Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Dec 2008 15:10 UTC
Editorial InternetNews.com states: "Microsoft (or a really smart ISV) should build a full application manager for Windows, similar to what most Linux distributions do today." Most Windows applications come with their own distinctive updating mechanism (much like Mac OS X), instead of having a centralised updating location like most Linux distributions offer. While it certainly wouldn't be harmful for Windows to gain such a feature - the question remains: isn't it time we rethink program installation and management altogether?
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morglum666
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have personally intentionally always thought the windows management of updates was the most simple and ideal model.

I have never enjoyed the endless updates intermixing OS updates with applications on linux. The core of my experience is having a responsive OS, not upgrading from text_tool.0.0.1 to text_tool.0.0.2. When you mix application updates with operating system updates, all you really create is an unstable mess.

If you'd like to complicate it further, and linux offers this option, you can inter-mingle repositories of different status's like GA, beta, all intertwined. Apparently this is "Software freedom" - sounds more like software nightmare to me.

I do dislike how many applications in windows attempt their own update, or even worse try to slip in entirely new software packages (Safari, for quicktime users comes to mind) - but that is something I can control.

There are a core group of users, administrators, IT folk who like to run minimalistic systems. Sometimes I think the OS community assumes that we will run something new like linux, but if windows works for you (and it does for me), I would also like to keep that minimalistic, well controlled experience.

And no, I do not have vista installed. ;)

Have a great holiday season

Morglum

Reply Score: 3

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

It's like they say, "the sum of the parts is greater than the hole". ;}

Reply Parent Score: 4

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

The thing I like about Windows application management is that it's just a single file (installer) containing everything you need. Just run it and install, including required .dlls. Don't like how the new version ended up? Simple, don't download the new installer, and keep running the old version instead. And with Windows' backward- and forward-compatibility, just about any .exe you can find is likely to work.

The downsides? Being forced to "agree" to stupid EULAs for every damn thing you attempt to install, programs' installers are designed to "take over" in some cases by registering them with every file type imaginable--BY DEFAULT (spending two minutes to uncheck 50 checkboxes is never fun), programs enable useless services by default, spyware and malware, toolbars, and various other crap people contaminate their installers with to generate money... In general, you just have to pay extra attention, because Windows installers try every trick in the book these days, and they all work differently and have different defaults.

In Linux, the biggest problems tend to be the number of packages in the distro's repository and packages that are not well maintained. SeaMonkey is one of the prime annoyances because, being a Web browser, you certainly don't want to lag behind in updates... and if bugs you any time you start it that it's out of date. I have also added unofficial repos for Transmission (for more features) and Wine (for better compatibility), and have occasionally had to compile a program when all else fails. Truly disappointing. One of the other things I don't like is how as soon as a new version of a program comes out, the old one usually disappears. Sure, it simplifies things, but there's a chance a new version does things I don't want.

Still, having a one-stop location to download packages an updates is nice, and it greatly simplifies setting a system up. But it's only as good as the repositories and the package manager itself are.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

Can anyone tell me how to uninstall multiple Windows apps at one time, that is, to have them uninstall one after the other without me being prompted or having to go back to Add/Remove Programs multiple times?

In most of the free Unixes I've tried, you simply select the programs ( if they were installed using the default package manager) and click Uninstall and walk away.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The core of my experience is having a responsive OS, not upgrading from text_tool.0.0.1 to text_tool.0.0.2. When you mix application updates with operating system updates, all you really create is an unstable mess.

If you'd like to complicate it further, and linux offers this option, you can inter-mingle repositories of different status's like GA, beta, all intertwined. Apparently this is "Software freedom" - sounds more like software nightmare to me.


Obviously you have never really used a Linux package management system.

The package management system resolves dependencies and incompatibilities, not creates them.

Reply Parent Score: 5

mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

Windows is hell on a a long term install. What most IT people want is a standardized place to put programs and a standardized way to uninstall them properly. Like a super-Add Remove Programs. Ideally, every Windows software should be shipping as an .msi, just like Apple has .app. An msi file has manifests, contents list, versions and everything. It's designed to tie right in to Add Remove Programs... but NOBODY uses it properly, not even Microsoft. The only software Microsoft releases with proper formatting is IT related stuff.

What people want is to turn "Program Files" into a dropping place for msi packages, then use Add Remove to properly install/uninstall from that directory. You'd always know EXACTLY what was on your system, making spyware that much harder. You'd be able to back up really quickly. If you were clever, you'd even put some kind of "phone home" url in the packages to check at microsoft or at the ISV for updates and pop a flag if one is available. Microsoft has the tools right now.. they choose not to push the issue.

Reply Parent Score: 4