Discuss: Are software updates 100% necessary?


Since software made the shift to mobile apps provided by app stores, there has been one thing that always intrigued me. The rise of perpetual support for both apps and software. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying app support is bad or anything , just not all good.
For one, suppose I bought a Lumia 920 because I liked things like smart cam, the Windows Phone 8 UI and forth. If I choose to update my phone, half of the things I liked move straight out the Window making it not exactly what I purchased.
There is also a matter of progress, tech marches on. In the years since Microsoft (and partners) released the first wave of Windows Phone 8 devices, technology has progressed since then. Many would have noticed that each Windows Phone iteration got consistently heavier for old devices to handle. Windows 10 Mobile is coming out soon and that trend has yet to be reversed entirely. Not all old devices can handle the upgrade either technically or without compromising the user experience. It would be a lot of work for little gain to force W10 into 4GB Windows Phones for one, and that’s just one aspect.

Similarly, if I were to buy an app that I liked for a couple of features and design, I would be a bit cross if at version 2.0 I didn’t like its design and had no way to revert back to version 1.0. Developers often cut features or move things around in an attempt to reach that ever moving goal post of perfection, as a tech lover, I’m fine with that. However, for those who just want to get in, do their stuff and get out, it might be annoying if a slider that dictated opacity now controlled transparency and vice versa. In short, change is hard.

For the developers, they have to keep maintaining software and products for perpetuity after already selling the products, especially if the app is free or costs under a pound to make.
While this is good for the consumers, it is slightly absurd when you think about it. Buying one book does not entitle you to all subsequent revisions, neither does buying one car or even buying a smartphone entitle you to all future iterations. Software shouldn’t necessarily be different
Now I’m not saying that software updates are bad, or that users should start demanding freedom from updates, far from that. I’m just looking at a variety of reasons why some users would rather not have to deal with anything than what they originally purchased and why manufacturers and ISVs may be loathe to update their devices at times. Do you agree, disagree, or fall somewhere in the middle? Let us know in the comments below.