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April 15, 2008

Google Updater, the New Installer for Google Software

Last year, I posted that Google intends to install all its applications through Google Updater, the central component of Google Pack. At that time, a small number of people were redirected to the integrated installer, but this behavior has now become a standard practice.

Because some of the files from Google Earth were corrupted, I had to uninstall it. When I went to Google Earth's download page, Google informed me that I have to install Google Earth with Google Updater.


Google Pack's help center gives some reasons why it's convenient to use the Updater, but most of them help Google promote other software. "The Google Updater makes the software installation process more convenient in several ways. First, it installs software easily with just a few clicks. Also, once the Google Updater is installed, you can choose to have a system tray icon notify you when new software becomes available. Finally, the Google Updater provides you with a central place from which you can download more Google software, as well as other software we think you'll enjoy." (my emphasis)

Probably the only reason why I use my computer is to install Google software and this updater finally helps me get things done. If I want to install Google Earth, it's obvious that I should be informed if Google launches other applications and I should be able to install them with a single click. Hopefully, in the next iterations of the Updater, the click will be eliminated and the new software will be installed automatically after analyzing my interests.


I installed Google Earth using the updater and the setup was launched in the background, with the default settings. Google Updater is installed as a system service that starts automatically, places an icon in the system tray and constantly pings Google to see if there are any updates for the Google software installed on your computer. By default, the application installs the updates automatically and can be uninstalled.


Google still offers the chance to install applications without the updater, but the page that points to the direct links is too difficult to find and has an inappropriate title. I'll repost the links here, for convenience.

Google Earth for Windows:
http://earth.google.com/tour/thanks-win4.html

Google Desktop for Windows:
http://desktop.google.com/index.html?rd=f

Google Toolbar 4 for IE:
http://toolbar.google.com/service/tbdl?hl=en&tbdata=T4

This practice is not Windows-only. Google's Mac software is installed only with the updater. "Google Updater is the installer for Google products on the Mac. You can use Google Updater to see which Google software you have installed and to see other Google applications you might be interested in. Google Updater helps keep your software up-to-date by installing updates when they become available. And you can use Google Updater to uninstall Google Software." Probably the most outrageous part from the Mac FAQ is the answer to the question: how do I uninstall Google Updater? "To uninstall Google Updater, you first have to uninstall other Google software on your computer. You can't uninstall Google Updater while you have Google software on your computer because we need it there to keep your software up-to-date."

Maybe Google should focus less on "we" and more on "you". Most Google software already has an option to auto-update and this could be easily added to the applications that don't have it. If the installers are too confusing, Google could simplify them and remove the unnecessary steps. I don't want to imagine what would happen if each application installed a system service for auto-update and used your network connection to constantly check for new updates.

Update: Apparently, I was lucky to install Google Earth in Firefox. If you use Internet Explorer, Google adds the options to install Google Toolbar and to set Google as the default search engine. Both options are enabled by default, so a standard Google Earth installation bundles Google Updater, Google Toolbar and changes your default search engine in Internet Explorer. This is way too much.

65 comments:

  1. I don't like software like this, not even Google's.

    I find it intrusive and useless most of the time, since each piece of software should check for updates. If you use it frecuently, then you'll have the lastest version. If you don't, you won't mind.

    The "software you may like" feature, well, it's not for "power" users, who are already aware of tech news. May be useful for casual users who, by the way, are the mayority.

    Nice article!

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  2. "Hopefully, in the next iterations of the Updater, the click will be eliminated and the new software will be installed automatically after analyzing my interests."

    That's insane; it's one thing to allow software to suggest how you clutter up your computer, but to abdicate all control is simply flakey.

    You need to get out more and realize that human beings must come before computers. Or maybe it's too late?

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  3. Microsoft, Sun, and someone else already have Updaters running on my computer. So why not Google too? Usually you can turn them off in the
    Services manager or Startup folder or better yet - within their own configuration. But competition always comes down to the lowest common denominator - and if that means Updaters then that's what we're going to suffer through. It would be nice if there were a couple Updaters with central repositories (ex.: the "official" Microsoft & partners repository vs. a couple alternatives) that you could choose from. But every publisher having it's own Updater and repository is going to be painful!

