posted by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Sep 2009 16:18 UTC
IconIf 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.

Apple's Software Update utility gets installed alongside Apple's Windows software, and is used to - wait for it - update any possible Apple programs you might have installed on your Windows machines. Updater or no, Apple is now using it to push new software onto users' machines without asking for permission. On top of that, the unwanted software is an enterprise tool, and utterly useless to home users.

The tool in question is the iPhone Configuration Utility, an enterprise utility to manage device profiles for iPhones, among other things. "iPhone Configuration Utility lets you easily create, maintain, encrypt, and install configuration profiles, track and install provisioning profiles and authorized applications, and capture device information including console logs," the application's description reads.

The tool will be listed in the update dialog, selected by default. Whether you have an iPhone or iPod or not, whether you've ever connected one or not; it'll be there. What's worse, it apparently includes an Apache installation as well. Not only is this an enterprise tool, it's also new software that an updater should not concern itself with. In fact, I'd say an updater should not concern itself with new software, checked by default no less, at all.

This isn't the first time Apple is using its Windows update tool to push unwanted software onto users' Windows computers. In March 2008, people who had QuickTime or iTunes installed on Windows were treated to an unwanted installation of Safari for Windows, which resulted in a storm of criticism for Apple. A month later, the company changed its updater to show a "new software" section.

As it turns out, the company is not following its own rules. This iPhone Configuration Utility has been secretly pushed onto users' machines since earlier this month, so you might want to check your machines for any traces.

Don't we have a term for this type of software? In any case, if you ever needed any confirmation to keep your Windows machines clean of Apple software, this is one. Then again, Apple's software for Windows has been universally horrible since day one, so I'm assuming that unless you have an iPod or iPhone, your machine is clean.

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