The Age of Needy Software

September 15, 2011

You may have not noticed it yet, but we are in an age of needy software.

Seems like every time I turn my computer on, one of my software programs is downloading updates.

Or worse, it is shutting me down so the program can reboot itself with the updates.

These updates are getting more and more intrusive.  It is the rare week that doesn’t have my time spent waiting for my computer or having work interrupted while software downloads or decides to reboot the computer I am working on.

Why has this become so intrusive?  We have many more programs installed than we used to have.  Plus operating systems are one of the worst offenders.

These programs are all like a small child requiring constant attention and acting out to get it.

Let me name names.  As I was writing this piece, my Microsoft Outlook took almost ten minutes to update when I shut down my computer.   Instead of rushing home, I watch the blue screen slowly do its mysterious business.

This morning I was asked by my Adobe suite for an update.  This one requires me to dig out the 20 character product code to complete.

There are even those programs that we don’t even use that interrupt me for updates  These can be programs downloaded thinking we might need them.  So now I have the further inconvenience to remembering which ones interrupted me and uninstall them.

All these programs think they are important enough to “Stop the music” and have their users pay attention to them.  “Look at me, look at me!” they seem to be screaming.

Software companies are missing the point of consumer service.  By being so intrusive, they are creating more negative relationships with their consumers.

Are the threats to the software really that serious?  That imminent?  That they can’t reduce the intrusions?

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