd be aflame!

Edited 2009-09-28 18:00 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Your statement is false
by Mellin on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Your statement is false"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

and microsoft installs add ons to FF without asking at all

http://techgeist.net/2009/05/microsoft-installs-firefox-add-ons-san...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Your statement is false
by KrimZon on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Your statement is false"
KrimZon Member since:
2009-06-24

And Microsoft got flamed for that too. They're just not being flamed months later in a discussion about Apple.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Your statement is false
by lemur2 on Mon 28th Sep 2009 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Your statement is false"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Apple has - again - used its software UPDATER to install new software, making it LOOK like an update. In what universe is that acceptable? What if Microsoft did this? The world'd be aflame!


Well, Microsoft does include an un-installable web browser and media player on every Windows machine in the stores, and it abuses its monopoly position to prevent those same stores from offering their customers a choice of pre-installed OS for the machines sold.

How is that behaviour any different in principle?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Your statement is false
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 28th Sep 2009 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Your statement is false"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's not. That's why I've harped on that often enough.

However, that does not make Apple's shenanigans right.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Your statement is false
by dvhh on Tue 29th Sep 2009 06:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Your statement is false"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Because they are Apple, and that the distortion field is strong with them.

I agree that MS have done the same ( especially with WGA, which in my book is worst ). Apple have been bad, but that's not like they are pushing spyware on your computer ( I think itune/Safari already do that ).

I would say at least it's a bad PR move from Apple ( as it can happen a lot recently ), and can be corrected with better PR ( sorry, our bad one of our guy mistake the type of update it was, won't do it again).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Your statement is false
by JoostinOnline on Tue 29th Sep 2009 03:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Your statement is false"
JoostinOnline Member since:
2009-09-18

I really don't see why people complain about that so much. They also install Notepad but no lawsuits have been made over that. Would you really buy (or download if it is free) an operating system if it started with bare minimum?

For example, you are going to need IE even if you only plan on using Firefox. Why don't you try to download an installation file without an internet browser. It can be done, but it isn't exactly easy.

Personally, I don't think that there is anything wrong with Windows having MS software pre-installed, or OS-X having Apple software pre-installed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Your statement is false
by boldingd on Tue 29th Sep 2009 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Your statement is false"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

A co-worker across the hall was swearing vitriolically at his Win7 beta installation, precisely because I had given him an mpeg movie to put in a power-point presentation, and the beta apparently didn't ship with Windows Media Player, so he couldn't play it. So, I kinda think you're right; people make a big deal out of Microsoft's bundling IE with Windows, but Microsoft bundles a lot of other software -- like a firewall, a basic AV scanner, a text editor, an RTF word-processing application, a file sharing client, an image viewer -- and nobody complains about that. And, so long as I can replace those components freely, they're probably right to do it -- or at least, not wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Your statement is false
by memson on Tue 29th Sep 2009 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Your statement is false"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

But MS update *does* push software. It pushed DotNet, it pushed IE7 and I even saw it push IE8 on recently on a server. I didn't ask for "Genuine advantage" either, which is far worse than anything Apple has pushed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Your statement is false
by _txf_ on Tue 29th Sep 2009 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Your statement is false"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

true. However, Microsoft does not have the weight of expectations to deal with. People usually expect the worst from microsoft (not that it isn't deserved).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Your statement is false
by kenji on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:58 UTC in reply to "Your statement is false"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

This article was linked and paraphrased from Ars Technica. You can't really blame Thom for this one.

Read the original link.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Your statement is false
by ecruz on Wed 30th Sep 2009 05:19 UTC in reply to "Your statement is false"
ecruz Member since:
2007-06-16

No, your statement is false!

The program itself comes already pre-ckecked, so if you don't look closely, you will install it without your proper permsission.

That to me is the backdoor way and Apple has been guilty of doing that in the past. Quit apologizing for a company that is doing something wrong.

