Sunday, November 27, 2005


Would you like spyware with that?

Cedric criticizes the highly irritating "upgrade now" banners without the "Don't propose upgrade anymore" option.

I don't get irritated easily but I have observed a growing trend recently that is driving me absolutely nuts: upgrade nags.

Well, to be precise: upgrade nags without any possibility to turn them off.

You know, these dialog boxes that pop up whenever you launch the application and that let you know that a new version of the application is available. The arrogance of the authors of these programs is absolutely baffling, and they should know by now that you don't get mindshare by forcing products down users' throats.

Here are the worst offenders as of today:

  • Yahoo Messenger. It didn't used to be the case, but their recent "Yahoo Messenger with Voice" is obviously so important to them that they absolutely want you to install it, whether you have a microphone or not (or whether you want it or not). Look, Yahoo, I like your client and you are welcome to let me know a new version is available, but how about a checkbox to allow me to pass on this great offer, uh? Because right now, I am migrating away from Yahoo Messenger and urging my friends to do the same.
  • Acrobat Reader. A veteran in the art of irritating users, and it's only getting worse as time goes by. The most disturbing part is that the recent versions are actually worse than the previous ones: longer start-up (do I really need all these plug-ins? And why would I care about all these patents you filed?), pathetic scrolling and window management, miserably slow searching. They must have seen that their users were reluctant upgrading, so they found the best way to make you: a forced upgrade nag. Keep up the good work, guys.

  • iTunes. Probably the worst offender. Why? Because it suffers from the same problems as Acrobat Reader plus the fact that every new version seems to restrict your rights on your own songs further. When you upgrade iTunes, you can never really be sure that your iPod is not going to be wiped clean of songs or whether some of the songs you didn't buy through the iTunes store won't mysteriously stop playing. Of course, it doesn't exactly help either that the Apple forums opted out of Google, so searching for answers to your iPod problems will typically not yield anything. And finally, here is the latest offense to date.

Any other?

Original post by Cedric

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