Microsoft and the Boundless Updates & Service Packs: You *Can* Do Better?

(Update 3-19-12: Last time I updated WIN 7, the combined downloads and updates and restarts took over two hours. How does Microsoft expect us to trust them when they do some things so stupidly? Ever been trying to leave for a meeting and have your laptop say, “UPDATING WINDOWS, DO NOT SHUT DOWN……….” )

Dear Microsoft,

I am enjoying Windows 7 much more than XP. (Sorry, I skipped the Vista ride on advice from friends in the business.) I am still amazed by how many updates and fixes you seem to need me to apply. But I am doing it with religious fervor, anticipating that you have gotten most of the upgrade/update kinks worked out.

But there are a few things that still amaze me. The way you package your updates seems to have little or no regard for the user’s time or bandwidth. Here’s a recent screen I came upon when trying to figure out why my Word 2008 will no longer open any of my Word (.doc) created before 2004. So I need an update, a patch, a service pack. (Oh, and can you tell me what the difference is on those things while you’re at it? Thanks.)

How many Office Updates must I download to get UP-TO-DATE?

Well, silly Mac that I am, I went to the latest update and tried to install that. And 366 mb of download later, I learn it won’t install. So I’m grabbing 12.1.1 at 160 mb and now 12.o.1 at 114 mb. Really?

Do I seriously have to download each one of the packs or updating glory to get my Office for Mac up to date?

Let me tell you how Apple does it for my Mac updates. It’s pretty cool.

When I have not been updating my OS or my Mac apps for a while, Apple gives me a consolidated UPDATE. That means that rather than downloading update, service pack and patches over and over and over again, I can get back to work with ONE update.

I’m sure the Windows world is much more complex. And I’m sure you don’t need me telling you how to run your business.

But as I sit here waiting for the 114 mb file to complete, I’m asking myself, “Would I run Office if I didn’t have to?”

So you may really control like 99.9% of the OS marketplace. It’s possible. And you may be claiming victory with the new Windows 7. Kudos. But people will get tired of downloading updates all day. And hopefully nothing bad will happen when we apply patch 3.1.22. Cause back in the day… Well, you know. Some drivers and things would cause entire systems to stop functioning. And that was a real time suck when that happened.

I hope that’s all worked out by now. But I have to say, every time I launch Windows 7 (Oh, I might have forgotten to mention I’m running it inside Parallels on a Mac) and I see the 14 updates that you are asking me to trust you on. I still get a little jumpy. I make sure my “snapshot” is current before proceeding.

Good luck on the next Windows. I hear Windows 7 Mobile is going to be neat when it ships.

Last thing, have you seen the new iPad yet?

(I’m off to try and get my Office for Mac updated via multiple processes. Wish me luck. Back soon if all goes well.)

Still doing the math as I upload this image… 1539 megs worth of data from Microsoft to get my Office 2008 for Mac up-to-date. WOW!

Microsoft Office Updates Are Silly

And one last brilliant moment in Microsoft Updating Fun:

Another problem along the road to updating Office

Anyone know where their Office Install disks are for 2008? I’ll be back in an hour or so. See, what fun we are having. Maybe my old files will open now…

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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