How good is Google Updater?

Last week I looked at the Apple's Software Update feature. I want to summarize Google's Updater experience this week. This may help us in designing the Update Center user interface. Google Updater has a toolbar icon. If you click on it shows you the current status of the Google's software. The screen shot looks like the following:

On my computer I already had Norton Antivirus 2004 installed. Google could update that software automatically. It had asked me to un-install before it could install the 2005 version.
You can look at the current installed software and the details like install size, date, option to run, option to uninstall and option to get more software. The screen shot for the installed software looks like the following:

One interesting fact is that it "Software installed or detected by Google Updater". Even though I did not install Norton Antivirus 2004 through Google Updater, it shows it. Because Norton Antivirus is part of Google Update Center. Thats why the install date of the Norton Antivirus is in 2004, where as others is in 2006. I tried clicking on the "Get more software" link. I get the following in a browser window:

I was bit confused by the terminology here. This page says there is "no new software", however it shows the additional software links for Google Video, Picassa, Google screen saver etc. It meant that there are new versions, when it said "no new software". To confirm this fact, I clicked on the updates tab. As I expected it shows that there are no updates (even though there are more software available for download). The screen shot looks like the following:

The most important tab is Preferences tab. You can control the behavior of Updater here. If you are behind firewall/proxy, you need to setup the proxy information here. The screen shot looks like the following:

The default is Updater checks for the updates and installs them automatically. It also notifies the user, if there is another update. By default Updater shows up in the system tray.
I did not like the fact that the term 'new software' is used in exchange of 'newer software update' and I do not like the default of 'Automatically update software' rather than notifying the user. The version of Google Updater is very interesting too version 1.2.567.20382.beta.en. :). The version name is bit longer than I am used to. :). I am interesting in learning more about what type of anonymous usage statistics that Google intend to collect, once that option is enabled. Over all I liked the Google Updater.
Comments:

I hope Sun's updater is better than Google's - they're rushing all kinds of crappy software into the market without thinking about quality.

Posted by anonymous on October 12, 2006 at 03:36 AM PDT #

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