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Apple's EULA, as pictured here in Windows XP says you can't install Safari on non-Apple hardware, meaning that Apple has just massively violated its own EULA.  (Source: DailyTech)
Safari for Windows is having some serious issues that deserve a second look.

Fueled by Safari's release on Windows last June and strong Mac sales, Apple's Safari browser has been making modest inroads in the browser marketshare competition, moving up from around 4.6 percent around 5.7 percent between April 2007 and February 2008, according to Net Applications.  It even was able to best the Acid3 test, showing off its compatibility prowess.

However  Safari has run into some troubles.  Apple made the dubious decision of trying to coerce iTune's 500 million users into installing Safari along with the normal iTunes update, via a pesky dialog, which comes with the install Safari option checked by default.  Mozilla blasted Apple for this tactic, saying it "borders on malware distribution practices". 

Now someone has humorously pointed out that in its promotional zealousness, Apple appears to have unintentionally encouraged massive violation of and made a mockery of its own End User License Agreement (EULA) for Safari.  EULAs are supposed to set clear legal guidelines for terms of use and help consumers know what they can and cannot do (i.e. you cannot install this software on everyone in your neighborhood's computers).  Apple's EULA states that Safari can be installed on "
a single Apple-labeled computer at a time", forbidding non-Apple-marked hardware Windows machines, and the updater itself states that "Use of this software is subject to the original Software License Agreement(s) that accompanied the software being updated."

So apparently Apple has succeeded in massively violating its own EULA, a possible first of this scale, depending on the number of accidental or intentional Safari downloads.  Lawyers point out that concerned citizens need not fear about legal action from Apple.  Jonathan Kramer, a tech attorney who runs Kramer Telecom Law Firm states, "We call this an impossibility issue, you can't enforce a term that's impossible."

Amidst this embarassing debacle, new reports are coming in that Safari is faring rather poorly on Windows XP, with many users experiencing crashes.  Windows XP users who felt smug about Windows Vista bugs, may find an unexpected new source of problems-- Apple.  Apple's support forum is being flooded by angry posters complaining that their XP version of the Safari browser is broken.  Says SakJosep, one such poster, "When I try to start Safari 3.1 in Windows XP, it crashes right away."

OllieK92 echoes the previous posters sentiments, stating, "I have this problem too, I have no idea what it is."

Some users are reporting that the browser simply will not open.  The thread on the problems has received over 1,000 views well before receiving much media coverage, making it clear that the problem may be afflicting many users.  There have also been scattered reports of Safari not running on Vista, though XP has received many more such reports.  Of the Vista problems, most posters said the previous versions worked properly, but that the update to the current version, 3.1 broke the browser.

Ironically, the new version of Safari-- 3.1-- had mostly received glowing reviews.  Many reviewers lauded its better speed, security, search tools, and improved support of HTML standards.  However all is not sunny in Cupertino as it appears that Apple may be in for some more criticism amid poorly though out attempts to leverage its iTunes user base as a means of pushing the browser, and from some pesky bugs that have cropped up.

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Mud in Apple's face...
By cscpianoman on 3/27/2008 2:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
For the past few years we have heard nothing, but great praise for Apple, and in many respects it is well deserved. You cannot fault Apple for one of the most successful products ever, obviously the iPod. It has almost gotten to the point that it would appear nothing would stop Apple. Well, there is one thing, arrogance. Touting you are the best and you can do no wrong is going to cause a shortage of quality control, as we can see with Safari, and further coming under the scrutiny of those who don't buy the infallibility. I'm sure hackers, virus writers and whoever are now working at proving Apple as a secure system or not-so-secure system. Yeah, this stuff seems obvious, but I also can't stand a company that touts themselves as the perfect company.

The interesting thing about this is not matter how small the mistake Apple now makes the more it is going to be blown out of proportion and their stock will reflect that. Take a look at what happened to Apple's stock immediately after the release of the Apple Air for a perfect example of that.

RE: Mud in Apple's face...
By robinthakur on 4/2/2008 11:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
I think that's a bit of a thick causality argument really. The stock price discounts widespread misery and expectations of future misery in the US economy amaongst other things which Investors care about. People bought the stock on rumour of the air then sold once it was revealed to make a profit. Simple as. Investors like companies which frequently issue RNS's (news), Investors aren't that concerned if the macbook air lacks that gigabit ethernet port, unless that is, it fails to sell. This has so far not been the case, at least here in London there are queues of people every day when the Apple shop opens of neophytes looking for the elusive Air.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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