Apple is obviously trying to attract some new users to the Safari 3.1 web browser that was just released on Tuesday, but I would say that they are using questionable methods to do so. I’m not sure how well you remember the World Wide Developers Conference last year when Steve Jobs announced how they planed to distribute Safari for Windows. Here’s a 7-minute YouTube video to refresh your mind on that segment, and there was one part of the Safari presentation that I haven’t forgotten about as the months have passed by. It was when Steve Jobs said:
How are we going to distribute this? We don’t really talk to these customers, do we? There are over 500,000 downloads of Firefox a day. What are we going to do? Well, it turns out, there are over 1 million downloads of iTunes a day. As a matter of fact, there have been over a half a billion downloads of iTunes to Windows Machines. Over half a billion. And so we know how to reach these customers and we are going to do exactly that.
So Jobs didn’t come out and say that Safari was going to be bundled with iTunes, but I kind of thought it was implied from that statement. Up until now there had been nothing that showed Apple was following through with those plans, but apparently since Safari came out of Beta on Tuesday they are really starting to push the browser.
I have two computers that have iTunes installed, but I’ve never installed Safari on either of them. And yet yesterday both computers notified me that a new version of Safari was available via Apple Software Update:
Isn’t the Apple Software Update supposed to be for updating the applications you actually have installed? Most of the 500+ million iTunes users would probably click install thinking that Safari was already installed on their machine, and little do they know they are actually adding another browser to Windows.
What do you think? I would say it’s fair if they asked whether the user wants to also install Safari when they are installing iTunes, but trying to classify this as an update when it has never been installed before just isn’t right.