Update: I broke down and installed iTunes on my laptop. Install went smoothly, both for iTunes and iOS5. To a new-ish iPad owner, whole backup and restore process was confusing though. Was restore going to restore iOS4 or just the apps? It seems to have included everything except the photos that synced from the desktop, where itunes won't install.
I'm sorry Apple fanboys, but Apple has nothing over Microsoft when it comes to installing software. The problems are just as bad, if not worse.
I got an iPad a few weeks ago and for the first time ever, installed iTunes, QuickTime and all the Apple crap… because Apple made me sync with iTunes before I could install anything on the iPad. (I also needed iTunes to move photos to the iPad (and to delete the photos!)).
It seemed to work fine… then I tried to upgrade the iPad to iOS5. Of course, the perfectly working iTunes needed to be upgraded. Automatic upgrades failed after apparently completely downloading the files.
So I tried using my MiniMac. It has iTunes 9. When I opened it, it said I should upgrade to 10.5. Ok. But software updates says there are no updates available. Apparently it's not supported on my Mac.
Back to Windows… I download iTunes and try to install it again. It ends with an error and rolls back… but goes on to install other software. When it finishes iTunes won't run and I need to uninstall all of the Apple software using add/remove programs.
I'm not alone in problems, I found several threads in the Apple forums and quite a few in other forums. One solution offered says to remove all Apple software and REBOOT after each individual program uninstalls. Then remove all folders from the file system related to Apple applications (in /Programs Files/) and reboot. Then run a registry cleaner to remove Apple from the registry then reboot again in the super admin mode… then iTunes *might* install. Really? It takes 6 reboots, a registry cleaner, and super admin mode to get iTunes 10.5 to install? And this makes Apple better than everybody else?
Why can't I install the iOS5 upgrade over the air, like I do with my Blackberry? Hmmm… Maybe RIM is the greatest…
Why can I upgrade any other program without issue but iTunes requires a manual uninstall, 6 reboots, and a registry cleaner to upgrade? That makes Apple better?
I expect software to install without a lot of hassle… most, if not all, Windows software works like this. I am not at all impressed with Apple upgrades. They are no better (and possibly a lot worse) than other vendors.
Until I have hours for free time to uninstall everything (or spring for a $129.00 OS upgrade on the Mac), I won't be able to upgrade my month-old iPad.