Auto Updates – a Process Too Far?

Monday 18 October 2010

Have you ever returned to your desk to see a little progress bar on the screen saying that your system is about to be restarted in 30 seconds time?

Even worse, have you got back to your machine to find that your system has magically re–booted and the documents you were in the middle of reviewing, the websites you had been browsing, the reports you had been viewing etc… are now toast!

I have.

It happened again today and it’s doing my head in. I know I can switch auto updates off but if I do, some hacker will find another way of breaking down the defences of my laptop, so if I don’t get the latest patch where does that leave me?

Here’s another thing that annoys me…

Have you ever been in a hurry to go home so you shut down your machine only to be told that Windows is automatically updating it “Please wait”?

So what do you do? You wait and wait and finally “power off” in sheer fury. You then hope and pray that after driving 200 miles to a client’s office the next day to do a demonstration your machine boots up successfully.

I have, and it didn’t.

I remember going to a seminar a few years ago when I was told about some of the latest product features in Windows XP or some edition or other and they proudly announced that there would be less system re…boots. Little did we all expect that was going to be because software updates were now going to be applied as part of the shutdown process! You couldn’t make it up could you?

There is something a little sinister here. Microsoft will argue with some conviction that this is the only way their billions of customers can be kept up to date and their support infrastructure does not get flooded with support queries which would happen a whole lot less if customers kept their software up to date.

Well, hold on a minute here, who is the customer. Their responsibility surely is to make sure their customers are informed of available updates (which they do) and then give us the choice to install, which they also do, BUT then why drive a bus through this process by assuming we are all too stupid to make a decision on updates … aaargh!!!

Anyway, there is a part of me that feels, well sort of violated if something (in this case a huge corporate) can nip into my personal computing space, check me out, update me and then disappear into the ether and quite likely at the most inopportune time … best case.

Anyway, how do I turn all of this negativity into a positive?

Have you ever tried Linux?

At the end of the day, it’s all about software design and how we try to make things easier and more cost effective.

Reducing the number of re–boots helps the marketers defend themselves against some bad publicity, however ultimately it’s the customer, the end client that matters.

Try to design software that makes things easier for the end user, something that saves them time and effort, something that gets things done quicker. Something that does not get people infuriated and in danger of having a stroke.

That’s how we at Connexica try to do it.

Get in touch to discuss your requirements further