Weekend tech reading: Typical Windows user patches every 5 days

By on March 7, 2010, 12:12 PM
Typical Windows user patches every 5 days The typical home user running Windows faces the "unreasonable" task of patching software an average of every five days, a security and vulnerability research company said today. "It's completely unreasonable to expect users to master so many different patch mechanisms and spend so much time patching," said Thomas Kristensen, the chief security officer of Secunia. Computerworld

Web browser Grand Prix: The top five, tested and ranked "The fastest browser on Earth." That's what the Opera homepage has said since Tuesday. After five release candidates and two betas, the boys from Oslo just recently launched the final build of Opera 10.50. That's a pretty heavy claim to make, though, especially with well-establish competition already in the field demonstrating impressive performance at an unbeatably-low price. Does it hold up? Tom's Hardware

CeBIT 2010 tradeshow coverage Another year has passed and this year's CeBIT was held this week. 2010, the year where everybody tries to recover from the financial state in the world. A year where there were again less exhibitors at CeBIT, but also a year that had a decent amount of things to show at CeBIT. Guru3D

Police get Webcam pictures in school spy case Two IT employees at Pennsylvania's Lower Merion School District have been put on administrative leave, and pictures taken from Webcams on school-issued computers have been turned over to the local police department, according to the attorney of one of the employees now on leave. CNET

HTC on Nexus One cracked screen: "They don't go in pockets" Last month, we shared the sad story of how our brand-new Google Nexus One went from Crave fave to purple nurple, with a cracked screen that scarred its beautiful AMOLED screen forever. CNET

And BitTorrent’s Oscar goes to…. District 9 In just a few hours the Oscar winners will be announced, including the award for the best movie of 2009. We take a look at the nominees in the Best Picture category to see which film would win if every download on BitTorrent counted as a vote. TorrentFreak

Rapportive replaces Gmail ads with contact info, is very cool Firefox/Chrome: Sure it's nice and all that we get Gmail for free, but those ads to the right of open messages aren't really all that helpful. Free browser add-on Rapportive replaces Gmail ads with contact info about the sender. LifeHacker

User Comments: 37

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mrtraver said:

I'm not sure I buy those numbers, especially since Secunia is not an unbiased independent party. There business is scaring people with stuff like this. I finally removed their software from my machine when it would not stop telling me to patch a program I had already uninstalled.

I probably use Windows a lot more than the "typical" user (although my usage may be typical of techspot readers), and actively keep my system patched. Windows 7 and Firefox do a good job of keeping me updated on many patches, without any intervention on my part other that to accept the install. My GPU drivers are the only ones I can think of that I have to go actively find, and they are not a security threat when not updated.

Serag said:

I agree with matraver, every 5 days for a "typical Windows user" isn't realistic, though I haven't dealt with Secunia's software,

Thorough benchmark by Tom's Hardware, liked it and I'm sticking with Firefox, for life

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My windows 7 updates almost every day, even if it is just the windows defender definitions. At the beggining and a couple of years ago I used to check every update there was at least once a week. With nowadays connections you can put it on automatic patching and you don't even realize it in performance.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I also agree with mrtraver. I think their patching numbers are excessive. However, when I look at how many different apps I have on my PC - it numbers in the dozens - of course they're all going to require patching at some time or the other. There's never going to be one big "universal" patch for all applications, so it is what it is. Frankly, no different than any other product, computer or otherwise that requires regular updating.

Serag said:

There were a number of apps I came across that I don't recall its names, that claims to take the job of auto-patching most of the PC's basic applications and windows update, But I wouldn't really want to give that to an application to do it automatically for me, because I want to check preferences myself, not to mention the fact it's more likely would install it's own bloatware in the process..

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I practiced for 20 years and I think I may be ready to declare myself a master of patch mechanisms. LOL.

The only patches I ever really manually install are the video drivers, usually thanks to a post on Techspot. Other than that its all automatic. Windows, Firefox, and the moderately useful Tech Tracker on CNET.

Now I know that some patches introduce fixes for bugs, but IMO just as many patches introduce new features and improve my computing experience. Why would I be upset that the developer of the software that I use (freeware most of that time to boot) chooses to spend time and effort to improve their product for my use?

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Since most updates are done automatically I really don't see how 'overwhelming' or 'unreasonable' it can be for people.

UT66 said:

i wish my pc was like my console. pcs are just to difficult to use. Constant patching and viruses. I hate all the hassle. Also, with my console i can play from my comfy couch. Also, im kidding im not stupid like that, patches? o noes the scare. Btw windows sucks.

pyari said:

if torrent's download vote counts it might be AVATAR must win the Oscar.....I believe.

theoscentral said:

I have my updates set to automatic. Doesn't bug me one bit.

Yoda8232 said:

Wow you have to click update every 5 days, click yes, next, next, wait, finished. I'm so tired....

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Am I the only one not bothered by updates? It's not like a few clicks is going to ruin your day. Yes, a computer restart may be tedious, but can't you go take a piss after hitting restart? Multitasking at its finest.

pipopaz said:

The numbers might be exaggerated but i think the overall message is that there is the need of a patch or 'fix' quite often, well that's what I think.

CodePhoeniX said:

I think the "patch every 5 days" thing is that x number of programs 1 or more will have a update for it in 5 days time, not necessarily the same program.

bludfist said:

Those numbers are ridiculous. I update my system every 2-3 weeks, and sometimes even longer. I have gotten a total of maybe 3 viruses in my entire time as a PC user, and those were all MY fault, not from security breaches. So since this company obviously doesn't support Windows, what OS do they support?

rskapadia2294 said:

to b honest!...

i dont think that the claim made by chief security officer SECUNIA is true at all!

yes! opera is the fastest! i was a chrome user but after using opera i have set it to my default browser! beleive me guys just use it once n u will fall in love with it!