Boy, these are just corporations. Entities to make money. Why do you feel so personal about them? You better go see a shrink and get your head examined!

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

itunes always installs ipodhelper running in the background, as well as a couple other services. I have no need for a ipod/phone. Its crapware as far as I'm concerned. I can clean it out, but every update of itunes puts it right back.

Also,I wish updates and new programs that I have selected to ignore would stay ignored ... forever. I don't care if there is a new point release of safari or itunes. If I didn't want the previous one, I still don't want the current one.

Reply Score: 5

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

itunes always installs ipodhelper running in the background, as well as a couple other services. I have no need for a ipod/phone. Its crapware as far as I'm concerned. I can clean it out, but every update of itunes puts it right back.

Also,I wish updates and new programs that I have selected to ignore would stay ignored ... forever. I don't care if there is a new point release of safari or itunes. If I didn't want the previous one, I still don't want the current one.


Stop using crapware then. It's not like there aren't choices around that install only what you want and not what they need you to have. People keep bitching about malfunctioning software as if there were no way out. The way out is pretty clear. If you can't see it...

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes, that would be the logical response to ban all apple software from any of my computers. Some day's I feel like doing that. I don't / can't at work because I need to use safari to test out sites. At home, they aren't installed on my windows computer. I guess I'm more complaining about cleaning up the software on computers of friends & family.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I hate that QuickTime Helper will register itself to run on startup. I hate that, if I remove it, every time I run an application that uses QuickTime, QuickTime Helper will re-register itself to run at start-up. I am confounded that Apple doesn't provide any way to tell the damned thing, "I do not want to waste resources on this wretched little wad of filth" -- I mean, "don't run on start-up."

At least, that's how it used to be. I'd remove QuickTime Helper from start-up, be happy for a little while, play EV: Nova once... and bloody QuickTime would be back in my system tray on next reboot. Pretty annoying.

Reply Score: 1

Updaters run amok
by Leroy on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:08 UTC
Leroy
Member since:
2006-07-06

Whether it pushes software automatically or "asks" you, this updating business is running amok. I don't need every application trying to update automatically. It eats up CPU cycles and internet bandwidth.

Watch out if you do update. Remember when you had to select what you wanted to install; now you select what you don't want installed. Java is sneaky about it. I've seen many a toolbar installed on IE. Who needs a toolbar?

Reply Score: 3

what?
by siraf72 on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:32 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

How is this any different from the Apple updates on on a Mac?

Reply Score: 2

v RE: what?
by Tony Swash on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:42 UTC in reply to "what?"
RE[2]: what?
by merkoth on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE: what?"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

Oh, c'mon, the problem isn't that it might get installed. The problem is that the updater notifies it like "Oh, here's this update for your software!" When you clearly haven't installed it on the first place. One thing is to offer it, but making it look like a software update is another very different thing.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: what?
by siraf72 on Mon 28th Sep 2009 22:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what?"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

honestly, fair point.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what?
by sbenitezb on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE: what?"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"How is this any different from the Apple updates on on a Mac?


It isn't but the people here who are afraid of Apple's success love to get all worked up about nothing. "OH - MY-GOD I was offered a software update that I didn't want and which might take up 0.0000001% of my hard drive - what will these Apple Nazis do next!?"
"

I think Apple is just an example. Anyone can name even more. Buy an HP notebook and you'll see all the crap and autoupdaters installed by default. One autoupdater does nothing, 10 of them do, both in your battery life, in memory consumption, network polling, etc. It all contributes to make you, the user, more and more disatisfied with your experience.

Besides, software updates are not always necessary. Only critical ones are.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: what?
by Tony Swash on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


I think Apple is just an example. Anyone can name even more. Buy an HP notebook and you'll see all the crap and autoupdaters installed by default. One autoupdater does nothing, 10 of them do, both in your battery life, in memory consumption, network polling, etc. It all contributes to make you, the user, more and more disatisfied with your experience.


