A Curious Thought
I posted earlier this week on Apple’s Safari 4 beta and how much improved the browser was but then I read a news article on the Beeb about the scrutiny of Microsoft being scaled back. Now I know this is about more than just bundling its propriety web browser Internet Explorer but it was part of the issue. Many were unhappy that it was bundled in there and installed by default but then doesn’t Apple do the same with Safari? Not only that there are equal problems if you choose to remove it. As one poster on a forum thread I found googling about this:
Uninstalling Safari is generally not the best idea in the world… a lot of apps use webkit to display webpages within the apps themselves and any settings you want to change in webkit you need to change in Safari.
So here we have an OS with a bundled browser that you can’t remove at least, not if you want to avoid some funky issues in the future. The question is then, why isn’t anyone on the soap box about this? I suppose the biggest reason would be the userbase for OSX is massively smaller than Windows. Statistics over at Market Share show that Windows accounts for 88.41% of the market with Mac taking 9.61% and the rest including Linux <1%. The same can be said for browsers with Internet Explorer taking up 67.44% with Firefox (21.77%) and Safari (8.02%) bringing up the rear. However should the fact that few people use the browser detract from the fact that, like Microsoft, Apple has made it’s browser intrinsic to the Operating System?
Personally I don’t think so and it smacks of double standards. Don’t get me wrong, I like Apple as a company and own many of their products and will continue to do so. However if a ruling is made here in Europe about bundling of software like this then that ruling should apply to Apple. No one is clammering to make Apple do this it just simply looks as if no-one cares. It’s like Internet Explorer and Microsoft were targeted purely because they are seen as an evil corporation and people latch on any excuse to knock them down a peg or six. I’m not saying I don’t agree with Microsoft being brought up on this, infact I’m happy they were, what I’m saying is that this ruling should have been applied to its competitors as well. I appreciate that you can simply install Firefox or whichever alternate browser you wish, remove Safari from the dock and happy days but then you can do that with Internet Explorer on Windows.
I’m not going to start an Internet campaign for Apple to be brought to justice as really I’m not overally concerned about the issue and I wasn’t with Internet Explorer to be honest. I just feel that when people clammer to punish one company and then don’t apply the same to others. Perhaps this is why economically we are the way we are. We punish one company for bad practice but overlook the industry as a whole a lesson, I think, we need to learn.