Since March 18th 2008 Apple has seen its share of the browser market triple through use of its Safari 3.1 web viewer.

The rise is thanks largely to the Apple Software Update System, which has been popping the Safari browser onto Windows users’ desktops.

Previous Safari iterations never garnered much market share as the standard Microsoft / Apple boundaries were clearly laid.

But since installing Safari 3.1 as part of an update to iTunes, the company has managed to smuggle the browser across the virtual border, and the results have been highly impressive.

Install first, questions later

However, some users have expressed unhappiness at the manner of the install, and competitors were also less than delighted at Apple’s tactics, seeing the move as gaining an unfair advantage in the battle for browser market share.

This is perhaps a little over the top, as although the programme might be available, it still requires a decision from the user to make it their default browser.

Christopher Phin, deputy editor of MacFormat Magazine, makes the case for Apple's decision: "Apple can perhaps be forgiven for being so aggressive with its rollout of its browser on Windows; since Safari is what powers the browsing experience on the iPhone as well as the Mac, it's in Apple's interests to drive user adoption and so put pressure on developers and service providers to ensure compatibility with the Safari platform."

The company has now released a new version of its Software Updater for Windows allowing the user to choose between regular updates and new releases, and another option to switch off the updater altogether, something that should apease the more disgruntled punters.