I hate to say this - I know it will probably annoy some people here - but if you don't like crapware why don't you just get a Mac and relax?

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: what?
by sbenitezb on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what?"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Apple is more expensive than (insert hardware vendor). The difference may not be that much in USA, but in my country it is. Even if the prices were similar, people would still buy the Windows PC, because it's what they know and bla bla. It's more of a psychological lock-in, than a harware/software lock-in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: what?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: what?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The difference may not be that much in USA,


FYI, Yes the price differential is substantial, even in the US. Or at least you have a much greater choice of hardware selection in non Apple configurations allowing users to buy a more optimal configuration for them than an Apple.

Sometimes someone will price quote an Dell with the *exact* same specs as an Apple computer and find the Apple to be slightly cheaper. But Apple's prices are less variable than Dell's, so that changes over time as the dell is discounted.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: what?
by _txf_ on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what?"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

So apple understands the need for no crapware and yet they are content to push their own crapware on other operating systems. I'm sure it will be fixed but there are 3 things that I would like here:

1)stop harassing me when there are newer versions of software that I do not want (mobileme, safari).

2)Stop Hiding the unbundled versions of QT from the download sections.

3) Improve their crappy windows software. I bet there are more windows Itunes users than there are in total mac users (can anybody confirm this?)

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: what?
by darknexus on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I hate to say this - I know it will probably annoy some people here - but if you don't like crapware why don't you just get a Mac and relax?


Well, I can't argue with that logic. I, personally, find the Mac user experience to be the best of the modern-day systems. NOt everyone likes the Mac, however, and given Apple's ridiculous international pricing schemes, many can't justify the cost. Here, in the U.S, the price differential really isn't all that bad and for me, at least, it's worth it as I really do like the Macintosh. I think if Apple were to get their act together concerning international pricing we'd see market share going up in other places as well as the states, but sadly they seem to think just changing a dollar sign to (insert currency of choice here) and leaving the number the same makes a good global pricing scheme. I think some others here are right: they're so focused on the product side of things that they're lacking a bit on the business and administrative side.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: what?
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 28th Sep 2009 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what?"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I hate to say this - I know it will probably annoy some people here - but if you don't like crapware why don't you just get a Mac and relax?


If someone is annoyed by Apple crapware on Windows, you seriously think that they'll prefer OS X? It's nothing but Apple crapware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: what?
by JoostinOnline on Tue 29th Sep 2009 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what?"
JoostinOnline Member since:
2009-09-18

I hate to say this - I know it will probably annoy some people here - but if you don't like crapware why don't you just get a Mac and relax?

Because you won't be able to relax while you are on a tight budget. Macs cost way too much for the performance that they offer. When you pick a computer, remember that hardware > software.
Before you get your panties in a bunch, know that I actually own a Macbook (which I hate) so I have experience with Macs. It is slow, the software available is limited (although that isn't so much Apple's fault), and way over-priced. The only reason I got it was because it is payed for through my college tuition.

My laptop that I use is much faster, has a bigger screen, weighs less, runs Vista Ultimate, has 2 gigs of RAM (the Macbook has 1). Guess what, I DIDN'T spend over $1000 dollars for it. It cost me $450 (after $300 in rebates), plus I got a free printer worth $50.

While I can't say that Microsoft (or Linux, BSD, etc.) is perfect, I prefer better hardware for less money.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: what?
by Tony Swash on Tue 29th Sep 2009 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: what?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


Before you get your panties in a bunch


OK who told you about the pantie?! have you told anyone else? Please don't tell my wife. If I give you some cash will you destroy the photos ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: what?
by Tony Swash on Tue 29th Sep 2009 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: what?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Before you get your panties in a bunch, know that I actually own a Macbook (which I hate) so I have experience with Macs. It is slow, the software available is limited


I am just curious, but given that you can run any Windows or Linux program on a Mac, what is the software that you say is unavailable?

