Several so called software updates were developed in the last few years. Many of the popular applications of this kind are backed up by a large download portal on the Internet. Cnet's Techtracker falls into that category. The software program is available for the Windows operating system and requires a Cnet account before it can be downloaded and used. The program will scan the computer system for installed software after installation and display its findings in the default web browser of the logged in user.
Outdated software programs will automatically be listed at the top of the list followed by all other programs that are currently up to date. Each entry in the table will list the version on the local computer system and the latest version of the software program. A download link is provided which will immediately initiate the download from the Cnet servers (in a new tab).
The only other options provided in this table are to configure email alerts which are unfortunately not explained anywhere on that page. It most likely will trigger email messages whenever the software gets updated. At least two false positive were detected by Cnet's Techtracker. It identified the Firefox version as 3.5.2 where in fact it was already the latest 3.5.3 version of Firefox. A similar detection error was found in the Mozilla Thunderbird entry. It was listed as Thunderbird version 188.8.131.52 where in fact it was the latest Thunderbird 184.108.40.206.
A click on the more info link beneath each software title will display quick information about the software including editor and user ratings with links pointing to those reviews, the file size and download statistics.
Nothing that's really necessary considering that the software is already installed on the system but still nice to have. It would have been better if the download size of each software was displayed more prominently in the table.
Cnet's Techtracker is an interesting addition to the list of software updaters. It is backed by one of the largest software portals on the Internet which means that it can offer a good software detection rate. The forced registration and false positives are the two negative aspects of the program. While the developers can surely work on the latter the former will most likely not change in the near future. Users who want to give it a shot can download the software after logging into the website with their Cnet or Facebook account.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.