Some of the #morphixers may find this hard to believe, but I’m not going to defend Apple on this latest round of controversy.
Trying to sell your browser by suddenly including it in the newest autoupdate procedure for Windows users was a bad move. It reeks of that “unfriendly neighbor” feel like Microsoft forcing IE4 down your throat (remember those days?) I understand the idea and the approach. It would have been one thing to make it available – checking the box by default is another thing altogether.
I will tell you this, though; if my stepfather is any measure of success, the ploy worked on him. He blindly clicked through the dialogue and ended up with Safari on his system. Curious, he decided to give it a go. He wasn’t too impressed, though.
I was never sure that using Safari as the ambassador to Mac technology was a good idea. Safari takes a very minimalist approach to web browsing, which I (and many others) like quite a bit. However, Windows users are not known to minimalist and I doubt will see the merits of that approach. Instead, I would suspect they would see it as a featureless, bland piece of software that has now squirmed its way onto the system. The deal sealer for Mac technology has always been the OS itself, not the squeaky-clean apps that run on it. Let them put OS X in a box and I’d bet you’d start to see different results.
I agree with all of the statements that the pundits are making… it’s unfair to expect a user to keep up with a piece of software they were not necessarily aware had gotten onto their system… gives it another attack vector, etc. etc. Safari isn’t the most insecure thing on the planet, but still, installing software in a sneaky, snarky way like this is just not the right thing to do.
One day, I’ll write an article about how I just don’t understand the browser wars anyway.
Pull it back, Apple, before your black eye gets larger.