In my experience a Mac platform running on Intel chips (ie any Mac made in the last few years) is the most compatible platform I have ever used. I often have the Mac OS, Windows (XP, Vista or 7) and Linux all running at the same time on my Mac and I can switch between them with a click of the mouse.

I am hard pushed to think of any program that won't run on a mac so please help me out by telling me what programs you think are unavailable.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: what?
by JoostinOnline on Tue 29th Sep 2009 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: what?"
JoostinOnline Member since:
2009-09-18

I am just curious, but given that you can run any Windows or Linux program on a Mac, what is the software that you say is unavailable? In my experience a Mac platform running on Intel chips (ie any Mac made in the last few years) is the most compatible platform I have ever used. I often have the Mac OS, Windows (XP, Vista or 7) and Linux all running at the same time on my Mac and I can switch between them with a click of the mouse. I am hard pushed to think of any program that won't run on a mac so please help me out by telling me what programs you think are unavailable.

Sorry, I should have been more specific. When I said Macs, I meant Macs OS's, not OS's in a VM. Notice that I did say that Apple isn't really responsible for all the applications that are only available for Windows; it's just that not all developers are willing to write a second version of a program for Mac users.

I wish that Apple would make it legal to install their OS's on PCs, because then you could buy good hardware for less money. Then again, they would probably jack the price up even higher.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=os+x+on+a+pc&aq=1&oq...

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: what?
by Tony Swash on Tue 29th Sep 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: what?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


Sorry, I should have been more specific. When I said Macs, I meant Macs OS's, not OS's in a VM. Notice that I did say that Apple isn't really responsible for all the applications that are only available for Windows; it's just that not all developers are willing to write a second version of a program for Mac users.


I just don't understand what you are saying. You said a key thing you didn't like about Macs was that some software is not available on them. I asked what software is not available because I can't think of any software that won't run on a Mac.

Macs run far more software than Windows PCs. You can't run iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, Garage Band, Pages, Keynote. Aperture or any of the Final Cut Studio suite on Windows PCs for example - all those programs are Mac only. Macs can also run all Windows PC software (and all Linux software).

So where is the disadvantage that you originally mentioned, the disadvantage of dealing with more limited software? I just don't see it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what?
by victorhooi on Mon 28th Sep 2009 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE: what?"
victorhooi Member since:
2005-06-30

"How is this any different from the Apple updates on on a Mac?


It isn't but the people here who are afraid of Apple's success love to get all worked up about nothing. "OH - MY-GOD I was offered a software update that I didn't want and which might take up 0.0000001% of my hard drive - what will these Apple Nazis do next!?"
"

heya,

Ok, apart from your faulty maths*, I hardly think disk space is the main beef most people have.

It's with the fact that this update is opt-in (like those stupid Yahoo/MSN/Google toolbars, or every other malware package out there), when they very well know a lot of users (maybe not so much OSNews readers, but the people we'll have to then give help to) will not notice or ignore it. It's sneaky and underhanded - if it was a related, or required package, I could understand, but it's not even tangentially related.

Secondly, Apple tends to install a whole bunch of stupid, resource-hogging background processes. I find this incredibly annoying. It puts Apple up there with annoying Symantec auto-updates, and stupid laptop manufacturer utilities (looking at you, Asus and Lenovo - although I do like Lenovo machines).

And thirdly, their apps run like molasses under Windows. Somewhat unrelated, but if you're going to pollute your users computers with background processes, at least make it lean.

And I'm sorry, but your post reeks of immature Apple-apologetism - "OH - MY-GOD I was offered a software update that I didn't want and which might take up 0.0000001% of my hard drive - what will these Apple Nazis do next!?".

What they'll do next is use the same sneaky up-sell techniques used by seedy malware firms, and dodgy software outfits to get their software in. I can't remember the last time I installed a package on Linux, and was asked, nay, defaulted to installing a completely unrelated package. Sorry, but this just isn't cool - opt-in, sure, but opt-out? No.

