MS Office Auto-Update



  • Once every couple weeks, when I launch MS Office it checks for updates.  Not really a WTF, although it'd be a lot nicer if it checked on quit (since the updates require quit-and-relaunch to install, and I just opened the application to, yanno, get some work done, not to install an update).

    This morning it informed me that it needed to install a security update (not really a WTF).  It proceeds to download it and run an installer, which promptly informs me that it will take 980MB of disk space.

    Almost a GB of disk space for a single security update to a suite of applications that installed to about 500MB in the first place?!  The operating system for my last computer needed less space than that, and the one before used less than that for OS and bundled applications!  Does anyone remember when Office installed to about 20MB?

    Then it says that in order to install it needs me to quit Excel (not a WTF) and Firefox (WTF? Are they going to try to install a backdoor extension AGAIN?)

    Yanno, I was thinking of trading in this laptop for a nice, lightweight ultrabook sort of thing.  Haha.  If every software manufacturer wrote their updates like this, there wouldn't be an SSD on the planet large enough to hold just the OS and applications, let alone data.



  • I thought Office updates were part of Windows Update.

    At least, I recall seeing some patches and updates for Office last time I reviewed some Win Updates. Office do it separately, then?



  • @Cassidy said:

    I thought Office updates were part of Windows Update.
     

    They might be, but Macs don't have Windows Update.  😉

     



  • You can set the Mac Office updater to only check for updates "Manually", and then you won't be bothered. Also, make sure you check again after that big update - one of the applications (Access? don't remember) had an issue where files could be corrupted. That's been fixed in an update to the update, but if you got the first one and not the second one it could still affect you.



  • @sprained said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I thought Office updates were part of Windows Update.
     

    They might be, but Macs don't have Windows Update.  😉

     

    I'll step in for blakeyrat, here:

    Where the fuck did you expect people to divine that you are using a Mac? I know, I know, communication is a two way street; you were broadcasting via telepathy, and we weren't picking up on it. However, our grey matter is not as advanced as your own, and as such we actually need context added to be able to understand things.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    I'll step in for blakeyrat, here:

    Where the fuck did you expect people to divine that you are using a Mac? I know, I know, communication is a two way street; you were broadcasting via telepathy, and we weren't picking up on it. However, our grey matter is not as advanced as your own, and as such we actually need context added to be able to understand things.

    Haha.  Love you guys.  I didn't expect you to guess (being aware of the exceptionally shitty telepathy skills among the users of this forum), and didn't originally think it mattered.  I can't help it if Cassidy couldn't grasp the notion of a software update independent of an OS update.  How does the OS affect the WTF value of this at all?

    @sinistral said:

    You can set the Mac Office updater to only check for updates "Manually", and then you won't be bothered. Also, make sure you check again after that big update - one of the applications (Access? don't remember) had an issue where files could be corrupted. That's been fixed in an update to the update, but if you got the first one and not the second one it could still affect you.

    Yeah, then I'd never get security updates at all.  How often do you sit down at your computer and think "Oh, I'd better check every piece of software on my computer to see if it has security updates available" as opposed to "Time to get started on implementing that new feature" or "Ooh, I wonder what's available in my Netflix queue"?



  • @sprained said:

    How does the OS affect the WTF value of this at all?

    Because on Windows, the operating system we assumed you were referring to, the situation you were describing is impossible because there is no "ms office auto-update" that runs when you start an Office app. Very old versions of Office (e.g. 2000) did have an "office update" available, but that was a web page that was basically the same as Windows Update (and was later merged into Windows Update itself).

    That's why.



  • @Quietust said:

    Because on Windows, the operating system we assumed you were referring to, the situation you were describing is impossible because there is no "ms office auto-update" that runs when you start an Office app. Very old versions of Office (e.g. 2000) did have an "office update" available, but that was a web page that was basically the same as Windows Update (and was later merged into Windows Update itself).

    That's why.

     

    OK, pretend it was an updater for any other piece of third-party software.  Same applies.  And yeah, I didn't realize that Windows Update handles MS Office updates now (been a long time since I ran a post-XP windows with a post-2000 Office).



