Mozilla CEO says Apple's Safari auto-update 'wrong'

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Over at cnet's News.com they have reported the John Lilly the CEO of Mozilla has criticized Apple's auto-update practices.

Below is an excerpt from the post.

In a blog on Friday, Mozilla CEO John Lilly criticized Apple's practice, uncovered this week, of offering iTunes and QuickTime users Safari 3.1 on Windows through the Apple Software Update pop-up.

Lilly says that automatic updates are a good way to ensure people have the most recent and secure versions of software. It's a practice that Mozilla uses with the Firefox browser.

What's different in what Apple is doing is that it is adding a product to the auto-update list that users never requested. That means they could very easily install software unintentionally, he argued:

Apple has made it incredibly easy--the default, even--for users to install ride along software that they didn't ask for, and maybe didn't want. This is wrong, and borders on malware distribution practices.

It's wrong because it undermines the trust that we're all trying to build with users. Because it means that an update isn't just an update, but is maybe something more. Because it ultimately undermines the safety of users on the Web by eroding that relationship. It's a bad practice and should stop.

You can read the full post here.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this practice (You can leave them in the comments or write a post about it on this blog using your free Ajaxonomy account).

While the text itself seems to present Safari as the holy grail of browsers....I don't see so much wrong with this, as long as you allow the checkbox. True, some users will mindlessly click (I'm guilty of that sometimes too) so instead of simply calling them out on this practice, they should also teach the average user to look carefully at what he or she installs in their machine.

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