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  4. I am normally impressed by the posts here, but I feel this one went a little bit too far into the fields of "just to complain" and "for no good reason."

    You mention that "Most Google software already has an option to auto-update and this could be easily added to the applications that don't have it." Ok, so if I have three or four Google applications installed on my machine, would I rather have each individual application individually pinging an updater service in the background to check for updates and each have their own individual method for updating the software? The short answer is "No."

    I don't understand why having the updater built into the application versus having the updater separate from the application is such a bad thing. Maybe I don't run Google Earth every day but would be interested in knowing there is an update so that I can check out the new features. It is nice to be notified of such an update and have the option to have this downloaded and installed without me needing to run Google Earth to handle any of this.

    Furthermore, from Google's standpoint, this type of functionality makes sense. Each application is developed by a different team (or sometimes, just an individual.) Each usually develop their own styles of auto-update and, over time, it becomes quite cumbersome. By creating a centralized and common installer for all Google applications, you don't have this problem. Even non-Google applications can be installed and updated through this tool. In time, it could become the InstallShield alternative, which is fine in my book.

    The only real complaint you have was hidden in your sarcasm. If Google DOES make the application install software that you never asked it to, then yes... there will be room for complaint. But in the amount of time the updater has been available, they have never done this. Why complain about something Google COULD do without them ever doing it? You might as well complain that Google might one day burn your house down. Hidden in sarcasm, of course.

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  5. I agree with Schultzter. I heard that in Windows 7 some companies (authorised by Microsoft) will be able push updates via Microsoft Update, which is completely integrated. Obviously they'd have to change the name to something different.

    "I heard" isn't the same as "I know", however. There's a lot of Windows 7 rumours flying round at the moment.

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  6. I don't think this is something we should have to accept. For the best example (or worst user experience) look at Apple. I installed Quicktime once and now it doesn't stop asking me for to install iTunes and Safari. Sure I can either turn off the service or delete an startup folder shortcut. But why should I find and configure a way to turn off a feature that I don't want and never installed. If someone walked into my office everyday and hit me with a rolled up newspaper, sure I'd find a way to make it stop after a while. But why is it my responsibility to make it stop?

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  7. It seems to me that those Google Updater is just a merging for all of those app-specific auto-update functions. What I don't understand is why they're even mentioning the Google Updater, as if it's something distinct and separate from the software. Let it become a cohesive back-end framework that any Google app can use and hide the front-end so that I can get to it if I want to.

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  8. haha nice sarcastic post... but I completely agree with the fact that these small updater apps that sit either in your system tray or are constantly running in the background are beyond annoying.

    This type of behavior is the last thing I expected from a company such as Google. but alas they are a human too, greedy corporate humans

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  9. Great. Another service that eats ram just because once every few days it needs to check for a new version of something. Why can't the google software iself just tell you? It's good enough for most other programs! I hate wasting system resources on such stupid things like task schedulers and updaters which only do things about once a day but run ALL THE TIME.

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  10. Great. Another service that eats ram just because once every few days it needs to check for a new version of something. Why can't the google software iself just tell you? It's good enough for most other programs! I hate wasting system resources on such stupid things like task schedulers and updaters which only do things about once a day but run ALL THE TIME.

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  11. Excellent article. Personally, I'm not too bothered by the Google Updater, nor do I think it's going to increase its bother on me. But, I really find the "we need it there" statement alarming. I expect that language will change shortly, if it hasn't already, thanks to you.

    What I love the most here is the conversation you're stimulating around the topic. I hope your post reaches far and wide, and people are encouraged to take a position on how something as simple as software updating can affect their privacy and freedom.

    ps..Keep up the irony, it's crazy engaging.

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  12. I agree with you. Google Updater on the Mac was and is the worst idea Google ever had. If they want to have a centralised updater, they should work with Apple and use Software Update. Otherwise, just use Sparkle, like 99% of all Mac Applications.

    I understand it on Windows tho. It's normal activity lol :P But on a Mac, it is unacceptable.

    And the bigger problem is that Google Updater is also messing in the system folders, a place where such an application should never play.

