Apple has made a small but significant tweak to its Automatic Software Update utility to make a clear distinction between security patches and new products being pushed out to Windows users.
The UI redesign, which adds a new box labeled New Software, follows intense criticism of Apple's recent decision to bundle its new Safari for Windows browser alongside an iTunes+QuickTime security patch.
Here's a look at the new WASU 2.1:
The company is still pushing Safari down to Windows boxes (pre-checked by default, unfortunately!), but that download is clearly marked as new software, an important distinction that shows Apple is paying attention to the loud grumbles from its user base.
Behind the scenes, there are some major changes to how WASU works, according to people familiar with Apple's thinking.
Here's the skinny:
1. When a Windows user qualifies for new software only, the updater will NOT show Software Update unless the tool is run manually. This means that users won't be prompted in most cases until security/reliability updates are really available.
2. The Updates list will always appear, even if it is empty, and instead of saying "Updates are available," the UI will say, "New software is available." This is only a slight change, but it makes the UI more accurate.
3. The tweak also removes the nag factor because Apple will now only prompt the user if there are critical security updates available.