As you all know: I rarely blog on competitors and – even rarer – blog about them negatively. But this time I definitely had to:
As most of us I have QuickTime on my PC as well as a Java VM. I know that there are alternatives for this software and the same is true for RealPlayer, which is – for me – from Privacy perspective about where Windows Media Player has been about 6-7 years ago but this shall not be the theme here.
Regularly I am prompted by Apple to install updates – for software I do not even have. So, I am not only prompted regularly to install security updates for QuickTime (and there are a lot) but they want to force iTunes down on my machine since quite some time. Regularly I tell this updater not to prompt me anymore for this update but this seems to be valid for the current version of the product only. Today it got even worse: I was prompted again by this so-called updater to install updates and was asked to install Safari! It was not just a proposal, it was already preselected by Apple – so kind!
As well today I was asked to install a newer version of the Java VM on my private PC and guess what – why do I each time I install an update on the Java VM have to tell this installer that I do not want to install the Google toolbar? I have to de-select it as – kindness of sun – it is already pre-selected!
Why the heck do we invest a huge amount of time to teach consumers to switch on the update engines in order to get Security Updates and then our industry partners come and behave in such an irresponsible way? Let the user choose what he/she wants and then stick to it.
Now, I hear you saying that we pushed IE7 out as a Security Update. Yes, this is true but this is different than the two examples above: First of all, we only updated existing installations of Internet Explorer. So, the user chose to install it or buy a Windows with it and we updated it. From our perspective (and this was a long discussion internally) the security progress in IE7 compared to IE6 was so significant that we decided to push it out via Automatic Update.
Sun, Apple and others: Start to let the consumer choose. I do not hope that you need this kind of business models to make profit! Security Updates have to be strictly separated from the business goals as this is a job to make sure your customers use your technology in a secure way.
I will switch off these updates and try to stay current manually as these policies are simply not acceptable to me as a user