Mozilla CEO John Lily called Apple‘s attempt to force its Safari browser upon Windows iTunes and Quicktime users “just wrong.” Apple included the browser as a “stealth update” via an application called Software Update that is included as part of standalone iTunes and Quicktime downloads.
Lily’s objection to Apple’s tactic no doubt stems from fear of competition, but he claims to have altruistic reasons for his statements:
While a user has the option to uncheck the update, Lily argues that most will just press the “Install” button, which automatically installs Safari possibly without the user realizing what he or she has done.
“Apple has made it incredibly easy — the default, even — for users to install ride along software that they didn’t ask for, and maybe didn’t want,” he says, “This is wrong, and borders on malware distribution practices.”
However, Lily may be getting worked up over nothing. According to Information Week, Safari 3.1 and Windows XP and Vista aren’t the best of partners. XP users have reported that opening Safari causes their operating system to crash, and despite rigorous testing, the browser doesn’t function properly on Vista.
“When I try to start Safari 3.1 in Windows XP, it crashes right away,” said SakJosep, in a post currently on Apple’s online support forum.
“I have this problem too, I have no idea what it is,” said another user, OllieK92.
“I’ve tried removing and installing a new Safari — still fails to open,” reported KobeKungFu.
Such complaints are echoing across a Safari support forum thread on Apple’s Web site that’s drawn more than 1,000 views in the past week — an indication that the problem could be widespread.
Macs are cool and all, but Safari’s pretty fucking lame; and honestly, I’ve been so disappointed with recent Firefox updates that I’ve been using IE more and more. I don’t know if that means I’ve forfeited my standing as a geek or not.