Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, April 24, 2006

Why Companies Encourage AutoUpdates

A long time ago I learned that many people really don’t like updating their software. Microsoft knows it too, which is why they do their best to encourage autoupdating.  “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” is still a popular saying.  I’m not sure if people are afraid of new errors or if they just don’t want to be bothered.  Even with the promise of new features some people just don’t want to update from their current versions and I have proof.

When I first created WinPatrol in 1997 I only offered a free version. Just for fun, I added a kind of “easter egg” that caused a message box to appear every April 24th which is my birthday.  It popped up and suggested if you were happy with WinPatrol you should send a happy birthday message to BillP. It was always a lot fun and I received hundreds of happy greetings from all around the world.  Many WinPatrol fans even went to the trouble of creating animated birthday cards. Ironically, some of the cards required me to download Gator or included other adware!

I don’t remember the last version number that included the Birthdayware message but it’s been about four years since I removed this fun feature.  Even so, I have already received over 30 Email Birthday greetings from WinPatrol fans who are apparently pleased with our four year old version.  If you’re reading, this don’t feel like you need to send me a note.  I’m happy enough just to have you come and read the thoughts leaking from my brain.


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