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  13. "I find it intrusive and useless most of the time, since each piece of software should check for updates. If you use it frecuently, then you'll have the lastest version. If you don't, you won't mind."

    I disagree, but I also think that each company shouldn't have its own autoupdater -- I think updates should be part of the OS. I'd like to see someone come up with an open standard for updating, even as simple as porting apt-get to windows.

    Then when you install a new piece of software it would add its repository there, allowing you to autoupdate it and any optional components they make available.

    "new software" suggestions could be done with optional RSS feeds.


    The other comments in this thread make it sound like Mac's have this with "Sparkle", but I have no experience with macs so I can't say.

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  14. @james munson

    nah, Sparkle is nothing like apt-get. Sparkle is something the developer can add to his application or not. It'n not tied to the OS.

    http://sparkle.andymatuschak.org/

    It's easy to add and free. I just love it when I am greeted with an update by that window.

    Click - Relaunch app - enjoy. All automated. That's Sparkle.

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  15. The sad thing is that Microsoft does exactly the same thing with its Windows Live Suite. For example, try to install Windows Live Messenger and you'll first launch an installer that downloads Messenger and other things that were automatically selected by Microsoft.

    While this could be an excuse for Google ("Microsoft also does it!"), I had higher standards for Google.

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  16. You might call me a Google Evangelist. I sing Google's praises from the mountains nearly every day. And while Google may not be perfect, I've never had the slightest reason to dislike them. Today I do. I thought the company's motto was "Don't Be Evil." Or something to that effect. After reformatting my machine yesterday, I started to reload programs I'd had post BSOD. Google Earth was high on my list. When I realized that Google now FORCES you to download the Google Updater in order to download other Google products, I was extremely disappointed. While Google Updater is ostensibly a tool designed to help the user, it seems more like shameless self promotion and a way to dig Googly claws into users instead. While I lack the market research to back my feelings, I've always felt as if Google's success relied primarily on an abundance of stellar offerings that just work and that simplify life for all humankind. That, plus the love affair/ obsession so many of us have with Google seems to be their winning formula...not some cheesy tactic I'd expect from Microsoft.

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  17. No way, no how. I do NOT like programs installing a service on my machine without my explicit acceptance. Then to make the uninstall of this piece of malware a pain is beyond reprehensible.

    This is crap. Buh bye Google Earth.

    ReplyDelete
  18. See this post; I totally agree with it:

    http://www.news.com/5208-10784_3-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=36872&messageID=399038&start=-1

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sorry, forgot to make a link out of that. See this comment

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  20. Google Updater can kiss my ass. When I install Google Earth, I am UNINSTALLING Google Updater. I'm looking forward to someone else's version of Google Earth, because I hate plaguing my computer with useless programs like Google Updater.

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  21. Installed Google Earth 4.3 beta today and was forced to use Google Updater which automatically added a service, an activeX control and a browser helper object (toolbar) even though I unchecked the toolbar items at the installation screen and even after I declined the offer, toolbar was forcibly installed by Google Updater.

    Waaaay uncool by Google to disregard the choice I made and invade my system.

    Fortunately my security is setup to disable anything I don't specifically request so all three items were automatically disabled, including the service (gusvc -updater).

    I hope there is a flood of disapproval fired right back at Google about this tactic. None of the details about what was being installed other than Google Earth was disclosed. The only mention was in the terms requiring the "software" to check for updates. I assumed this meant Google Earth, not another entire application (Google Pack) that I really didn't request.

    At the least, there should have been clear disclosure about what Google was going to do to my system.

    I can't begin to imagine all of the problems this is going to cause for the majority of the unsuspecting Mom and Pop computer users. Google has become very much like Microsoft. Then again, they do it for free (mostly, sort of, excluding the downside of advertising economics to the ever rapidly increasing cost-of-living) but it's still a bad trend and a very poor example of trust and honesty. Makes the future even more bleak and, I predict, opens even more security holes for most of the less-tech savvy.

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  22. Okay, these Updaters irritate the living hell out of me, I installed it because google didn't give me a choice when updating google earth. I un-installed it IMMEDIATELY and checked it had really gone.

