Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Please exit all applications before continuing

We've all seen this while installing software (at least on Windows). You run the Setup, hit Next, then it gives you this nice, friendly, "Pretend I'm the only thing that matters right now, and drop everything else in your life."

What exactly do they mean by exiting all other applications? What constitutes an application? Technically, any software executing in a thread is an application. Software drivers could constitute an app, strictly speaking - the driver for your camera, printer, microphone, network card. What? That means everything - all those little icons in your tray (or Notification Area as they call it now), what about Windows Services? So they want me to shut down Windows before continuing!?!? I don't get it.

Second, WHY?? Why oh why does it say that? I mean, really, if I don't shut down other applications, what will happen - is it going to make my computer run slower each month? (Already happens - it's Windows for God's sake.) Is it going to make it unstable and crash a lot? (Already happens - IWFGS.) Is it going to refuse to install the app? (Hasn't happened yet - IW...never mind.) Really, people, let's just get out of the dark ages 30 years ago when you were running only one program at a time, and you HAD to shut down all other programs in order to install.

By the way, who are "people"? These "people" are a company currently called Flexera (http://www.installshield.com), the company tasked with making the Windows Installer component. Let's start a campaign! Everyone, fill out their online contact form - ask them to rewrite the installer messages to be more up to date, and user friendly!

Flexera Software
1000 E Woodfield Road, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173