Well, this is certainly strange.

When I last updated my iTunes software, I guess I didn’t pay complete attention, because it downloaded and installed Apple’s proprietary web browser, Safari, on my Computer.

Normally this would cause me no small amount of anger, because I hate it when software makers “bundle” products and give me stuff that I didn’t ask for.

It’s like when programs ask you to install the Yahoo toolbar for Internet Explorer, or some other stupid thing.

The worst one I ever saw was an old version of AIM that whenever you downloaded it, it also installed this “AIM Browser” and forced you to use it whenever you clicked a link in an instant message. There was no option to turn it off, or to have AIM use my default browser (which was Firefox at the time). Not only did I immediately uninstall it and rolled back to an older version of AIM, I immediately went on to their website and expressed my dissatisfaction with the practice on their forums and customer feedback areas.

It seems this is a similar case here, I now have Safari installed on my computer, and I didn’t explicitly choose to download and install it. I guess Apple decided to be “helpful”. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT okay with this practice still, but what tempers it in this case is that Safari is actually kind of a neat browser, in a clean minimalist sort of way. I’ve used it in the past, especially on my new iPod Touch, but never on my PC. It’s kinda nifty. Maybe I’ll keep this one around, rather than deleting it on principle. Then again, if I don’t, will that only encourage them to keep up the practice? What’s next, are they going to install iChat with the next iPod firmware update?

Hrmm…what’s a geek with principles to do…

EDIT: Apparently I’m not the only one upset about this…so is the CEO of Mozilla!

Molly Wood agrees. If you’re ever wondering if tech news is bad for you, the consumer, she’s probably the one to ask.

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