  • @sprained said:

    They might be, but Macs don't have Windows Update.  😉

    I are TRWTF and must return my modem to mummy. Doh!

    @sprained said:

    I can't help it if Cassidy couldn't grasp the
    notion of a software update independent of an OS update.

    Most systems I use have both bundled: Win7, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora all do S/W updates via the OS, and I thought SWMBO's mac did the same.

    Then it dawned upon me that Firefox, Foxit Reader and some other apps do updates independent of the OS.

    Too late. I'd hit POST. Doh squared.

    Meanwhile, getting back to the plot... was there any reason why the patch was that big? Or was it an update like in the Mozilla universe (download the new version and install over the old, never mind making delta changes).



  • @Cassidy said:

    Then it dawned upon me that Firefox, Foxit Reader and some other apps do updates independent of the OS.
     

    Isn't Windows Update only for Microsoft software? I can't think of any third-party product using it.

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    was there any reason why the patch was that big? Or was it an update like in the Mozilla universe (download the new version and install over the old, never mind making delta changes).
     

    No clue (and honestly I wouldn't know how to find out).  Seems like a clumsy way to do things, especially if you're going to go through the trouble of writing an installer anyway (as opposed to just overwriting the "app", which on a Mac is a bundle that gets treated as a single file).  And why make me quit the browser?

    What's more, with the binary already loaded into memory, most Mac apps that do a replace-the-entire-binary thing don't even make you quit the app itself while you update, only to have the update take effect.

    And even if it were a new version, why would the binary have doubled in size?

     



  • @sprained said:

    @Cassidy said:

    was there any reason why the patch was that big? Or was it an update like in the Mozilla universe (download the new version and install over the old, never mind making delta changes).
     

    No clue (and honestly I wouldn't know how to find out).  Seems like a clumsy way to do things, especially if you're going to go through the trouble of writing an installer anyway (as opposed to just overwriting the "app", which on a Mac is a bundle that gets treated as a single file).  And why make me quit the browser?

    What's more, with the binary already loaded into memory, most Mac apps that do a replace-the-entire-binary thing don't even make you quit the app itself while you update, only to have the update take effect.

    And even if it were a new version, why would the binary have doubled in size?

     

    The thing is, without more information it's hard to answer these questions, and thus hard to determine how WTFy it is.



  • @Cassidy said:

    Meanwhile, getting back to the plot... was there any reason why the patch was that big? Or was it an update like in the Mozilla universe (download the new version and install over the old, never mind making delta changes).

    I think most software update processes still involve an overwrite of binary files rather than a binary diff. I think Google was experimenting with it for awhile, but it still hasn't made it's way into the Android Store (or whatever it is now), if the huge updates I'm getting are any indication.



  • @briverymouse said:

    @Cassidy said:

    Then it dawned upon me that Firefox, Foxit Reader and some other apps do updates independent of the OS.
     

    Isn't Windows Update only for Microsoft software? I can't think of any third-party product using it.

     


    There's Windows Update (for Windows only, and maybe some third-party drivers) and Microsoft Update, for the rest of Microsoft things. They keep it separate for legal reasons probably (you have to accept another EULA to "upgrade" from Windows Update to Microsoft Update).



  • @sprained said:

    And even if it were a new version, why would the binary have doubled in size?

     

    Didn't Mac applications double their size for a while to include PowerPC and x86 binaries? I dunno.



  • @Strolskon said:

    @briverymouse said:

    @Cassidy said:

    Then it dawned upon me that Firefox, Foxit Reader and some other apps do updates independent of the OS.
     

    Isn't Windows Update only for Microsoft software? I can't think of any third-party product using it.

     


    There's Windows Update (for Windows only, and maybe some third-party drivers) and Microsoft Update, for the rest of Microsoft things. They keep it separate for legal reasons probably (you have to accept another EULA to "upgrade" from Windows Update to Microsoft Update).

