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Apple pushes unwanted enterprise tool to Windows users


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Apple pushes unwanted enterprise tool to Windows users

Apple is telling iTunes and QuickTime users on Windows that they need to download the iPhone Configuration Utility, an enterprise tool that is useless for most consumers, via its Apple Software Update program for Windows.

apple_software_update_iphone.png

Apple is once again using its updating program that comes with iTunes and QuickTime on Windows to push unwanted software. This time around, the software in question is an iPhone enterprise tool that is more than useless for most consumers. ZDNet spotted the update, though when we asked around we learned it was actually pushed out earlier this month. Nevertheless, we downloaded iTunes and installed it on a Windows 7 machine to see if we could reproduce the annoyance. We could. Apple is, for whatever reason, pushing enterprise software to Windows PC users who use Apple software.

Here's the description Apple gives for the iPhone Configuration Utility:

iPhone Configuration Utility lets you easily create, maintain, encrypt, and install configuration profiles, track and install provisioning profiles and authorized applications, and capture device information including console logs.

Configuration profiles are XML files that contain device security policies, VPN configuration information, Wi-Fi settings, APN settings, Exchange account settings, mail settings, and certificates that permit iPhone and iPod touch to work with your enterprise systems. For instructions on how to use iPhone Configuration Utility, see the iPhone and iPod touch Enterprise Deployment Guide, available for downloading at http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/

Not only is this irrelevant to many iTunes users, since most of them don't even have an iPhone, it's cleary an enterprise tool that even the majority of iPhone users don't need or want. This "update" should not be checked by default, and instead should be clearly marked as optional. To go even further, though, an update utility should not be prompting to install new software. This is a new program that Apple Software Update is pushing to users, and not an update for a program or programs the user already has installed. If Apple finds it necessary to include its update tool to anyone who installs iTunes or QuickTime, the company should make sure it only offers updates for installed software, and not push out new software whenever it feels like it.

Apple has been called out in the past for using its updater to push unwanted applications out to Windows users, but it looks like the bad press hasn't had any long term impact. In March 2008, Apple was heavily criticized for pushing Safari to iTunes and QuickTime users, also through Apple Software Update on Windows. The obvious goal was to increase the browser's small market share on Windows (and it worked, if not at least temporarily), but the way the company decided to do so was very sly.

The next month, Apple posted an "update to Software Update for updating software updates" which added a "New Software" category for listing any Apple software for Windows that is not already installed separately from other updates. Unfortunately, it looks like Cupertino isn't following the rules it created in response to the previous outcries. In the screenshot above, you can see that the MobileMe Control Panel is in this category, but why isn't the iPhone Configuration Utility?

We have contacted Apple for comment, but have yet to receive a response to our inquiry. If you're not interested in waiting till the company fixes this issue, the only other solution we can offer you is a simple one: uninstall the Apple Software Update program. The updater is not necessary to keep installed for any Apple software to work correctly on Windows. If you are capable of updating your software manually, then this workaround is for you.

souricon.gif News source: Ars Technica

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Simpler solution. Remove ALL Apple software from your Windows PC. It's slow, buggy, and crashes a lot anyway. It's little better than the OEM crapware you get on Dell's et al.

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Wow, just wow. It's good that the first thing I do after installing iTunes is to uninstall Apple crapware update. :s Whenever I can get rid of my iPhone, I would be really glad to nuke iTunes for good.

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While I love Software Update on OSX I don't see why I would use it on Windows...

Doesn't matter what you want, Apple installs it(software update) even if you deselect it.

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Hey!!

You people are finally catching on as to how lousy "i" anything is!!

Only software I can think of as lousy as their's is AOL, Norton AV, and McAfee AV. Unless you count anything from MySpace or Twitter, or Facebook, etc.

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Doesn't matter what you want, Apple installs it(software update) even if you deselect it.

Yea, I noticed that. Shoddy practices. Lets not kid ourselves, Apple do it and so do many others. So many programs function as themselves alone, work a treat, update without anything extra. Why can't others follow this instead of installing so much crap and forcing it in some cases ?

Why haven't Apple created a one all and be all service instead of having numerous running or ready to go. Seems very inefficient and lazy to me.

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If they remove this by tomorrow, it's probably a patch rollout mistake. They may have intended this for people with the iPhone SDK and no one else. (edit: oops, SDK is Mac-only)

Nothing worth boycotting or suing over. :rolleyes:

Edited by rm20010
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I just ran Apple Software Update, but that isn't showing in the list for me. Also, the SDK is for OS X not Windows, so that shouldn't have anything to do with it. Right now, Safari 4 and MobileMe Control Panel are the only items showing up and they're both under New Software.

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I've been seeing this come up on my machine for about a week now. Didn't Apple get in trouble for doing this with Safari?

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If you don't want ****ty Apple software updater installed, this is what you do.

Download the installer.

Extract it with WinRAR.

Delete the apple software update MSI.

Now install quicktime. Even if the checkbox is on it will ignore it, since the installer is missing.

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It's not required. It's just checked by default (probably an error on Apple's update servers for Windows). Saying this is the last straw is ridiculous.

Microsoft Update tries to, by default, install a lot of updates that I don't want on my system, but wait, there are checkboxes to deselect the items! Holy crap! :omg:

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You could just ignore the request to install/update ANY software on your system

No need to overblow what is in reality not a big deal

But you're missing the point. When Microsoft or other software vendors do this, it's bad. Yet when Apple does it, it's fine.

That's the last straw now. All apple software is now GONE from my system and anybody else's who I get my hands on.

Since when do you feel you have the right to remove software from other people's computers? You might not like iTunes, but I'm sure millions more do.

Someone should sue Apple over forcing software on people.

It's disgusting and should be outlawed.

To be fair, it's not really being "forced," it's just being checked by default.

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But you're missing the point. When Microsoft or other software vendors do this, it's bad. Yet when Apple does it, it's fine.

It's bad when any of them do it. I just don't get worked up over it. I'm not much surprised what any of them do any more.

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Simpler solution. Remove ALL Apple software from your Windows PC. It's slow, buggy, and crashes a lot anyway. It's little better than the OEM crapware you get on Dell's et al.

I have both iTunes and Safari installed on my Boot Camp Windows 7 Enterprise and neither is slow, buggy or crashed - never. Are you sure your computer isn't faulty? Perhaps your PC needs a service?

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