Keep an Eye on Your Software Updates

Users of the Microsoft Office 2004 and 2008 suites for the Mac will want to get a hold of newly issued updates for each suite. They’re available for download now and Microsoft confirms that they enhance not just security but stability and peformance. It’s also increasingly a good idea to track where you can find out more about the updates you receive, as they arrive.

Remember when Apple landed in hot water a few months ago for slyly slipping a copy of Safari for Windows into its software updates that it sent to Windows users? As you’ll see from the chart shown in the link I just supplied, that gambit worked, in spite of the charges of sneakiness that it drew. Here is why it’s good to look into the contents of your software updates.

With many of our operating system and productivity suite updates coming to us in automated fashion these days, we have a right to have some knowledge of what’s being placed on our computers. As I wrote about recently, Apple and Microsoft are both atop the list of reported security vulnerabilities among software vendors. They also do disclose most of what is in their updates. However, most users don’t take the extra step of looking into these disclosures.

Microsoft’s Mactopia-based information on the latest updates to its Mac Office suites provides little information about them. However, the site does link to more complete descriptions for both the 2008 suite update and the 2004 suite update.

As Apple recently demonstrated with its sneaky Safari-within-update move, software providers can go as far as putting entire applications on your computer without your knowledge, through updates. Apple has also demonstrated that this sneaky move worked. I prefer to have clear disclosure about these updates right in front of me as I get them.

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