    My guess: preemptive strike against yet another spurious anti-trust lawsuit. "It's so unfair!! The reason nobody uses Java/Mac OS/Java is because Microsoft made it easy to keep Windows up-to-date! Forcibly reduce the quality of Windows so we look less incompetently shitty by comparison!!" -Sun/Apple/Oracle



  • @Strolskon said:

    @sprained said:

    And even if it were a new version, why would the binary have doubled in size?

     

    Didn't Mac applications double their size for a while to include PowerPC and x86 binaries? I dunno.

     

     

    Ones that chose to support both architectures.  But that was like 7 years ago.  This version of Office either was already a "universal binary" or never supported PPC in the first place... and if they added PPC support in the past 18 months... I'm flummoxed.

     



  • @briverymouse said:

    @Cassidy said:

    Then it dawned upon me that Firefox, Foxit Reader and some other apps do updates independent of the OS.
     

    Isn't Windows Update only for Microsoft software? I can't think of any third-party product using it.

    Windows Update is.

    However, Ubuntu's updates will also include Firefox, Flash, Java and a pile of other 3rd-party apps.

    As will CentOS, if you wanna play Russian Roulette with unofficial repos.

    For some reason, I just presumed MacOS did the same thing. It wasn't until I thought about it did I realise there are situations where app updates are separate from OS updates (like my examples you quoted up there).

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I think most software update processes still involve an overwrite of binary files rather than a binary diff.

    It was more the "overwriting of existing libraries with unchanged libraries" I was thinking of. I remember some app back in the day (Firebird, possibly) where a smaller package of delta upgrades were offered as an alternative to full installs. Of course, this was when the internet ran on steam and there wasn't as much coal to go around in those days.

    Nowadays, nVidia et al follow the rule of "give them everything in one 15TB download that has 100% chance of containing the 7.5MB of files they actually need". With today's netspeeds, it works well, too.




  • @briverymouse said:

    @Cassidy said:

    Then it dawned upon me that Firefox, Foxit Reader and some other apps do updates independent of the OS.
     

    Isn't Windows Update only for Microsoft software? I can't think of any third-party product using it.

     Unfortunately, there are some companies that manage to push their updates through, especially hardware drivers. I'm currently avoiding a 25 mb Kyocera printer driver update that borks the printer completely.



  • @Quietust said:

    @sprained said:
    How does the OS affect the WTF value of this at all?

    Because on Windows, the operating system we assumed you were referring to, the situation you were describing is impossible because there is no "ms office auto-update" that runs when you start an Office app.

    In that case, I daresay TRWTF is you, for assuming something you know isn't correct …


  • :belt_onion:

    @taustin said:

    Unfortunately, there are some companies that manage to push their updates through, especially hardware drivers. I'm currently avoiding a 25 mb Kyocera printer driver update that borks the printer completely.

    It's pretty easy to avoid updates you won't want; expand the update then check "Hide this update" (or whatever it is, I'm reciting this from memory), and you'll never see it again.

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    Meanwhile, getting back to the plot... was there any reason why the patch was that big? Or was it an update like in the Mozilla universe (download the new version and install over the old, never mind making delta changes).

    Firefox moved over to some kind of binary diff updates a few years back (maybe when v3 came out, I forget); I noticed recently that this practice has stopped. Just seems a bit of a waste of their bandwidth, that's all.

    Updating in the Windows world is a nightmare. Flash Player updater only runs when it feels like it, and lots of updaters harass limited users who don't have the rights to run them. I haven't seen whether the Java updater finally works through UAC – it used to fail with an unspecified error if you accepted the UAC prompt as a different user account. Even the Dropbox guys couldn't get the installer to deal with UAC being filled in using different credentials to the user it was being installed for (it WILL install inside AppData, you can't put it in Program Files), but I've tried a test build where they've fixed that in both XP and 7.) Lots of flinging modal dialogs in the user's face on launch, when they actually want to get on with work, not detour off into update land.

    It really would be awesome if Windows Update could do all your software, from all vendors. All you need is a config file and a web server that hands down the correct file format for Windows Update to unpack and place into the pending moves list.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    It really would be awesome if Windows Update could do all your software, from all vendors. All you need is a config file and a web server that hands down the correct file format for Windows Update to unpack and place into the pending moves list.

