Calling home

November 17, 2010

(Originally posted on the Seven Forums)

Like ET in Spielberg’s epic movie, today’s computers want to call home. Like ET, they would like to do it without us humans knowing but are forced to ask our help. Reasons are many, from validity checks and crash reports to check if software or OS needs updates installed. One common reason is various Customer Experience programs, software companies collecting information on how we users use their software and which problems we might have with it.

Most of these home calls are completely automatic once we have opted-in, given permission to an application or OS to call home when need arises. Choosing automatic updates in Windows gives it a permission to call home to Microsoft, check if Windows and other Microsoft software is up to date, and install updates when needed. Most well designed, well coded third party applications can also do the same if we have enabled automatic updates.

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