Poll Reveals Public Distrust in Software Updates

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24th July 2012 15:32 - Information Technology

According to a YouGov poll commissioned by Skype, many adults fail to update their software when prompted to do so.

The survey, covering some 350,000 individuals in the US, UK, and Germany, found that 40% of respondents tend to ignore software update prompts, while 25% skip software updates because they don’t believe they offer any real benefit.

In addition, a quarter of the respondents claimed they did not understand the advantages of software updates or even what they were supposed to do.

Further reasons given for shying away from updates included the expectation that new versions of software would have "lots of bugs" or would crash often, the belief that updates slow computers down and irritation with updates taking too long.

The most ironic and paradoxical result of the survey was that 45% of the surveyants claimed they choose not to upgrade their software because they worry about computer security – although outdated software can be vulnerable to cyber attacks, there have also been cases where malware or crashes have resulted from updates.

This market research was conducted in preparation for a weeklong Skype event starting Monday called International Technology Upgrade Week (ITUW) - they will be making a global effort to raise consumer awareness about the importance of software updates.

Wiebke Lips of Adobe (whose firm will be joining Skype in the campaign), commented: "The good news is that times have changed. Especially for consumers, software updates have become much easier and much more reliable than they once were. Software vendors continuously look for ways to make the update process less cumbersome."

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