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Posted

Basically, I'm just interested as to why some of the applications (i.e. Flash, Chrome, SkyDrive, etc.) are providing web-based installers by default. Is there any advantage over providing the full installer for the user to download?

(Correct me if I'm wrong on the use of the term "web-based installer" :p)

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Posted

So they can display aids while you are downloading

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Posted

If you mean "a small exe that then downloads the whole app to install" I think it's just a case of maintenance and deployment.

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Posted

There is no benefit to the end user. For the provider, maybe it stops the user from leeching from the server with multiple connections.

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Posted

[quote name='TPreston' timestamp='1348493294' post='595201389']
So they can display aids while you are downloading
[/quote]
Surely you mean ads. But no still.
[quote name='nik louch' timestamp='1348493312' post='595201391']
If you mean "a small exe that then downloads the whole app to install" I think it's just a case of maintenance and deployment.
[/quote]
Exactly what I was thinking.

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Posted

Those are web-based applications that are frequently updated. If you download the full installer there's a chance you will not have the latest version of the application if you run it again at a later date. If you're running an outdated version you are vulnerable to exploits. If you have a web-based installer you always have the latest version when you install.

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Posted

[quote name='giantpotato' timestamp='1348493944' post='595201421']
Those are web-based applications that are frequently updated. If you download the full installer there's a chance you will not have the latest version of the application if you run it again at a later date. If you're running an outdated version you are vulnerable to exploits. If you have a web-based installer you always have the latest version when you install.
[/quote]

Sounds good, but makes no sense at all.

Flash isn't updated on a minute by minute basis and doesn't need a "web" installer. Not to mention, whatever update mechanism the software uses should aid the user in staying updated anyway since there is always the risk of being outdated (unless you run the "web" installer every few moments...).

I haven't confirmed this, but I'm sure the trend to "Web Based" installers really is about leveraging BitTorrent, or proprietary derivatives of it, to lower the bandwidth costs of the company supplying the installer. As any benefits to end users is so small it is almost zilch.

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Posted

So they can discontinue/pull it any time they want. :p

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Posted

It makes things easier for the end user. The small exe detects what system the user is running (x86, x64 for example) so that the user doesn't have to know anything. Just download and run.

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Posted

Web-based installers don't have to be recreated for every update. They pull the latest installation data from the company's servers. They also don't have to bundle dependencies that may already be on the target PC, thus cutting down on transfer time and file sizes.
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Posted

[quote name='plasmarox' timestamp='1348495356' post='595201475']
It makes things easier for the end user. The small exe detects what system the user is running (x86, x64 for example) so that the user doesn't have to know anything. Just download and run.
[/quote]
That's not really a problem with proper installers (looking at MSI...). Personally I despise web-installers as it means that I'll have to download the actual installer files multiple times when I'm installing a program on several of my PCs...

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Posted

As mentioned above, it provides a way to have an always up-to-date install. Simply dump an exe on the server and the web-installer will pick it up and download it. No need for a full release, no need for large installs (to account for multiple setups), and you can ensure all users are getting the same thing.

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Posted

[quote name='MFH' timestamp='1348495802' post='595201489']
That's not really a problem with proper installers (looking at MSI...). Personally I despise web-installers as it means that I'll have to download the actual installer files multiple times when I'm installing a program on several of my PCs...
[/quote]

most file for example Chrome you can get an offline installer aswell

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Posted

Forgive me, I haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to put this out there.

I have not came across many web-based installers so far. (the ones where you download a small EXE and run that, which then downloads and installs the software)

The ones I have seen almost always are full of spyware/ad-ware crap. I always thought these were just a way of masking what you are actually downloading behind what you [i]think [/i]you are getting. Some of the really bad ones make you download and install an "installer" first, before you can even download your required software.
I've come to hate these "web based installers" and I always avoid them now.

Perhaps I've just had bad experiences but almost every single one has came along with some ad-ware. Some didnt even give me the software it was supposed to.

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Posted

[quote name='Guth' timestamp='1348771292' post='595210465']
Forgive me, I haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to put this out there.

I have not came across many web-based installers so far. (the ones where you download a small EXE and run that, which then downloads and installs the software)

The ones I have seen almost always are full of spyware/ad-ware crap. I always thought these were just a way of masking what you are actually downloading behind what you [i]think [/i]you are getting. Some of the really bad ones make you download and install an "installer" first, before you can even download your required software.
I've come to hate these "web based installers" and I always avoid them now.

Perhaps I've just had bad experiences but almost every single one has came along with some ad-ware. Some didnt even give me the software it was supposed to.
[/quote]You've had bad experiences..

Web Installes are no more affected by crap/spyware than normal ones lol.

As was said above, it has the advantage of them not having to remake the installer for every update, just change the data at the location [ also if you save the installer, you will always install the latest version, even months apart.. ].. Also many are used with applications that may have additional dependencies, the small exe can see what your system has, and not bother downloading those parts you don't need.

Lastly, and this deals with large ones, the larger the file, the greater the chance that a problem will happen on transfer.. In many cases downloading a large file and your net gets interrupted or something, you need to start over.. a web installer doesn't care, and can just discard bad data and redownload that part, or continue where it left off if you got dc'd for a few sec/min/hrs..

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Posted

The user gets no benefit at all from web-based installers: they are all for the company releasing the crappy-made software. It's as simple as that.

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Posted

[quote name='The King of GnG' timestamp='1348826767' post='595212051']
The user gets no benefit at all from web-based installers: they are all for the company releasing the crappy-made software. It's as simple as that.
[/quote]Speak for yourself..

I'm on a slow connetion, and not having to download more dependencies, and not having to worry about my connection crapping out part way in, are amazing..

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Posted

some of what was mentioned may be true. I think there's another reason. They get to learn more about your computer. I don't like them because they tend to mess up installation more than full downloads do, for me.

I don't think there's any "savings" for them - one way or the other, the same data has to get d/l to you computer. If I had to guess, I'd say it has more to do w/ ads & gaining data (of any kind).

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Posted

1. So the user always installs the latest version
2. So the company can collect information during the install

I like online installers because I'm terrible at managing files and I don't want to keep a bunch of installers on my computer, that I'm probably going to forget to backup whenever I format anyway.

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Posted

[quote name='virtorio' timestamp='1349410555' post='595226609']
1. So the user always installs the latest version
2. So the company can collect information during the install

I like online installers because I'm terrible at managing files and I don't want to keep a bunch of installers on my computer, that I'm probably going to forget to backup whenever I format anyway.
[/quote]
There is at least 1 problem with your analagy: The customer may not have internet or has a fresh os install, which should be updated while offline to prevent infection. When i set new systems up, i get the updates beforehand and update. With web installers, i must risk possible infection.

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