    I'm sick and tired of resource hungry crap like this clogging my system up. Without SEVERE intervention I would have running constantly doing nothing, or causing ping-mischief:

    Quicktime Task monitor
    Quicktime updater
    Winamp agent
    Google Updater
    Adobe Updater
    PowerDVD Service
    Richvideo service
    Creative driver monitor 'CT helper'
    Bonjour Service

    and various other crap that eats up HUNDREDS of megabytes of RAM for no actual benefit to me whatsoever. The only mission critical thing I want updating itself daily is my anti-virus.

    This has really dented my confidence in google. I don't like not being given the option of installing bloat-ware. I don't use Google Toolbar and get annoyed when they try and 'browser hijack' by defaulting it to install with all the software nowdays.

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  23. I could not agree more with most of these posts.
    I have for over a week...duh I should have known....after adding Google Desktop....tried in vain with all I know to get my speed up on my MacBook....it would stop...slow down...break audio connections to the net...and give the ball of death....and stop my clock...which was good so I could see that some checks and updates and other system hogs could be timed....I thought it was expose...and a pile of other things.
    But found it was an RSS feed I was unaware of and Googles background stuff going on...and also eating up my hard drives space.
    I even went out and bought more media to free up the 10% hard drives supposedly required to optimze the system...

    I have always held Google in high esteem for the very reasons they do a very good job of looking like they have our best interests in mind....turns out the are better 'actors' then responsible Corporatists.

    Now I have to download updater to uninstall the myriad of files that it left behind...DON'T just dump the 'pack' pieces...that doesn't work ...the background stuff still goes on.

    Google listen to the people and you will succeed...follow through the Gate and into Microsofts footsteps and someone with a conscience will come along, trump both of you and win.

    Cream rises to the top...the rest is compost.

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  24. When I try to install Google earth, Google Updater just gives me a message "Google Updater cannot continue." So I'm not a fan of the new installer... Just give me the app google.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Bryan QuattlebaumJuly 15, 2008 at 6:57 PM

    When I used it to update Google Earth today (on a laptop running Windows Vista), it wiped out all of my Firefox 3.0 settings! I had to use System Restore to get it working again. Any others having problems?

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  26. Its a waste of my time and resources! If I want to install/update any apps I can do it manually.

    Thank you Google for joining all those bloatware developers who like to run services 24/7 for apps that I only occasionally use.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yes, I am concerned about memory usage because many people use older computers that are less powerful. The size of the software matters as well as the bandwidth used to connect to the internet. People with slower equipment don't need all of the bloat they need lean mean applications that run well. One should be able to turn off the Google updater and not have it continually paging the Google updates site. I had to uninstall it with the command line. I only need to update when I choose to. Thanks Google for all of the cool new internet tools. Do you really read what the people say or are you like many of the others.

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  28. Hmmm, just stumbled upon this thread. When looking at my own files I too seem to run Google updater. But it runs from my startup-folder and could be neatly uninstalled from programfiles, leaving the installed Google Earth intact.
    Still, all these files checking indeed take up lots of resources.

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  29. Google software bundling is controversial and irritating.i don't like this practice of Google. thanks for your links

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  30. Do you plan to modify google earth to run on directx 10 which is part of Vista>

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  31. Yes, I know you are an official representative of Google, because that makes sense and I know the internets. You must make Google Earth work with Vista.

    Yeah, apparently it's not clear enough for some that this is just another blog and that you are not related to Google in any way.

    ReplyDelete
  32. ...4:38 AM 11/10/2008
    I DESPISE the disrespect of OTHERS thinking it's ok to DECIDE FOR YOU what you must install on your computer.
    google updater sucks azz!!!!!!!!!!
    they dont give you the option not to use it.
    that alone TOTALLY KILLED my respect for google.
    i DO NOT TOLERATE others ESPECIALLY self-impressed corporate policy makers who think EVERYONE ELSE is tech-clueless & self absorbed suits who it's ok to impose ANYTHING on my computer without my permission or denying me access to the software unless i consent to their bullshizzt ideas of how MY tightly controlled Operating system's backend should function. molesting the delicate balance of my laptop's installed applications

    "eff" google.
    I WAS the biggest Google fan before they stopped THINKING and became more & more bloated like bill gate's microsoft paradigm.
    google USED to rock.

