Friday, July 18, 2008

Vista users greeted with an unexpected surprise: MobileMe

While they may have no intention of ever signing up for the service, Windows users are finding an unexpected addition to their Control Panels.

A link for "MobileMe Preferences" has begun appearing at the bottom of the Control Panel screens of those who have installed the latest Apple iTunes software -- according to one user, without any notification at all.

The MobileMe preference panel has also been reported to be showing up in Windows XP as well.

MobileMe does feature Vista compatibility, and the most recent update to iTunes, version 7.7, added functionality necessary for iTunes to work with the service -- although it is not necessary to sync information.

It is through iTunes 7.7 where Apple added the MobileMe functionality to Windows computers. The tutorial for setting up MobileMe on a PC confirms this. As Step 1 clearly reads, "Download and install the latest version of iTunes. iTunes includes the software required to set up MobileMe on your PC."

Some may take issue with this: Apple never explicitly said that MobileMe software would come as part of the new version of the software.

However, Apple distributing software like this is nothing new. For example with QuickTime, the company has used its player software to also deliver its iTunes music service, which some users have found to be intrusive. And last March, Apple used iTunes' Software Update service for Windows as a way of pushing its Safari browser. Other companies have adopted similar approaches in an effort to promote a new product on the back of an already established one.

Users have not yet revealed whether they've discovered a method to remove the MobileMe icon without uninstalling iTunes 7.7 altogether.

  • iPhone 3G poses barriers to business adoption
  • First Look: MobileMe promising, but limps out of the gate
  • Next Patch Tuesday has few security updates, big Vista reliability fix