updated 01:30 pm EDT, Tue September 29, 2009
Echoes Safari controversy
Windows users have again been pressed into downloading an unneeded program through Apple's Software Update utility, MacNN can confirm. The latter is requesting that users download iPhone Configuration Utility 2.1, which is identified as an update rather than just an optional add-on. The program is unimportant to the general public, intended for enterprise management of iPhone apps and profiles.
The problem mirrors a controversy from March 2008, when Software Update then asked Windows users to download the latest version of Safari, even though they did not already have the browser installed. The tactic is believed to have been designed to increase Safari's PC marketshare, which it did. Only in April did Apple change Software Update to include a "New Software" category, one which does not trigger pop-up windows.
At present, the only means of avoiding the iPhone Configuration Utility alert are to either download the code, or uninstall Software Update entirely [or use the 'Ignore Update' option]
Update: Apple has removed the software update "push" as of Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 and Windows users are no longer asked to install the enterprise tool.