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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My 2 cents
by DrillSgt on Mon 15th Dec 2008 15:58 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

Does it *need* it? no. Would it be helpful? *Very*.

There was a program back in the 90's called Cybermedia Oil Change. This was a subscription based service. The software that you loaded on the system checked for updates. You got to choose which ones and either installed them or not. The key factor is it checked for updates for each program and driver you had installed on the system. It worked smoothly and flawlessly, and worked like many of the Linux update managers. The company was purchased by McAffee, and subsequently killed off after a very short time. The subscription fee was $30/year or so, and was well spent. Basically you were paying someone else to keep up on all the patches, as Oil Change would update it's list of repositories and patches when launched. It could also be set to auto-update if one so desired, which I think auto updating is evil, but that is another discussion. I used it on Windows 95, and I no longer had to search for patches manually. It updated drivers, productivity software, games, you name it. All through one simple to use interface. My take is this idea was just way before it's time. It existed at a time when less than half of the US for example had broadband internet connection to houses. Of course a product would be killed off, as it would not have been deemed as profitable.

In short, yes it can be done, and it has been done. The benefit was great, and the benefit would be great again. The biggest issue if we wrote an OSS version of something like that, is who would maintain the links to all the software packages vendors, hardware sites to make sure only the latest patches were sent out? It may sound easy, however it gets immensely more complicated when the actual repositories are out of your control.

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