back to article Skype: Nearly half of adults don't install software updates

A new survey commissioned by Skype reveals that 40 per cent of adults do not always update their software when prompted to do so, and that 25 per cent skip software updates because they think they offer no real benefit. The survey was offered on Skype's behalf to some 350,000 individuals in the US, UK, and Germany by internet …

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Def
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Re: Update on exit

Yes, I understand how inodes work.

My point was you can't rely on that mechanism working for what you called 'badly written' programs. Any application can reopen any of its files at any time whether to load data for a user-initiated operation, or save state/configuration changes. (A common optimsation technique of lazy-loading actively encourages not opening files until they're needed.) If those files have suddenly changed format or, indeed, disappeared that application is effectively screwed.

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Just force automatic updates for everything by default.

Force silent background automatic updates for everything, no prompts or anything... works for anti-virus software (until an update bricks your computer... but oh well)!

Don't like it, turn it off. The rest will be too dim to figure out how to turn it off.

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Re: Just force automatic updates for everything by default.

Aaarrgghhhgh

You read el Reg & you post this drivel _update everything_, _when supplier "X"_ says so?

Bet you use Webmin for reading mail.

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FAIL

Don't talk to me about Skype updates

Well Skype (just IMs) used to work perfectly fine on my HTC Wildfire, and now it doesn't. It must have been an update that caused it. I'll give it a week and then clear it off and find something else. Why can't they just leave working alone - they can't hope to test new versions on all the old models out there.

Strikes me that all the first stat shows is what poor timing the updates choose to appear.

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Linux

Not just Windows

I once had an update for Linux Mint that removed the nVidia drivers for my desktop (double headed) PC. After a fresh install Mint repeated the update with the same effect. Sometimes being a ludite is the best option. After that debarcle, I switched to Debian Squeeze (Stable)

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Anonymous Coward

Very good spelling checkers...

are built into most popular browsers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not just Windows

Fedora used to have a game of "update breaks the nVidia drivers. Go fix!"

In the end I just used to ignore the system wide updates and update individual packages as I needed to.

Mint's game was "update breaks the Wireless drivers. Go fix!"

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Re: Not just Windows

I think Linux Torvalds would say nVidia were making it hard for them not to break the drivers!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYWzMvlj2RQ

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No mention yet of the famous update to Eve Online that managed to brick a lot of users machines by deleting BOOT.INI from their PCs. And they wonder why people don't trust updates.

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Devil

Skype is bloatware

Skype has gone from being a compact, non-annoying phone app to buggy bloatware that eats 120M of memory at startup.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/devil_32.png

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Facepalm

Annual update sessions

So, nothing new.

I'll still be asked to do my annual PC fix-a-thon for family and friends.

Surely once a year updates are just dandy? (joke)

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Windows

Skype and Microsoft...

The problem with Skype is Microsoft...

I would be less likely to jump on board the update wagon, now I know who is behind them. As one commenter TReko said... Skype is now bloatware... And I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't snoopware either.

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Anonymous Coward

Be careful with too many negatives

I think what you said there is precisely the opposite of what you meant.

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Two things are missing from auto update

First - an indication of what the update is providing: "This is a critical security update" vs "We've changed the UI and added some new bugs/features/advertising opportunities". The user really *must* know what he is changing before he can make even a vaguely informed decision as to change it.

Second - the ability to roll back to a previous version - particularly when the update is a style change and/or broken.

With those two in place, I'd be a lot more willing to accept updates...

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Re: Two things are missing from auto update

"Second - the ability to roll back to a previous version - particularly when the update is a style change and/or broken."

Trouble is a lot of updates are necessarily one-way, to plug security holes. Otherwise, a malware could force a rollback and exploit the hole.

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Re: Two things are missing from auto update

"Otherwise, a malware could force a rollback and exploit the hole."

What? How does malware do anything unless you've already been pawned?

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Re: Two things are missing from auto update

Social engineering could trick the user into a rollback. Also, the rollback may involve one type of exploit but the real meat and potatoes requires something covered by the patch that needs to be rolled back.

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I *downgraded* to 4.6(iirc) to avoid the memory bloat

It's astonishing to see how bloated skype has become, memory- and resource-wise and how they keep on piling unnecessaryand untelated features.

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Re: It's astonishing to see how bloated skype has become

Well, Skype now had the benefit of Microsoft's crack programming team:

http://ecrowe.umwblogs.org/files/2008/11/chimpanzees.jpg

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Here's an idea, rather than trying to find ways to force updates on people why not put more effort into the intial release so you don't have to fix it so often afterwards. Pay for some good developers and don't insist it has to be done in a month.