    =(
    =HulkSmaash!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Googleupdater needs to figure out how to go through corporate proxy servers. They do not have an authentication method where some proxy servers like Bluecoat require Active Directory Authentication.

    Google wake up an fix this issue if you want to live in corporate America!

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  34. The maddening thing here is that this updater doesn't show itself in the startup locations that you normally can go to and delete entries for annoying software like Quicktime, etc...
    I am not sure where google updater places itself but the fact that I even have to look I find insulting and I definitely find it intrusive. Was I asked if I wanted an extra process running all the time - No?!

    After much messing about I just went into the application data folders, located the update folder near the chrome folder and deleted it.
    It is now gone :)
    I had to kill the process first.

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  35. Yep, Google Updater is a piece of crap. If your behind a corporate firewall most user's can just forget about using Google products...because the firewall simply is going to play with something as intrusive as Google Updater. And what a shame...I have numerous KML files I'd like to share with management, but they can't get Google Earth installed. What are they thinking?...no wonder their stock is down. Updater Sucks, Sucks, Sucks...a million-zillion times lightspead sucks.

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  36. Thank you for posting this, especially the links. I couldn't install Google Earth successfully with Google updater. It was irritating and then I found this.

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  37. How do i get rid of this peace of crap? i reapers even when its not on services removed from startup by msconfig.. if a program acts like a virus i'm going to treat it as such.

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  38. google is taking the mick. The great thing about choice is you have it. BUT when google takes ia away by ignoring your request not to install and then the uninstall still leaves the program and registry entries it falls into becoming a virus.

    If googole need it they should abide by good practise and do as it says otherwise they can kiss goodbye to takeup of services..

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  39. I am a Mac user and discovered this Google updater thing while trying to update Google Earth from 4.x to 5.x. I could not complete the install without agreeing to have Google's "run in the background updater" installed. I declined and fortunately was able to redownload and reinstall Google Earth 4.x without agreeing to install this intrusive updater.

    I guess I'll be stuck at 4.x unless Google changes this intrusive policy.

    I was a bit disappointed that the release of Picassa for the Mac was restricted to Intel processors only (I have a PowerPC in my iMac), but now it's just as well. I will continue to resist (for as long as I can) the forced installation of invasive "run in the background" types of software such as the Google installer/updater.

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  40. Wow you are an idiot.

    Spyware is spyware whether or not it comes from a company that gives you your Secret Woody.

    Time to figure out how to disable this crap.

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  41. I want a normal installer for google earth, none of this google updater crap.

    Google earth is the only google program I use. I don't want to know about the rest because I simply do not want them.

    I also don't want ANOTHER piece of crap updater program that wants to waste my computer's resources.

    Obviously I will have to block it to death with Comodo firewall :D

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  42. +1 for a normal installer. I only use Google Earth, too.

    Another site posted this helpful link to disable the Updater entry in Control-Panel-Scheduled Tasks:

    http://www.ceveni.com/2008/11/how-to-disable-annoying-googleupdateexe.html

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  43. Thanks, "avoidz" for your February 8, 2009 4:25 PM PDT post, the only one I read this thread to find. Too bad I had to read all the way to the end to read the only post that mattered.

    I agree with all the hate speech. The Google Updater is enough to make a man mad enough to cuss, no matter how hard he tries not too. Should the head of the man who betrayed our trust by installing it on our computers be impaled?

    Attention lexicographers: I just invented a new word: GARGOOGLE (GARGOYLE + GOOGLE), so please add it to your lexicons, and let it be known that hatred of the Google Updater was its inspiration. May mankind always benefit from the hatred of evil, and may hate speech bever be outlawed.

    "avoidz" wrote: "Another site posted this helpful link to disable the Updater entry in Control-Panel-Scheduled Tasks:

    http://www.ceveni.com/2008/11/how-to-disable-annoying-googleupdateexe.html ".

