I just got asked by a customer why there hasn't been an update for several months now for one of the software products I create
. And if this means that this software is dead now. I'm really baffled by this. Especially because that product has already gotten nearly a dozen free updates, and is pretty stable and bug-free by now.
I just updated Windows 10 on my main development PC with the Fall Creators Update
, causing several of the software I use to have failures, or degraded performance. And worst: Some of some very old Microsoft Office tools I still have to use occasionally (for backwards compatibility for some customers) even completely stopped working after the update.
Googling for the error messages I get, I find that a lot of people have the same problem. This is something new for Microsoft: Usually they won't break their own old software with updates, they are known for keeping up backwards compatibility at all costs. Wondering why this is. Purpose? Sloppyness?
Software users are now trained by this behavior: An app or software now has to update at least once a week, or month, otherwise it is considered dead. If you ask the users about it, they don't even know why they want these updates. Is there a feature they are missing? A specific bug they want to have fixed? They don't know. They only want updates, because they are used to it.
Especially for development software, it is better sometimes not to update that frequently: It could change a feature you are relying on, which causes a lot of work for you to adapt to that new update. Or worse: Even introduce new bugs.
So for non-security critical software, it is sometimes better not to update that often. This update fever is bad both for developers and users.