    It's hard to believe that they haven't moved to do this yet. From the "Microsoft Malware Protection Center":
    @Threat Research & Response Blog said:

    And even though an operating system may include many risk-reducing mitigation technologies, any machine’s defenses against vulnerabilities are directly related to how current its security updates for applications are kept.

    I find that kinda funny, since they're talking about OSX malware. That's one thing I like about the package managers on Linux. You can add third party repositories when you install their software, so you have a single place to check for updates for everything. How did the most decentralized OS end up with (several) centralized update systems before Windows or OSX?



  • Microsoft can't do anything without 46 competitors screaming, "MONOPOLY!! MONOPOLY!!! INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING!!!!!" Frankly I don't blame them for not offering Windows Update to non-Microsoft products.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Microsoft can't do anything without 46 competitors screaming, "MONOPOLY!! MONOPOLY!!! INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING!!!!!" Frankly I don't blame them for not offering Windows Update to non-Microsoft products.

    Maybe you're right, but something like this, which is to say, playing nice with other vendors seems like the opposite of monopoly behavior, and has the huge upside of reducing the number of unpatched adobe readers and flash installations out there. Not to mention the reduction in crapware updater software. Maybe if they forced the 3rd parties to use Microsoft servers, but that seems like an awful idea to start with.

    There's already the ability to look for updates from your domain administrator (or whatever). It seems like you should be able to look at an MS server for MS updates, an Adobe server for Adobe updates, etc, all through the same mechanism of Windows Updates. There's no reason why MS could or should even need to know whose servers users were using (I don't imagine they know who all has local update stuff set up, do they?).



  • @Strolskon said:

    @sprained said:

    And even if it were a new version, why would the binary have doubled in size?

     

    Didn't Mac applications double their size for a while to include PowerPC and x86 binaries? I dunno.




    Only the binaries were bigger as OSX has the feature of "Fat Binarys" which allow you to compile a single app that will support PPC, x86,x86_64 and even specific variants of PPC for optimization. To the end user, all they would see is "Word.app", but the OS will figure out the best binary to use and execute that one.

    It's how Apple was able to make a relatively seamless transition from PPC to Intel, by providing "fat binary" support for developers to compile PPC/Intel versions of apps, along with providing Rosetta up until late which provided a PPC emulator inside the OS to allow PPC applications to run.

    It's just another key example how Apple provides graceful transitions to new architectures, giving developers time to upgrade their own stuff before the deprecated stuff gets obsolete. Unlike Windows with its 20 years of shit piled on top of each other, to allow applications built for Windows 95 run in Windows 8...



  • @gu3st said:

    It's just another key example how Apple provides graceful transitions to new architectures, giving developers time to upgrade their own stuff before the deprecated stuff gets obsolete. Like Unlike Windows on Windows 64 (WoW64) with its 20 years of shit piled on top of each other, to allow applications built for 32-bit Windows 95 run in 64-bit Windows 8...

    FTFY



  • @boomzilla said:

    @gu3st said:
    It's just another key example how Apple provides graceful transitions to new architectures, giving developers time to upgrade their own stuff before the deprecated stuff gets obsolete. Like Unlike Windows on Windows 64 (WoW64) with its 20 years of shit piled on top of each other, to allow applications built for 32-bit Windows 95 run in 64-bit Windows 8...

    FTFY

    No doubt there are reasons of some kind for how it ended up this way, but one can't argue that WOW64 is in any way pleasant. It's the same confusing mess that typifies backwards compatibility in Windows.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    No doubt there are reasons of some kind for how it ended up this way, but one can't argue that WOW64 is in any way pleasant. It's the same confusing mess that typifies backwards compatibility in Windows.

    I guess it can be a bit confusing for developers, but as a user, 32-bit programs "just work" on a 64-bit installation. And it certainly gives developers time to work up to writing actual 64-bit applications. Gu3st's statement was simply incoherent as far as it concerned MS and changing architectures. I suppose that if you could find someone who used the old Alpha versions of Windows, they might have had a different experience.