Cheers,
Victor

*: On my computer, I have a 128 GB SSD. 40 Gb Linux partition, 40 Gb Windows partition, 40 Gb shared NTFS (these are approx, 1000 vs 1024 and all). Itunes and Quicktime, and all that garbage is what, 120 Mb last time I checked? That's about 0.03% of my Windows partition. Not terribly earth-shattering, but still annoying - I could have stored two CD albums in that space. Seriously, it's a music player - how big does it need to be? And oh gosh, it's also a "music management suite" or something. Ok, so it has a library to talk to iPods. How darn big can that be? Libgpod is what, 2.5Mb when installed? And I don't want QuickTime, I really don't.

Edited 2009-09-28 22:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: what?
by steve_s on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:50 UTC in reply to "what?"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

The Software Update application on Mac OS X only does updates. It never presents any new software to install.

In contrast the equivalent app on Windows, which looks almost identical, pimps new software, selected by default to install.

Reply Score: 7

RE: what?
by sukru on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:50 UTC in reply to "what?"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

I don't have a mac, but iTunes is no longer welcome on my Windows. Unlike many other freeware (WinAmp), it does actually slow down my computer, and break codec support for Windows Media Center.

Now whenever I need to update QuickTime, I make sure to deselect iTunes, and Safari, and whatever Apple is trying to push me that day.

Edited 2009-09-28 17:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what?
by eric_niebler on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE: what?"
eric_niebler Member since:
2005-06-29

Agreed. I've gone one step farther: given away my (very old) iPod and uninstalled all Apple software from my Windows machine. I don't like Apple's update policies, pricing policies, App Store policies, DRM policies, their collusion with AT&T, their poor handling of software and hardware defects, arbitrary restrictions (re: no unlocked or tethered iPhones, no multitasking for non-Apple apps, no replaceable batteries), etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. Enough. If this is what it means to be "cool", then I'm ok with being uncool.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: what?
by WereCatf on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I have only Quicktime installed and that too only because Songbird doesn't play .m4a without it. I am a proud owner of not a single Apple device except for a Mac which I got for free :3

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: what?
by Melicerte on Tue 29th Sep 2009 08:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what?"
Melicerte Member since:
2006-08-29

Reading your comment, I was pretty sure it would generates plenty of negative reactions. But I went up to the end of the comments and found (nearly) nothing...
I guess you make a valid point then.

Reply Score: 1

Probably, just an error
by biffuz on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:04 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

At 99% it was just an error from someone at Apple, that did little to no damage to anyone, and tomorrow we'll see official apologies.
But it quickly generated the usual flood of "Apple racism" from people who has nothing better to do.

I wonder how much energy has been wasted for this and how much carbon was released in the atmosphere ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Probably, just an error
by umccullough on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:17 UTC in reply to "Probably, just an error"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

At 99% it was just an error from someone at Apple, that did little to no damage to anyone, and tomorrow we'll see official apologies.
But it quickly generated the usual flood of "Apple racism" from people who has nothing better to do.

I wonder how much energy has been wasted for this and how much carbon was released in the atmosphere ;)


The question then becomes - are there any drawbacks to having this software installed?

Because this "mistake" means that probably 70-90% (yes, made that up) of all Apple software users are probably now running this "update" because they've been "trained" to just click install every time an updater pops up.

Will Apple go back and remove this software from every machine that it was installed on "by mistake"? If not, does this software do anything to affect the user? My initial black-helicopter thought was: "Does it by chance report any details back to Apple when an iPhone is connected?" It sure sounds it pulls a lot of info off the phone...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Probably, just an error
by biffuz on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Probably, just an error"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

Will Apple go back and remove this software from every machine that it was installed on "by mistake"? If not, does this software do anything to affect the user? My initial black-helicopter thought was: "Does it by chance report any details back to Apple when an iPhone is connected?" It sure sounds it pulls a lot of info off the phone...