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  44. There is something wrong with my google installer & it slowed my laptop waaaay down. Google Garbage. don't bother. now my computer is shit.

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  45. For XP users: How one can DISABLE OR ALTER the update schedule for "Google Software Updater" OR "GoogleUpdateTaskMachine":

    I am not a computer expert. Google probably has good reasons for what it does when it installs software on our computers, and for not explaining every detail and giving us too many options. GOOGLE UPDATER keeps Google software up to date. If GOOGLE UPDATER is disabled or stopped, some features may stop working. Security vulnerabilities may arise that cannot be fixed. When no Google software uses GOOGLE UPDATER, it uninstalls itself.

    I decided to reduce the frequency with which checks GOOGLE UPDATER checks for updates.

    Open START> MyCOMPUTER> CONTROL PANEL> SCHEDULED TASKS> and selected "Google Software Updater". A "Google Software Updater" control panel opens. Select SCHEDULE TAB. Select frequency from menu and OK.

    To disable GOOGLE UPDATER: Open START> MyCOMPUTER> CONTROL PANEL> SCHEDULED TASKS> and selected "Google Software Updater". A "Google Software Updater" control panel opens. To disable the program, uncheck the box next to "ENABLED (schedule task runs at a specific time)" and selected APPLY, OK.

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  46. This thing has some kind of secret life of its own. I have disabled the Google Updater Service. I have removed it from the Task scheduler. I have uninstalled it — using Revo Uninstaller to scrub the registry and supposedly get rid of all traces. And STILL "Google updater.exe" shows up in my list of running processes in Process Explorer.

    This is definitely completely unacceptable behaviour for a piece of software. In the end, I had to uninstall Google Earth just to get rid of the Google updater piece of malware crap!

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  47. Check services.msc for Googleupdater entries, as well as msconfig.exe and Scheduled tasks, all of which had entries on my machine. If Google was as up front in "doing no evil" as they purport to be then they would allow us users to say no I do not want an updater service running and provide an easy uninstaller rather than using malware tricks to ensure the service is running. It's complete bollocks, they have arguably the best software with the highest user base what the fuck more do they want?

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  48. Man even using the MaxConnections hack this thing sucks up the bandwidth. Looks like they have steered clear of the registry, but I know they are in there someplace. I had to disable the service and block it at the firewall. The program is still here but most all the folders are empty with the exception of the updater folder that installed a million dlls. Looks like if the service is not enabled the folders will stay empty. I think I did this to myself when I chose the optout of advertising cookie choice from google. I also notice that now they have chat. The service probably has a lot to do with that. Kill this thing and all toolbars desktops whatever, it brings a 6mbs connection to a 3mbs experience. Why the constant pings? Oh yeah delete the task also.

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  49. Go to Microsoft Sysinternal site and download Autoruns. It is msconfig on steroids. If this thing is on your computer you can right click in Autoruns and choose to jump right to the registry setting. You can also take check marks out to stop it. But I would also advise just to right click my computer (XP) choose manage, choose services, double click Google Updater, choose disable from the drop down and click ok. Then goto Accesories, system tools, task scheduler, right click google task and delete, remove, whatever, just make it go away. Now your whole system will double its speed.

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  50. Google made its name by being simple clean and unobtrusive, now they are anything but. I too get the error message descibed here and have tried everything to get to work to no avail. Now I subscribe to the mantra that google suxs, sadly. To put it in context and give a laff to those equally frustrated by this display of gross ineptitude I would like to offer the following parallel to Sony's "stupid box thing" enjoy the following link: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/sony_releases_new_stupid_piece_of

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  51. What every single program, app or what have you, needs to be coded/programmed with is ONE mentality of the USER: FREEDOM of choice. . - end of story.

    I don't like someone telling ME what I HAVE to install with what. This is my first P.C. Builder, therefore I'm the 'God' of this P.C. - I dictate what goes into it & what comes out. I'm going to ditch the whole damned program/app if it includes anything I don't want.

    We shouldn't have to settle for what's rammed down our throats UNLESS you're on someone else's computer - - then, of course, you're going to have to just get over it.