And when it does need updating why not have a system in built into windows that allows developers to tell windows where to get the update so it can all be rolled into the windows update process and installed on shutdown?

Barring any retarded changes, like skype, I alwats update my software. It's not rocket science nor is it that time consuming.

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Secunia PSI???

Anyone?... Does what it says on the tin.

http://secunia.com/products/consumer/psi/

For those who can't be arsed to try and remember to run the "check for updates" for every programme on their system individually.

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Re: Secunia PSI???

The update from Version 1 to version 2 ruined PSI. It became bloated, and defaulted to doing things I didn't want it to do, and made it harder to change the options.

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FAIL

The man from Adobe is a funny man

"We hear you – loud and clear," writes Adobe's Wiebke Lips in a statement. "The good news is that times have changed. Especially for consumers, software updates have become much easier and much more reliable than they once were. Software vendors continuously look for ways to make the update process less cumbersome."

And Flash Player still can't tell you if there's a new version from inside the control panel, it opens a web browser and then you have to click to get to the download page. And after updating it still always opens the default browser even if it's not the one which had the plugin installed.

Reader also requires the computer to be restarted because you had the cheek to check for updates with the Reader software running (as it usually is when you use Reader's own 'Check for updates' menu option).

I wonder if their paid-for software is any better... For some reason they've put me off it though.

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Re: The man from Adobe is a funny man

Wiebke is a woman's name.

Adobe's stuff has got a lot better behaved in the last few years but it's still far from perfect. Runtimes like Acrobat Reader and Flash are particularly susceptible to security breaches so regular updates are, unfortunately, a must.

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FAIL

Re: The man from Adobe is a funny man

I don't think flash has properly worked with FF for a couple of months now since FF 13 came out...on either of my pc's.

Keeps downloading new versions, but still borked and CPU tends to go through the roof and then crashes.

Forces me to revert to IE when I need those YouTube moment.

B****Y Mozilla / Adobe!!

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Re: The man from Adobe is a funny man

Well with Flash it's easy. A few month ago they publicised the fact they weren't making any new versions. Period.

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Re: The man from Adobe is a funny man

@Christian Berger:

No new versions for Android, maybe, but they've released at leased 5 patches to the Windows versions in the last 3 months:

11.2.202.233

11.2.202.235

11.3.300.257

11.3.300.262

11.3.300.265

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Boffin

Re: Forces me to revert to IE when I need those YouTube moment.

http://www.youtube.com/html5/

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Facepalm

If ain't broke...

If ain't broke, don't fix it.

Right?

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More updates... and still more updates.

The problem with updates is that there are so bloody many of them!

There are so many programs that require updates it it stupid, Windows updates, Adobe Reader, Adobe flash, C++ runtime, multiple .Net versions, Java, (to say nothing of Skype and Mozilla and other software)

I frequently hear the laments of "not another f***ing update!" even from my colleagues in the IT department and these are guys who understand the importance of updates. It feels like machines are updating constantly and new bugs are always being introduced as the code gets a new bolt-on and things get changed often for the sake of change.

You also have updates forcing a reboot only to have another update be installed right after you have rebooted.

Its no wonder users get annoyed when updates slow down your machine and stop you from getting on.

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TRT
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Re: More updates... and still more updates.

SNAFU.

System Normal. Another F***ing Update.

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Well, skype is "special"

I usually update all my software **but not skype** -- because skype has introduced "upgrades" that rendered the software almost unusable with their idea that the window needs to take 60% of the screen, and of course the reason later appeared in the form of adverts.

So, skype stays at a 2 years old version here, and when that one stops working, I won't use it again. Google Hangouts are already covering a lot of the cases where I needed audio/video calls.

Seems the questionnaire lacked the "user knows what the update does and doesn't want it, thanks" answer.

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FAIL

Goddamn updates

I've just registered only to post this single comment.

Do you know why I, an IT senior manager, who's been working in the field for over 12 years, hate updates? Because nowadays software is near perfect and to justify updates ISVs are f*cking with us, end users. They randomly drop essential features, they change existing features making them unusable, they change the UI and many other things.

ISVs need to justify millions of programmers who have to actually do something and because of that we have a constant flood of updates people simply abhor.

PLEASE STOP.

BTW Skype is a good example of this awful problem.

1) They removed several statuses, including Skype Me

2) They removed the ability to search for random people

3) They introduced ads in 5.10

4) They removed the ability to show people in groups (showing all the groups at once, not like it's done now - where you can see just one selected group).

F*ck ISVs, F*ck software updates, F*ck Windows 8 Metro BS.