It's quite possible you're right ;)

But if Apple really wants to gather details of the iPhones in the wild, they surely have more subtle ways...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Probably, just an error
by umccullough on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Probably, just an error"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

But if Apple really wants to gather details of the iPhones in the wild, they surely have more subtle ways...


True... they most likely have access to all of this already.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd want a whole bunch of phone details (including console logs, etc.) automatically transferred onto any machine I plugged it into... with this new software installed on "every" machine running Apple software...

Edited 2009-09-28 19:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Probably, just an error
by BallmerKnowsBest on Tue 29th Sep 2009 22:12 UTC in reply to "Probably, just an error"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

But it quickly generated the usual flood of "Apple racism" from people who has nothing better to do.


You might want to get checked for radiation poisoning - it must take a huge amount RDF exposure to think that criticism of Apple is comparable to racism.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Probably, just an error
by biffuz on Wed 30th Sep 2009 08:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Probably, just an error"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

"But it quickly generated the usual flood of "Apple racism" from people who has nothing better to do.


You might want to get checked for radiation poisoning - it must take a huge amount RDF exposure to think that criticism of Apple is comparable to racism.
"

That's why I wrapped it with double quotes.

Reply Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"[q]But it quickly generated the usual flood of "Apple racism" from people who has nothing better to do.


You might want to get checked for radiation poisoning - it must take a huge amount RDF exposure to think that criticism of Apple is comparable to racism.
"

That's why I wrapped it with double quotes. [/q]

So if I call someone an "Apple supremacist," that's A-okay, just as long as I use quotation marks? Good to know.

Reply Score: 2

Incompetence, not malciousness
by bousozoku on Mon 28th Sep 2009 18:17 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

I believe that the people at Apple are just buried by the speed of things changing and they're not organised enough to get things right.

You'd think after so many years of being in business that they'd got their act together but it's obvious that they make way too many careless errors on the administrative side because they're so focused on the product side.

Does anyone think that Software Update is a smart utility or that it's just something simple, as I do?

Reply Score: 2

morglum666
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it somewhat comical that while Apple really put a lot of focus on a UI that is pleasing, they consisently fail at providing a "non evil" (google term) experience.

I didn't appreciate when apple decided that Safari should come along with Quicktime. In fact, I didn't want quicktime when I installed Itunes. I have since removed every trace of apple software from my pc.

Apple software fits the definition of a virus infection - not only does it install unwanted software, it re-installs itself. It drains PC's of horsepower with unwanted services that don't even make sense (Phone services when you don't even know if I have a phone?).

Good hardware, low respect for their customers.

Now only if I could get my own reality distortion field like Steve..

Morglum

Reply Score: 3

Damned if you do or don't
by cmost on Mon 28th Sep 2009 19:58 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

...and when Apple fails to offer tools in an easy intuitive fashion as it has by offering this software, regardless of how esoteric, via its update utility, then users bitch and moan about having to delve into Apple's web site to hunt around for a download link for such tools. Some people are never happy. It's not Apple's fault that people don't read before they click, nor is it hard for users to untick a check-box or otherwise decline software (decline the EULA for example) they don't want or won't use. So called "drive by" software installations are common fare on Windows these days so nobody should be surprised that Apple, too, is taking advantage of the stupidity (and laziness) of many computer users who click first and ask questions later. This is a non-issue for anyone with an ounce of common sense.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Damned if you do or don't
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 30th Sep 2009 17:48 UTC in reply to "Damned if you do or don't"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

...and when Apple fails to offer tools in an easy intuitive fashion as it has by offering this software, regardless of how esoteric, via its update utility, then users bitch and moan about having to delve into Apple's web site to hunt around for a download link for such tools.


Can you say "strawman argument?" I'll bet that you can't reference even a single example of someone complaining because Apple didn't push a particular piece of software through their updater.

