Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Suggestion: Windows Update Foundation

So I have a bunch of gunk in my tray area - Most of them are * update - Java update,windows update , Norton update even some kind of drawing program trial I downloaded - they are all sitting there taken up varying amount of CPU periodically "Calling home" to see if there are "NEW!! CRITICAL!!" updates etc... I as the user do not know what they are and where they are and how to disable them.

It is obviously important that applications be able to update themselves on the fly especially in today's internet environment with security patches etc... But I believe that software developers should focus on what they (think) they do best - developing their actual program and not worrying about creating little updater icons - they usually leave it to the end and throw together some thing that is usually not very well behaved etc...

Therefore I suggest that Microsoft take a large part of the burden off the regular developers like this.

Microsoft already has the whole windows update infrastructure - They should extend it a bit to support 3rd party applications - this is the scenario I imagine.

3rd Party Developers would create their applications.
They would log in to a special (free) Microsoft portal
They submit there company name. Application name - exe name etc..
They receive a special unique GUID for their application
In the install for their application they register that unique GUID for their application with the "Windows Update Foundation".
The vendor logs onto the Microsoft portal and indicates that the latest version for this application is lets say
When the regular windows update runs it sends the uniqueid and the current version of the app to the windows update service - Windows will notify the user that updates - either windows or third party applications.

The user can then decide what to update and what not.

WUF would then kick off the applications BITS downloader from the vendors site.

Obviously there are security implications -
but I think it would make the whole windows experience more seamless for the user and for the software developer

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