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TRT
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Re: Goddamn updates

I feel your pain.

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IT Angle

Re: Goddamn updates

Fuck, my machine's just be pwned by a zero-day exploit. FUCKING HAXXORS!!!!!11!!!1

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Re: Goddamn updates

Just for the record - Skype 3.8 works perfectly fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Most adults are technically illiterate

...and they wear their technical ignorance as a badge of honor.

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WTF?

"You guys are going to love this new update we've been working on!"

Oh are we indeed? So you've *NOT* moved things around? You've not made the user interface "prettier"? You've not decided that it will be better for us if a function we've always been used to doing one thing suddenly does something else as well/ instead of?

How would you like it if we suddenly "updated" your car so that the ignition key slot moved from the steering column to the dashboard? Or maybe turning on the heaters turned the radio on too? Or what about it suddenly being repainted so it's blue instead of white?

You wouldn't like that? So why the *HELL* do you think that we are going to be happy when you pull that shit on us???

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Re: "You guys are going to love this new update we've been working on!"

Was exactly what our in house web app dev team said!

The howls of complaints were loud and clear, `This "new" version is so fucked up; we are going to hang you bastards from the roof.`

Quick reversion to the "old" version. Top web app devs had their asses reamed by a tunnel boring machine. I could have sworn that I heard "Hurts So Bad!" playing over the intercom.

Sometimes the users have got to speak up.

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Everybody's doing it

No surprise, Skype and Symantec having problems getting people to install their latest software. I hate them both.

But everyone's doing it. Apple demands that you leave your Mac unusable for a long time while it installs updates. (Apple on Windows also proactively shuts down whatever you're doing so it can update. So horrible.) Java, ATI, and Adobe sometimes try to sneak some unwanted ad-ware on your computer. Mozilla randomly plays 20 questions with you about your plugins.

Part of the problem with Windows is that it is impossible to remove open files. So, you can't do an in-place update, and you actually need a time when the program isn't running to do the updates. In Linux, you can do an update at any time, and then restart the program when convenient.

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Anonymous Coward

What's "apple on windows"?

Do you mean iTunes? Or something else?

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TRT
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Windows

Re: What's "apple on windows"?

Any of Apple's executables compiled for Windows architecture, I think is what he means.

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Devil

"Joining Skype... are Adobe, Norton, and TomTom."

Not sure about TomTom but that is one hell of an unholy alliance.

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In the case of Skype, at least, it's a long established trend that each "upgrade" will bring new popups, adverts, etc. with no way to turn them off. For a while I used to like the Mac version without the infuriating, unavoidable "today" window - until they added the infuriating, unavoidable "dial pad" that is.

The only true upgrade here is to another product that isn't Skype.

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Pint

Updates

You start your PC.

After booting Adobe Reader decides it needs updating,.. again.

Your AV software is updating in the background (using 100% of your CPU if it's Symantec/Kaspersky/McAfee).

Windows spontaneously decides to download 50Mb of updates.

Skype tells you that a new version is available.

MSN Messenger tells you that a new version is available.

After 15-20 minutes of pushing buttons you finally get into your email, send the email and hit shut-down.

Windows informs you that it is installing Update 1 of 80,000.

You pull the plug and go down the pub!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Updates

That's why never shutdown anything let alone your 'whole' box, just leave everything you use running, fastest way to get shit done.

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I mostly ignore and disable updates for my software, I don't understand why I'm constantly forced upon with new 'features' most of which I don't want or cannot disable in the newer version.

Case and point; when skype decided it would be fantastic for all users to receive a pop-up window on login giving them updates about your social network. Most developers get a brief window of trust, lose that and I will not update your software.

TL:DR - Stop second guessing what I want from the software, always give me options to turn things off.

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Give me Automatic Updates

and Permission Based Upgrades if you want to add cruft to my experience.

Updates should be security/bugfixes and NOTHING ELSE.

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Windows

Technoignorant

I hardly ever update my copy of Skype since it has become virtually unusable on a PC. Every update leads to a raft of features I don't want, obfuscation of existing features and an even more cluttered interface.

I wish they'd re-release their original offering. A big green button for call, a big red button for hang up, and a simple chat interface. It has got way to silly now with friends being baffled on how to open an instant message, how to hang up a call, and generally how to use the software.

I lament the day I am forced to 'upgrade' my copy of Skype.

But hey...it's free and doesn't give me brain cancer.

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Anonymous Coward

Meh

Don't blame people for not updating Skype- recent versions are full of ads, bigger , slower and full of bugs. Don't even start on the problems with broken headset support- just see Skype's own support forums and wince.

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