Reply Score: 2

need an agent updater w/o the BS.
by Bounty on Mon 28th Sep 2009 20:19 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

I hate Apple Software Update. This updater, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste it's stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it.

(sorry once the though entered, had to post it)

Reply Score: 4

Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I have the answer to all your anxieties about Apple!

Just watch this video ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7C8tJos0zE&

Reply Score: 1

UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

It's mostly garbage on the Windows side to begin with, it always looks completely out of place compared to everything else, and they always want to shove more of their trash down your throat in the form of "updates." Unfortunately, QuickTime can't be avoided, but at least QT Lite gives you *just* the codecs, without the player or "updater" crap.

Reply Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

It's mostly garbage on the Windows side to begin with, it always looks completely out of place compared to everything else, and they always want to shove more of their trash down your throat in the form of "updates." Unfortunately, QuickTime can't be avoided, but at least QT Lite gives you *just* the codecs, without the player or "updater" crap.


I'm surprised that Apple hasn't let their "attack lawyers" loose on the people behind QT Lite. Maybe they're embarrassed that even a cobbled-together hack works better than their "official" Windows offerings - so they ignore QT Lite because they're afraid to acknowledge how crap-tastic their own software is.

Reply Score: 2

Think of the newbs!
by 3rdalbum on Tue 29th Sep 2009 01:28 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

I'm in the process of building a computer for someone who is not good with computers, so lately I've been thinking of things from her perspective.

If someone who's not good with computers or not good with Windows saw that "update", they would definitely believe that it's a required update to software that they already have.

It's all very well to sit here and say "Oh, anyone can just uncheck the box", but people who don't know much about computers will accept the Apple Software Update Tool's recommendation. Remember, the safest option for any new user is to stick with the defaults and not fiddle with anything they don't understand - and the description of the new program is definitely NOT understandable by anybody except the target readership of OSnews :-)

Heck, I'm a newbie (to Windows) and I would have left the box checked for fear of breaking something or having some feature not work down the track.

Apple should know better. They tell everyone in their ads that Windows PCs get viruses and spyware, and then they entrust your personal details to some software they will install on a Windows PC.

I'd have to agree with many of the other posters: nothing that installs the Apple Software Update will be installed on my friend's computer. BTW Thanks for the QTLite suggestion, I'll look into that.

Reply Score: 3

Seems Apple and Microsoft...
by mrhasbean on Tue 29th Sep 2009 03:13 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...do have something in common then.

Then again, Apple's software for Windows has been universally horrible since day one


Office Mac anyone?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems Apple and Microsoft...
by Johann Chua on Tue 29th Sep 2009 05:33 UTC in reply to "Seems Apple and Microsoft..."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Wasn't MS Office originally a Mac app?

Reply Score: 2

Apple software = Spyware. Period!
by AnythingButVista on Tue 29th Sep 2009 14:52 UTC
AnythingButVista
Member since:
2008-08-27

One thing you are all overlooking, especially the Apple fanboys in here, it's that this isn't just a matter of lazy users not unticking a check box. I read about software before I install it, and I know how to untick the check box for the iPhone Configuration Utility. The problem is that every three days or so, the friggin Apple Software Update pops up again with the check box for that crapware checked again! They won't let go until you install the crap, or uninstall all Apple software!

Apple is really testing my patience with their Windows software! I can't tell you how much I hate the iPhone so the last thing I need is Apple trying to push iPhone stuff onto my computer. I can't wait for Amazon, Rhapsody or some other company to begin selling non-DRM music in my country, as when that day arrives, all bits of Apple code will be out of my PC's forever.

And no, I won't be getting a Mac! After having to put up with bloated, spyware-like Apple software on Windows, there is no way in hell I'm rewarding them with my money buying one of their overpriced computers just to run an OS that has been intentionally crippled by them to be non-installable in other capable (and less expensive) hardware.

Reply Score: 1