Survey shows you don't upgrade software when prompted

When you work on a PC, you download software applications and nearly all of those apps are updated with new features and software patches via an Internet connection. However, a new survey that was co-sponsored by Microsoft's Skype division shows that a lot of folks don't quickly update their software when prompted to do so.

Skype released an infographic with the results of the survey, seen below. It shows that 40 percent of people don't always update their software when presented with an opportunity to do so. When asked why, 45 percent said they were worried about the security of their PC, 27 percent claim the updates take too long to download and install while 25 percent believe software updates offer no real benefits.

In a Skype post, Microsoft said it was teaming up with other companies such as Norton and TomTom to push awareness of updating software as part of International Technology Upgrade Week this week. The post states:

Our engineers work incredibly hard to provide the best user experience for you, and it would be a shame to miss out. We'll also show you how we're working to make upgrading as easy as turning your computer on, making those little reminders a thing of the past.

Source: Skype blog | Image via Skype

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My internet is on EDGE speed....downloading stuff at about 5KBps. How am I gonna update? My dad's PC is on 300MB monthly internet plan. This 300MB is reserved on precious data, knowledge, news and mails...not wasted on updating programs.

as everyone else already stated, most updates are 'security' or 'under the hood' updates that don't always make the program function better, ads unwanted features, creates new flaws, or breaks the software completely.

Windows update is one that does this, Most PS3 updates do this, Xbox 360 updates have done this, I can name a few 'free' android apps that were updated to add ONLY advertisements.. list goes on.

And that is why all updates should be automatic and silent (like Chrome or Windows Update). You simply cannot trust most users with these kinds of decisions - though advanced users should be able to control the updates, if they wish.
Right now, I think Java probably has the most horrible update system. It asks for UAC permission *before* checking for updates and then only displays a small bubble. Given the security of Java (or rather lack thereof) that is not good enough. Flash used to be horrible, but the recent introduction of background updates has reduced that considerably (though that should have been done years ago).

Probably because those prompts only ask at inconvenient times.

"Hey get on Skype for a bit"
Opens Skype.
"Would you like to update?"
No not right now, I'm getting on Skype to speak with someone.

I usually update immediately, but due to my sometimes horrible connection every once in a while I have to postpone it.

I am a Mac user, Microsoft. I CHOOSE not to update Skype because Skype 5.x on Mac is a piece of ****.

Fry said,
I am a Mac user, Microsoft. I CHOOSE not to update Skype because Skype 5.x on Mac is a piece of ****.

MS is playing the "I CAN'T HEAR YA" game just like with Windows 8's start menu (or lack thereof).

GS:ios

It's because they have been victimized time and again by "security updates" that pop up from random Google searches, that pull up websites, that warn them with phony antivirus scams, have ended up infecting their computers.

Then the computer people call them "idiots" for not knowing any better, then they end up not knowing what is legitimate and what is not, not because they are stupid, but because they don't know any better.

Then Microsoft will throw in an update like IE9, which changes the interface, removing the status bar, favorites bar, and menu bar, teaching the end user that any time they do an update it could potentially change the look of the software they were using. It doesn't matter that a window just popped up when they updated IE9 explaining all the cool new changes, they just want to get back to what they were doing, so they ignore it.

Then they get confused, so they don't do anything at all.
How can you blame them really?

So push the updates automatically, stop shoving in toolbars, Bing Bars, Chrome browsers, and stop checking boxes by default every time they try to update Flash and Skype.

While you're at it, stop victimizing the very people whom you want to do these updates, because every time they try to do an update; that is exactly what happens.

The default browser ends up being Chrome, the Bing Bar AND the freaking Google bar ends up on the toolbar, and no one knows how it got there because that is exactly what Google and Microsoft were counting on when they checked those boxes by default.

Cut the crap, but you won't because there is more money in sneaking toolbars and browsers onto computers, then pleasing consumers.

FU.

Indeed, I don't update when prompted, I do it before.

The only program I intentionally keep outdated is uTorrent ( 2.2.1 ) and for first time I won't get the latest and 'greatest' Windows 8. I'll hapily stay with Windows 7. I've had Vista and 7 since day one.

My main reason is to keep the software as bug-free as possible and specifically Windows, safe.

The only reason it could make me buy Windows 8 is the fully squared design! I really have allergy to the curved/rounded corners.

It's always at a crummy time. I'm in the middle of something and get a pop up or notification. How about telling me at the start of the program, and then nag until I either do it or say don't remind me anymore. Skype is a perfect example... inconsistent reminders.

I'll admit, that the only software I hate to update is iTunes: You need to download the (be creative here) installation again.

It's never smooth to upgrade software... often you are redirected to a setup file and then you have to uninstall the other one (some programs force you to) and then install the new one... Do it like Microsoft Security Essentials: 1. Click "update" 2. Wait... 3. Done!

In fact, managing programs in Windows is really off - look how easy it is in Android market. Windows would really benefit if they could allow people to add programs to their database... It really sucks when you don't have an applications manager to search for updates for all of them.

And some upgrades break the entire program. Skype has this problem when the entire interface and functionality changes.

There's no easy way to backtrack either!

Tpiom said,
In fact, managing programs in Windows is really off - look how easy it is in Android market. Windows would really benefit if they could allow people to add programs to their database... It really sucks when you don't have an applications manager to search for updates for all of them.
Windows 8 partially resolves this by introducing a mobile-style app store. The new "Metro style" apps are managed by Windows itself, so they install/update/uninstall with a single click and can't bundle browser toolbars or other unwanted surprises. Old-style software can't hook into the store, however, so is still the same mess it has always been.