    My feelings about Google is, Google's abilities are extremely exaggerated. I find my searches through INFO.COM, are MUCH more useful, because they use the likes of: livesearch.com, about.com, ask.com, yahoo.com AND yours truly, GOOGLE. . .

    At Info.com, there's not a lot of 'burned-up' space on the page with 5th Grade artwork on your desktop either. But again, that's MY choice. Y'all deal with Google as you wish, I only use it at work, because it's 'law' on their P.C.'s.

    I'm right now researching how to Uninstall the Google Installer, thus stumbling across your Blog here.

    -Lone Wolf

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  52. I think they're getting the old mainframe mentality in which a 'God' computer sits on a 'cloud' and tells all the other computers what to think. I have a mental image of a Braveheart PC crying "FREEDOM!" as its private and efficient local storage is torn from its body ...

    Updater is damned annoying!

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  53. I just installed Google Earth on my new computer and I did not like that I had to install updater. What I did was go ahead with the install and as soon as Earth was installed and Earth was in progress I bailed out. That strategy SEEMS to have worked, though it did manage to install Google Chrome too before I even noticed.

    It seems Google is following the business model of MS: "weasel our way in and make it hard to get rid of us".

    Well, MS is one of the most hated companies in the world, and know what? I'm starting to hate google and am beginning to avoid it wherever possible. "Google Updater" has now caused me to close my google mail account, I'm turning off all my updates of Picasa and looking for an alternative, and I'll never use Chrome. Hell, I'm even going to start using SCROOGLE instead of Google for searches!

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  54. Here's the direct link to Google Earth's setup without the updater:
    http://dl.google.com/earth/client/GE5/release_5_0_1/GoogleEarth-Win-Plus-5.0.11733.9347.exe

    Even if there are some people that don't like the updater (including myself), you must admit that it's a great way to update software without user interaction. Why would you keep your software updated? To fix security issues that could compromise your computer, to fix bugs, to have the latest features and to help developers that will no longer care about old versions.

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  55. quote "Even if there are some people that don't like the updater (including myself), you must admit that it's a great way to update software without user interaction. Why would you keep your software updated? To fix security issues that could compromise your computer, to fix bugs, to have the latest features and to help developers that will no longer care about old versions."

    Maybe it is a good thing to keep software updated, BUT I demand the right to know when and what is being updated, and to choose to not update if I wish. Until this is the case, GoogleUpdate.exe is disabled on my machine, and I will live without any fixes and updates.

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  56. Man, I LOVE that tongue-in-cheek article. We need more questioning and less blind compliance! Good thing Google is not censoring blogs that criticizes its heavy handedness :)

    Bottom line: Convenience is a feeble excuse for hegemony and market control. Computers belong to users, NOT software companies like they have been trying to convince us for decades.

    Kudos for publishing this article!

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  57. Apparently google doesn't think we are smart enough to use protective software that alerts us to EVERYTHING, especially uninvited guests. If you have to bundle your crapware then give us a REAL choice to turn it off and not install it. I could care less about updating anything google. Companies that try to sneak anything by me simply insult my intelligence.

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  58. We just discovered that this "great" software polled the proxy settings every 3 seconds to check if it could still get to te internet. I thought the guys at google wrote some nifty software, but I may have to reconcider this.

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  59. Here is a VERY GOOD reason why there should be some Updater options to NOT INSTALL.

    As IT for a large college, we have over 1000 student computers in DEEP FREEZE. These are machines whose software can not be changed, i.e., when they are rebooted they go back to their original state. Wasting bandwidth for 1000 machines to ping and maybe even install software is just that - a WASTE, since they are frozen.

    ARE YOU LISTENING GOOGLE? DO NO HARM?

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  60. It is insane that all these programs nowadays continuously run updaters for the once every so many months there is an update, but in the mean time my memory and processing time is taken

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  61. So how to remove this crap? Anybody knows? If use 3rd party uninstallere there is point in list of installed software "Google Update Helper" but when i trying to use it for uninstall its just started and quickly stopped w/o result. :( I have no any Google software installed in my PC. Only Google Toolbar which i installed by fault and removed it immediately. Now I have this crap extra stuff that i need no. What to do?

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