An open letter to software engineers

Dear software developer/software engineer:

I love most of your products. Unlike a certain CEO, I think Flash is a great tool for browsing the Internet, and Norton Antivirus has saved my poor computer from my misguided Internet searches.  iTunes has done a great job with organizing my music, and Adobe Air has given me a number of cool Twitter applications to mess around with. So thanks for all the free stuff (well, except for Norton)!

But for the love of users everywhere, stop asking for updates as soon as my computer boots up!

I started up my laptop a couple days ago and noticed my computer fan working overtime. My Task Manager noted that my processor was working at 100 percent. Why? I had five programs asking me to update them.

Now, I’ll admit, I have not performed some of the updates I probably need to. I’ve ignored Flash, iTunes and Air’s requests for updates a good number of times, so I probably deserve to be hassled. But seriously, right when I start up my computer?

I work from my computer, so when I start it up, I generally have business that I need to take care of immediately. You have no idea how frustrating it is to try and attend to an urgent email, only to have your computer unable to operate because fifty different programs are begging for your attention. Or maybe you do, since you program them.

I have an idea. Give me 20, 30 or even 40 minutes after my computer starts up. Let me settle into my routine, let the coffee get flowing through my blood, then send me a request to update. I promise I’ll be more likely to get to it, because when my computer is just booting up, my instinct is to close everything that I do not need to take care of immediately.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you will take my suggestions into consideration when you write your next product update.

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