Well with Skype the updates are quite annoying. Skype is already slow as hell the way it is now, and if you do an update it also reinstalls all it's crappy browser plugins that make Chrome slower and caused a lot of crashes in Chrome for me. Hence why I usually don't bother with Skype updates.

However, all other software can update as much as it likes. If things just download in the background, install in less than 5 seconds and relaunch themselves afterwards I'm fine with everything.

Ambroos said,
Well with Skype the updates are quite annoying.

Yes. In addition, Skype is one of the programs where every newer update introduced changes to worse. Every UI change was less and less usable. Replacing usable UI with eye candy and nonsense features. And of course getting the app bigger and slower.

Skype is at the moment the only app where I have intentionally blocked upgrades. I am at version 4.1 and I wish I stopped upgrading at 3.x, when IMHO Skype was from UI perspective the best.

Nope cause I like to wait for some user feedbacks before upgrading... Too many times in the past I've upgraded a software to relaise the new version is a POS (Tweetdeck?! )

Same applies to iOS... I've been using the official Twitter app until it reached version 2.0 I think... it became so crappy I had to find something else, and I discovered Tweetbot.

Upgrading an app is risky these days...

myxomatosis said,
Nope cause I like to wait for some user feedbacks before upgrading... Too many times in the past I've upgraded a software to relaise the new version is a POS (Tweetdeck?! )
Upgrading an app is risky these days...

Well TweetDeck's fall from grace is entirely Twitters fault, they're the ones that acquired TweetDeck and made it into a very basic Web App.

myxomatosis said,
Nope cause I like to wait for some user feedbacks before upgrading... Too many times in the past I've upgraded a software to relaise the new version is a POS (Tweetdeck?! )

Same applies to iOS... I've been using the official Twitter app until it reached version 2.0 I think... it became so crappy I had to find something else, and I discovered Tweetbot.

Upgrading an app is risky these days...

Yep,
I usually do just about the same.

I do not let anything other than my AV auto update. EVERYTHING else is updated manually, so I can see what kind of extra crap it might be trying to install and mainly so it can be done at MY convenience.

exotoxic said,
I usually update instantly.

It annoys me when developers don't release a proper change log.

This, a hundred times this. Whenever a new build of anything (even Chrome dev builds) prompts me to update, I research the change log. Most of the time, they aren't easy to find (however, Chrome's show up in my RSS feed and a program called ShareX displays the change log at the same time as requesting to be updated).

exotoxic said,
I usually update instantly.

It annoys me when developers don't release a proper change log.


I don't know when this trend started in the past couple years, but this non-offering proper release notes is a pain in the behind, especially when features are removed, for example due to legal fight (I don't care, just let me keep my version and hence the feature! )

GS:ios

i only update anti virus/ computer security software and do my windows updates ... everything else is either outdated or updated automatically

I have upgraded skype before only to find it now a buggy crash happy POS whereas before the forced upgrade it was perfectly fine ....... same goes for alot of programs I use if it's not broken then don't fix it

They don't care, why should they waste precious time downloading some useless update that they don't know what it does when they could be playing Farmville or emailing pictures of cats to their grandchildren?

I've had people bring in computers still running XP without even SP1 and even after I offer to update it for free (sometimes beg) they'll say no, I don't need that. /facepalm

TRC said,
I've had people bring in computers still running XP without even SP1 and even after I offer to update it for free (sometimes beg) they'll say no, I don't need that. /facepalm

That's grounds to ragequit.

TRC said,
?

I've had people bring in computers still running XP without even SP1

With me they get options 1) Reinstall with XPSP3 or 2) Go buy a new PC. Anything else will be hours of unneeded frustration they won't be willing to pay for.

Do it like Chrome. No prompt. No breaking existing add-on (at least Skype update never break any add-on unlike Firefox). No nagging to restart (understandable for critical patch, but not every single Defender update). And NEVER do it like Flash (prompt after boot, downloading on an always on top un-minizeable window, often failed since every fancy looking app is using Flash)

martheen said,
Do it like Chrome. No prompt. No breaking existing add-on (at least Skype update never break any add-on unlike Firefox). No nagging to restart (understandable for critical patch, but not every single Defender update). And NEVER do it like Flash (prompt after boot, downloading on an always on top un-minizeable window, often failed since every fancy looking app is using Flash)

Not long ago people were here on Neowin complaining that IE 10's auto update was evil, that people don't want to be forced to update at Microsoft's whim - even while supporting Chrome, which does the same thing. Start updating Skype, and people will start claiming that MS is force feeding us software that is only there to spy on us.

nohone said,
Not long ago people were here on Neowin complaining that IE 10's auto update was evil, that people don't want to be forced to update at Microsoft's whim - even while supporting Chrome, which does the same thing.

Software - especially browsers and anti-virus - should auto-update by default, with an option to disable it. A tiny minority will still choose to stick to older versions but then at least most will be updated, which is better for security, performance and features.

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

A lot up upgrades these days have no benefit to the user. The latest Skype upgrade for example, did nothing more than enable Microsoft to push ads to their users. Why would we want that "upgrade"?

dvb2000 said,
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

A lot up upgrades these days have no benefit to the user. The latest Skype upgrade for example, did nothing more than enable Microsoft to push ads to their users. Why would we want that "upgrade"?

Yes that is one example but what if they also fix serious security vulnerabilities in the same release?