When it comes to software updates, you usually either do not get any information about the changes in the update that is just installed on your computer, or only after you have run the update. The majority of software companies do not include release notes or change logs in the update process which is a big issue for a number of reasons.
First, you do not really know why you are updating. Even the information that an update is critical for security is better than no information about the update at all. Would not you want to know if a company decided to make fundamental changes to a program before you update? Say a new interface, the removal of features, or the addition of features that you may not be interested in or dislike completely. If no update information are displayed, it is like playing Russian roulette hoping that everything turns out fine.
Second, as someone who writes about software updates, I find it irritating when companies release updates without mentioning what has changed. I can't and won't write about updates where I do not know anything about the changes. That's bad for the company as they do not get free publicity, and bad for me as I can't inform my readers about the update.
Some companies, like Mozilla or Microsoft, do a good job at keeping users informed about updates. While you still have to visit the websites to get the information, it is usually not a problem to do so. Others only post partial update information, none at all, or hide the update log in a forum post somewhere on the program website.
Providing customers with update information is essential, not only in business environments but also for home computer users. It is essential to build trust and is at the same time a customer service that keeps the customer information and helps them make an educated decision.
You may install updates from a list of companies that you trust without further research. Microsoft security updates come to min, but Microsoft not only displays a short description on the Windows Update page, but also links to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that offer further information about the update. But not every company is that forthcoming, and often your only option to find out more about an update is to go change log hunting on the Internet.
Am I the only one who thinks that software developers should provide their users with information about updates before they gets installed on the system? What's your take on this?
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