Bad behavior

Ed Bott's screenshot

I don’t often read Windows sites, let alone link to them, and even then not when I think they’re rightly criticising Apple or Mac OS X. But in this case, I think it’s justified.

Ed Bott got a surprise when he upgraded to iTunes 8 on his PC running Windows Vista. Not only did he get iTunes 8, he also a QuickTime update – and that’s fine, because the installer told him that was going to happen, and he continued with the upgrade knowing what to expect.

Or so he thought.

But on further investigation (see the annotated gallery), it turned out that the upgrade process also installed a bunch of other things: Apple Mobile Device Support, Bonjour, and Mobile Me. And on top of those, a couple of drivers, one of which is a known cause of serious crashes.

Ed’s post isn’t a complaint about the software itself (although the crash-causing driver is a pretty annoying problem). What he’s most annoyed about is the manner in which it was installed. If Apple wanted to install all this extra stuff, it should at least have the courtesy to tell him so first.

This is precisely the sort of behavior that Microsoft, Real, and many other Windows software companies got into trouble over back in the 1990s and early 2000s. I can remember people getting hugely angry with Windows software that tried to sneak its way into your computer.

Perhaps Apple is doing it this way because it thinks Windows users are accustomed to it. But think how you’d feel if, next time you ran Software Update on your OS X Mac, it told you there was one upgrade available and then started to install six different things? Wouldn’t you be suspicious? Wouldn’t you be just a tad annoyed?

  • Jamie McFarlane

    I’m sick of Apple pulling this stuff, they got into trouble for it with the whole pushing Safari on Windows users so now they’re just doing it whether they want it or not? It’s not cool.

  • Peruchito

    Apple Mobile Device Support, Bonjour, and Mobile Me…

    isn’t all this part of itunes? bonjour is for itunes recognizing each other and offering shared playlists (standard feature). apple mobile device support is for ipods + iphones , in which itunes is used for syncing, software updates, apps etc. like wise, mobile me, was probably added, because of the iphone, itunes relation.

    though i think apple should mention that these are the elements that are being installed, i think that all these elements are obvious.

    unless ofcourse you only use itunes as a music player and don’t have an ipod etc… which could be the case i suppose…

  • Gergith

    I registered just to post this comment. I have been a long time computer user, and currently have no bias for Mac, Windows, or Linux. To quote 2600, a big response in there survey of which OS they use was “This isn’t the place to discuss religion” and I take that to heart :p

    Regardless, I have had SOO much for 1 thing apple does and 1 thing alone.

    It literally installs Safari like a Trojan, same with all the IPOD drivers.

    I haven’t owned an Ipod for years… But EVERY install of itunes, installs drivers…

    Itunes=SOFTWARE

    Ipod=HARDWARE

    HARDWARE should require SEPERATE installs/drivers/different bundles, then SOFTWARE.

    Why does my music player install drivers to make hardware work?

    Thats my OS’s responsibility, not my MUSIC PLAYERS…

    Why doesn’t itunes install Audio cards? they are required hardware. How come audio cards aren’t default in the installer?

    I REFUSE to use itunes auto updater, I refuse to use it completely

    I don’t use Safari on my Mac or my PC… I use Firefox and Chrome…

    I have NEVER installed Safari on my own….

    I have UNinstalled it OVER 6 times…..

    6 times it has been installed in both my mac and my pc… After deleting it, not ever actually selecting it, AND going through the work arounds to make it not happen. it STILL happens..

    A trojan horse id something that uses an installer you are aware of, to install software that you are not aware of that you don’t actually want.

    By this definition, Itunes update is a trojan…

    This upsets me SOOO much, and is one of my main qualms with apple.

    Thank you very much for running this article….

    Why am i forced to install drivers for my ipod i never purchased… When I went to the ITUNES download, not the IPOD DRIVER download…..

  • mick

    Someone is gonna sue Apple and win. The have done this before and upset enough people.

    It is okay sneaking updates into their own operating system but they will win no support doing it onto windows.

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in iTunes |