Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, March 17, 2014

Safe Updates & Discounts For Windows XP

There are a variety of services that help keep your important software updated. We've added a  "Check for Safe Updates" button  to integrate a new version checking feature directly into WinPatrol. It won’t be the most powerful but in the WinPatrol spirit our goal is to make sure updates are safe and folks are educated to all possible risks.

Previously this button checked for new versions of WinPatrol but it has been expanded to include version checks for popular software packages. When you click this button we'll compare your version against the newest safe version available. If updating is recommended you'll see a safe link that goes to the official download page for the software.

This is critical because bogus sites are showing up on the top results page with Google, Bing and other search engines. It's easy to find yourself on web page that tries to trick you into downloading software wrapped with a setup program that installs additional unwanted software.

Even a legitimate company like Oracle has partnered with toolbar and anti-virus companies. The revenue they get when anyone installs the parasitic software is significant. Considering the installed base of Java users and now often they need security updates it’s a very lucrative market. The WinPatrol PLUS Safe Update Engine will also warn you about these threats and show you sample screen shots of what you might expect.

Every time a new version of Java is available Oracle will try to push other software unrelated to Java. In some cases they’ll receive over a dollar for each customer lead.

Restore Deleted Files

Our second big feature came after feedback from radio host and America’s Digital Goddess, Kim Komando. In a recent article, Kim recommended WinPatrol but cautioned her readers about the dangers of deleting files that may be required. WinPatrol has always provided a History button that allows you to Restore any Startup Programs but she had a point when it comes to the removal of hidden files.

The files will now quarantined in a WinPatrol vault. We will also include a command line scripts that can be used to restore any files that had been hidden. The command-line scripts are created for a worse-case scenario when someone deletes a file that is required for Windows to run. The script or .bat file can be run in safe mode or a command-line mode.

PLUS Discount for Windows XP

The new Safe Update Engine will also detect which version of Windows you're running. If appropriate we will advise you to any potential problems. For instance, if someone is still using Windows XP we will offer timely protection tips. It’s clear not everyone can or will be upgrading immediately. Some businesses have software or hardware that still requires Windows XP.  Unfortunately, an XP machine could be infiltrated and turned into a "bot" that could be used to send SPAM or deploy viruses.

If our Safe Update Engine detects you're using Windows XP you'll see a link to a special Windows XP purchase page. The name of this page will routinely change but it will have a PayPal button that allows you to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS for only $2.00 USD. If you can’t afford a Windows upgrade we’ll make sure WinPatrol PLUS is affordable.


This is section of the results provided by the WinPatrol PLUS Safe Update Engine. In this example, the special offer is provided when the Safe Update feature detects Windows XP is running.

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