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

hummm torrent download OSCAR, LOL ...& some would say that it wasn't good, come on!!!

i do auto-update of everything that can & it's a good feature, but once in a while it makes things worst & have to revert back & wait till next fix.

or maybe a fix to fix the last fix!

humm, Rapportive seems a good thing to check for .. off i go then

see ya around


red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

hello ...

hummm torrent download OSCAR, LOL ...& some would say that it wasn't good, come on!!!

i do auto-update of everything that can & it's a good feature, but once in a while it makes things worst & have to revert back & wait till next fix.

or maybe a fix to fix the last fix!

humm, Rapportive seems a good thing to check for .. off i go then

see ya around


really?...name one

tengeta tengeta said:

Funny to criticize Windows, lately Firefox has been updating on a daily basis and my MacBook is bugging me with updates just as often as Windows 7 has.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The Secunia article is about updates in general, not just Windows. I think that just the last month I had a couple of Adobe updates (for Flash and Reader), a Java update, then there's the once a month ATI driver (granted, I don't really update it once a month). Plus Windows updates, Firefox / Thunderbird. Really, an update every 5 days isn't far fetched.

Apart from the Windows updates requiring a restart, most of them aren't a serious annoyance. But that's for me. People who aren't computer savvy are likely to not patch a lot of stuff, or indeed be confused by the various forms of updates.

Flannelwarrior said:

Windows 7 here. I have automatic update enabled and hardly ever manually check to see what's been patched. I don't have a problem with Windows updates and I've never really had issues with system security in the past few years. The update process is very non-intrusive to me, and it seems like most of them are firewall related updates, which doesn't seem entirely frivolous.

spin26 said:

i think update every 5 days is quite reachable, antivirus and OS updates accounts most of it... imho

LightHeart said:

Gotta agree with othe posts

I think the Secuina numbers don't really mean a lot. With a bunch of applications, you will have updates or patches, so what. In most cases that is done automatically with little or no user intervention. Would you rather not have the patches and have problem instead? Since most apps follow whatever schedule, updates can and will happen whenever. If you count anti-virus type updates of course it updates frequently, again does this really mean anything. One last thought, how often does Secuina update it's application?

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I work on a lot of PCs that have viruses and although a lot of people do the MS patches they seem to forget everything else. I always seem machines with very old versions of known exploitable software like JAVA, acrobat reader, flash, etc. Windows is only one part of the system that needs to be patched.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am very curious to see the outcome of the webcam spy case as it is something that is a reality for most people doing IT. I have remote control software installed on all the machines i manage and while i have never thought of using the webcam on them, there is nothing preventing me from doing that.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'd be interested in knowing how they come up with the 5 days number... Is that really a quantified and surveyed minimum time between updates average, or did they just take the number of updates in a set time period and divide it into the number of days in the time window they chose?

As we've seen in many other cases with statistics, the numbers can be skewed to whatever you choose to show, and rarely truly represent real-world facts. I mean, listening to a patching report conducted by a company that specializes in patching management, is anyone surprised that the numbers have a certain "shock value" to them?

fref said:

That Web browser Grand Prix article is quite interesting! It shows just how much Microsoft has to work to get back in the game against the competition. Then again, most users don't notice that it takes IE 600 milliseconds to do something while the other browser would have done the same in 35 milliseconds. I guess that's why Microsoft isn't in too much of a hurry to improve the performance of its browser.

bahbah said:

Once every 5 days sounds way too frequent. Who does that???

buendia said:

I've set up Windows Update to only check for updates, but I choose which to download and install. I agree that there are many applications which, if unpatched, could comprimise the system, so end user is somewhat obliged to manually install many of those updates.

I reguraly check sites as www.filehippo.com or such for newer versions of programs.

Puiu Puiu said:

Windwos 7 updates itself really nice. It's clean fast and non-intrusive. I don't have to kill a lot of time like when updating windows XP. That was the main reason why i rarely updated XP (besides the fact that it was pirated - i do own win7 pro).

EduardsN said:

Updates every 5 days is fine, but people really need to sit down and update everything there is

levar said:

pyari said:

if torrent's download vote counts it might be AVATAR must win the Oscar.....I believe.

nah its D9 most people went to see Avatar in 3D, also Opera not the fastest browser really like the new features in Opera, Opera Unite they finally brought Private browsing in and they're GUI really unique and different its either between Firefox and Google Chrome now. Also very neat addon for both FF & Chrome check it out if you haven't yet.

salbar1981 said:

I think the real problem is not the updating process itself but the fact Windows is so buggy you have to keep patching it "periodically" even if it's from once a day to once a week, unlike some linux flavors which got major updates twice a year

z71kris said:

well I guess with the length of time being a available avatar would win, but in sure #s yes you would say that district 9 would win..I wonder how long the MPA(Motion Picture Association) will take to take as a serious Oscar category!

Renegeek said:

Personaly, i have a few clients, and thoes people only update maybe Once a year, and my self, i dont get patches, only download the Service pack, and thats it... now if there talking about AV software, then maybe... because that should be done every few days.

zaidpirwani said:

PATCHES....... are the only way to survive for PC users... I usually get stuck updating my system and have to wait for it to complete before starting any work.....

buttus said:

I update my system everytime there is an important update to apply. I see no need to let security holes lapse even for a day.

I LOVE Cebit. I don't know how many times it has "died" according to journalists, but the fact is that every year there is something to show, release and flog to the general public and therefore there has to be a venue to do it and Cebit is exactly that.

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