  • @boomzilla said:

    32-bit programs "just work" on a 64-bit installation.

    Some of them do … 😉



  • @gu3st said:

    It's just another key example how Apple provides graceful transitions to new architectures, giving developers time to upgrade their own stuff before the deprecated stuff gets obsolete. Unlike Windows with its 20 years of shit piled on top of each other, to allow applications built for Windows 95 run in Windows 8...

    There's nothing like a stupid person to give me a nice little self-esteem boost. Thank you.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @boomzilla said:
    32-bit programs "just work" on a 64-bit installation.

    Some of them do … 😉

    This. Half of my Win 7 64-bit machine at work is permanently stuck pretending to be XP 32-bit so that I can get Vital Business Applications™ to work.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    It really would be awesome if Windows Update could do all your software, from all vendors. All you need is a config file and a web server that hands down the correct file format for Windows Update to unpack and place into the pending moves list.

    I heard of such a project in the works some time back, where a Microsoft guy was extolling the virtues of central repos and looking at the logistics of reproducing a windows model. Looks like someone's been working on it.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @gu3st said:
    It's just another key example how Apple provides graceful transitions to new architectures, giving developers time to upgrade their own stuff before the deprecated stuff gets obsolete. Unlike Windows with its 20 years of shit piled on top of each other, to allow applications built for Windows 95 run in Windows 8...

    There's nothing like a stupid person to give me a nice little self-esteem boost. Thank you.

    Windows hasn't had to tackle the same sort of problems Apple has. Windows has always been x86, only changing from 16->32->64 bit.. a transition which is largely backwards compatible.

    Apple has transitioned from 68k Motorola CPU's -> PowerPC -> Intel all relatively seamlessly. Each transition was given a 5 year period for developers to either re-invent (if they needed to.. especially from the OS9 to OSX transition), or simply recompile (PPC -> Intel transition)

    Microsoft clings to keeping the oldest of the oldest shit running on its new OS's because it's scared to actually say "We won't support it.".

    Apple gives a reasonable timeframe to have developers adapt to the new technologies. If they're too stuck in their old ways.. then when their software doesn't work.. their customers will look elsewhere. See Quicken for Mac for an example.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I heard of such a project in the works some time back, where a Microsoft guy was extolling the virtues of central repos and looking at the logistics of reproducing a windows model. Looks like someone's been working on it.

    Oh boy, now that's something I'd need to quarantine in a virtual machine for a while. What's disappointing is that it appears not to be done with the co-operation of the software vendors.



  • @gu3st said:

    Apple gives a reasonable timeframe to have developers adapt to the new technologies.

    And the poor user is forced to buy the new version for no reason other than, "Apple sez so".

    @gu3st said:

    If they're too stuck in their old ways.. then when their software doesn't work.. their customers will look elsewhere.

    Yeah, they'll buy Windows machines.



  • @gu3st said:

    Windows hasn't had to tackle the same sort of problems Apple has. Windows has always been x86, only changing from 16->32->64 bit.. a transition which is largely backwards compatible.

    Guess what? You're wrong again! At least this fact wasn't already mentioned in this thread, though. Oh, wait.

    @gu3st said:

    If they're too stuck in their old ways.. then when their software doesn't work.. their customers will look elsewhere.

    Yes, that's a valid business model, but it's not Microsoft's. But then you'd have to be outside of the RDF (fuck, hasn't that shit gone away yet?!?) to notice it.



  • @gu3st said:

    Apple has transitioned from 68k Motorola CPU's -> PowerPC -> Intel all relatively seamlessly. Each transition was given a 5 year period for developers to either re-invent (if they needed to.. especially from the OS9 to OSX transition), or simply recompile (PPC -> Intel transition)

    Good point: Apple couldn't choose a winning architecture if their lives depended on it. I half expect x86-64 to go under now that Macs use it.

    @gu3st said:

    Apple gives a reasonable timeframe to have developers adapt to the new technologies. If they're too stuck in their old ways.. then when their software doesn't work.. their customers will look elsewhere. See Quicken for Mac for an example.

