Change management…

November 23rd, 2012

There’s an amazing thing I’ve just discovered after installing an SSD in my laptop: Microsoft Office products now start up at a reasonable speed!

I’ve only just realised that, because I open them so rarely. (It’s one of the joys of working for myself that I can largely pick the tools I use.) In fact, I realise, I probably download updates for Office components more frequently than I actually use them.

That’s an interesting phenomenon; there ought to be a word for it. I’m probably unusual in having Microsoft Word work that way, but there are many of my lesser-used iOS apps that will be updated several times between successive actual executions of their code.

This is a real cultural shift from a world where big corporations would debate for months before rolling out an update to a program. On the web, we’ve grown used to the idea that a piece of software might not look quite the same the next time you log into it. But it’s now true of many apps in my pocket: something will have changed in an app before I run it again. I could quite easily pull my phone out one day and discover that last night’s update had broken something and I could no longer access the boarding pass I need for that plane…

I guess it’s a tribute to progress in software development, or perhaps to the Apple software-approval process (a real pain for developers but in many ways a boon to customers) that this so rarely happens.

Posted on Friday, November 23rd, 2012 at 9:08 am and filed under Apple, Programming.

2 Responses to “Change management…”

  1. Lorenzo Wood Says:

    It may be rare to have something completely broken, but unwelcome “improvements” happen all too often (yes, I’m glaring at you, National Rail).

  2. Neil Says:

    You are not alone in experiencing the strange realisation that MS Office Auto Update runs more frequently than your use of the apps it is updating. I would go with Douglas Adams, in suggesting that this is a phenomenon that has yet to be given a word. His Meaning of Liff is priceless. Personally, I refer to this as a Garlogie, or if the auto-update is updating itself, I call it a Dunecht.

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