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What's wrong with SW updates these days?

Recently, Skype has made it to my list of most annoying things...

Why? Well, it started out as a pretty good IM application: chat/voice/video in one nice package. With a client program that worked well and wasn't all flashy-blinky-lights.

Recently, somebody in charge however decided that it would be a good idea to use the "auto update" feature that is built into the application "for security purposes" (I bet) to make updates to what I'd call "major releases".

I work in the SW business. What do I call a "major release" and what is a "minor release"? Easy: if the program looks/feels/behaves different than the last version, it is a "major release". If the outside interfaces are the same, it is a "minor release". That is pretty much universally agreed upon.

Do I have any problem with "minor updates" being automatic and mandatory? Not so much. They usually fix broken stuff and increase security and/or performance and/or stability without changing my workflow. So as long as they don't "updating now, stop all your work" right when I need them - i.e. as long as I have at least a slight choice in when I actually run the update, I'm fine with it.

And here's where Skype (and similar applications) get annoying: The vendors seem to think: "Hey, this is how we love our application, so everybody out there has to love it just the same" - and they start pushing "improved" user interfaces and "user experiences" down our throat. And since we only have a "like" button, naturally, statistically speaking: everybody likes the change! It's the same with the updates: Skype keeps telling me that there is a "new version" available. I know that new version. It has "a new experience" - or to put it more realistically: "a f***d up UI that I wouldn't want to touch with a ten foot pole". I had to update my laptop to the new version bcause the old one wouldn't connect anymore. What gives? Why would anybody connect the "user experiece" part of the product with the "protocol" part? I mean, I can see the reasoning from their side: There's just one version to support and it makes the whole versioning process much easier if you only have one straight forward code base. But I still say it's a pretty low down and nasty trick to get people to "approve of the new version" if they simply have no choice. I'm feeling like being held hostage here: Update or get out. Use our sucky new version or lose your social contacts. How low can you get?

I remember when Microsoft's slogan was "where do you want to go today?" - right now it's more like "why aren't you where we want you yet?"

The update info shows a "Update now" or "update later" option... I'm totally missing the "F*** off, I hate this version, quit bugging me with it" button. Honestly, HOW does one tell the vendor about that fact if there simply isn't an option for it? How does one provide the negative feedback in this "like-button" driven world of market research?

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
c_eagle
Feb. 5th, 2015 10:41 am (UTC)
Skype has always been one of the 'extra pushy' apps that gets into all your contextual menus, ads, makes it hard to "quit" the app, ads, wants to launch on startup, ads, etc etc etc. I use the portable version just to reduce the intrusions as much as possible.
It was a hot thing over 5 years ago.. then it waned, and lately it's been having a resurgence... but yeah, it still has annoying traits. ;P
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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