    I guess when all you need to support is Photoshop and Angry Birds, life is pretty easy. For non-mouthbreathing users, killing off 5 year old software is unacceptable. Which perfectly sums up why OSX will never be more than a toy for those with more money than sense and why businesses will never adopt it en masse.



  • How much does Microsoft pay all of you to be Apple-hating goons? For this level of hate and ignorance, I bet it's 6 figures.



  • Feh I wish. I'm only pulling in $62k according to my Apple-hating goon W2-form.



  • @gu3st said:

    Microsoft clings to keeping the oldest of the oldest shit running on its new OS's because it's scared to actually say "We won't support it.".

    Hey, guess what a desktop computer is? It's not a phone, it (supposedly) has a lifetime longer than a phone, and has to run whatever software I want it to run or else it's not doing its job. It's not an unreasonable expectation that if something works on OS version X, then it will continue to work on OS version X + 1.



  • @gu3st said:

    How much does Microsoft pay all of you to be Apple-hating goons? For this level of hate and ignorance, I bet it's 6 figures.

    I also moonlight for Honda as a Yugo-hating goon. I mean, clearly the Yugo is superior, but it's a living.



  • @gu3st said:

    How much does Microsoft pay all of you to be Apple-hating goons? For this level of hate and ignorance, I bet it's 6 figures.

    It's a nice supplement to my fossil fuel stipend for being a climate denier. Actually, I spend a minimal amount of time in Windows. I guess I'm just kinky, because I prefer the masochism that comes along with using Linux. But I get more than my money's worth, which is more than I could say if my electronics had alliterative names.

    Look, no one's hating Apple for selling this stuff. We're just saying you're stupid for buying it.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    Hey, guess what a desktop computer is? It's not a phone, it (supposedly) has a lifetime longer than a phone, and has to run whatever software I want it to run or else it's not doing its job.
     

    Keeping in mind that some of us can remember when "a lifetime longer than a phone" implied "a lifetime longer than most human beings".



  • @boomzilla said:

    Look, no one's hating Apple for selling this stuff. We're just saying you're stupid for buying it.

    Agreed, Apple products are like lottery tickets or robot insurance--taxes on the stupid.



  • @da Doctah said:

    @pkmnfrk said:

    Hey, guess what a desktop computer is? It's not a phone, it (supposedly) has a lifetime longer than a phone, and has to run whatever software I want it to run or else it's not doing its job.
     

    Keeping in mind that some of us can remember when "a lifetime longer than a phone" implied "a lifetime longer than most human beings".

    I miss Carrousel.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I miss Carrousel.

    Life clocks are a lie! Carousel is a lie! THERE IS NO RENEWAL!

    (Also, no sanctuary.)



  • @gu3st said:

    How much does Microsoft pay all of you to be Apple-hating goons? For this level of hate and ignorance, I bet it's 6 figures.

    Just out of curiosity, how much are you paying Apple every year as part of their customer-base recycling business model? For this level of obedience and self-righterousness I bet it's a lot.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    @gu3st said:
    How much does Microsoft pay all of you to be Apple-hating goons? For this level of hate and ignorance, I bet it's 6 figures.

    Just out of curiosity, how much are you paying Apple every year as part of their customer-base recycling business model? For this level of obedience and self-righterousness I bet it's a lot.

    The incredulity of those behind the RDF when they encounter minds from beyond reminds me of the apocryphal story of the Manhattan socialite in 1972 who couldn't understand how Nixon could have won, since everyone she knew voted for McGovern.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Speakerphone Dude said:
    @gu3st said:
    How much does Microsoft pay all of you to be Apple-hating goons? For this level of hate and ignorance, I bet it's 6 figures.

    Just out of curiosity, how much are you paying Apple every year as part of their customer-base recycling business model? For this level of obedience and self-righterousness I bet it's a lot.

    The incredulity of those behind the RDF when they encounter minds from beyond reminds me of the apocryphal story of the Manhattan socialite in 1972 who couldn't understand how Nixon could have won, since everyone she knew voted for McGovern.

    Must've been those hilbillies in the Lower East Side what done it.


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