Posted by: Diabolic Preacher | July 13, 2007

3rd party software update tools

3rd party tools are understanding the need to keep all software updated on a windows machine regardless of whether the software is MS developed or not. MS still wants to ignore the fact that people use more of 3rd party software than MS software. Come to think about it, there are not much variety in MS software and most of them are low-grade software. So how do you keep the larger list of 3rd party software, that you have downloaded and use occassionally. Most software updates are recommended more for performance and security improvements. Most Linux distros on the other hand connect to the net and check for updates for all the software installed into the system and upgrade those which you choose to in a matter of few mouse clicks or simple one-line commands.

The 2 free tools that I am aware of, which have free update service are Google Pack and FileHippo Update Checker.

The former one is a much limited one as it requires Windows XP/Vista atleast and besides Google Pack only installs and updates a selectset of tools that Google believes is really essential. I would rather choose the lightweight Foxit PDF reader than the bloated Adobe PDF Reader. Google Pack needs to be running in the system tray, if you want to be updated about new versions as and when they become available.

FileHippo is a site that i came across when downloading CCleaner whose default download server is filehippo. This site enlists both free and non-free (as in speech) downloads, but best of all it has a .NET 2.0 product called the Update Checker, which can scan your system for installed software and do a compare of the version number with whatever latest is available on the website. The results are then displayed in the browser as a list of software for which updates are available along with a download link to go ahead and get the updates. Only thing is that you need .NET 2.0 runtime libraries which are also provided for download from the filehippo servers and the link is in the Update Checker webpage itself. It works on any Windows version which can support .NET 2.0

the effectiveness of such centralized update mechanisms depends on the amount of software available/hosted by the server or as the linux world calls em, ‘repositories’ or ‘repos’ in short. Happy Updating! 😛


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