Software updater: Introducing a problematic case
Update (2015-01-03): Document layout fixed. The image, however, is permanently lost, thanks to Microsoft!
In my last post, I said that I had tried a handful of very faulty applications that helped users keep their computer software up-to-date but exhibited unacceptable number of false positives. Today, I am going to introduce one of those cases.
I am including the report that Orbit Downloader’s Software Updater module has created. This report comes from a web site called Recipester and is released under Creative Commons Attribution version 3 license. Therefore, I’m including a full-resolution report. (Click on the figure to the right to zoom.)
I have ignored the following items; that is, I didn’t investigate their factual accuracy:
- Nokia Connectivity Driver
- Windows Live ID
- hp deskjet
- Windows Driver Package – Hewlett-Packard Image
False positive: Software that I don’t even have
The first and deadliest of the flaws of this product: This report claims that I have certain outdated software that I actually don’t have them installed at all! Here is a list of them:
- COMODO Internet Security
- Microsoft Security Essentials
- Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1
- Wolfram Notebook Indexer
This list of nonexistent items leaves much to argue about. Indeed, what gave this application the impression that I own any of these items? How could one possibly have COMODO Internet Security, Microsoft Security Essentials and Kaspersky Internet Security all installed on one system simultaneously? Two antivirus products and two firewall products cannot co-exist on one system without causing the user of that computer unthinkable amount of trouble.
False positives: Erroneous assertions
The following is a list of those items in the report that have fake “Latest Version”.
|Name||Assertion of my current version||My real current version||Assertion of latest version||Real latest version|
|Apple Software Update||184.108.40.206||220.127.116.11||18.104.22.16800||22.214.171.124|
|Apple Application Support||1.2.1||1.2.1||1.3.0||1.2.1|
|NVIDIA Display Control Panel||126.96.36.19921||3.3.451.10||188.8.131.5296||3.3.451.10|
|NVIDIA nView Desktop Manager||184.108.40.20618||135.18||125.25||135.18|
|Diskeeper 10 Pro Premier||220.127.116.11||14.0.903.0||14.0.903.32||14.0.903.0|
False positive: Lack of regard for eligibility
The following items are reported in error because the updater software either does not know the difference between update and upgrade or does not regard the fact that certain version of a software might have been released only for specific operating system.
- Windows Media Player 12.0.7600.16415: Windows Media Player 12 is exclusively released for Windows 7 (and later). I am running Windows XP and I have the latest version of Windows Media Player 11.
- Internet Explorer 8.0.7600.16385: Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7 is different from that of Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP. I am running the latest version of Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP.
- Kaspersky Internet Security 18.104.22.1680: I am running the latest version of Kaspersky Internet Security 7. Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 (v11) is an upgrade, not an update. I am not sure whether I can upgrade to that version free of charge; however, I am currently unwilling to upgrade, as the newer versions are dramatically changed and the usefulness of these changes versus the increased level of protection. Still, its my service subscription that has the most effect on my decision.
- Adobe Photoshop: The latest version of Adobe Photoshop reported here is wrong; the latest version is 12 not 11. (Adobe Photoshop CS5 is released on 30 June 2010.) However, I am running Adobe Photoshop CS3 and upgrading to CS5 would not be possible free of charge.
Out of 32 items in the report, there were 3 true positive items; that is, three of my computer software required update:
- Adobe Reader
- UltraISO Premium
- WinASO Registry Optimizer
Having ignored 4 items, 3 out of 28 reported software were indeed out of date. Well, 10.7% factual accuracy is indeed poor. Therefore, I advise you to stay away from the software updater module of Orbit Downloader.
Still, Orbit Downloader is a good free download manager, although I don’t use its video capturing capabilities.