Self-healing software

Self-healing software

The constant evolution of software versions causes headaches for software publishers. As if it weren't hard enough just to write the stuff, software companies also have to deal with the distribution and marketing of the new versions through the channel.

One of the problems facing software publishers is when resellers are able to simply send back any software boxes they don't want or need anymore. A publisher announcing a new version takes a major risk that stores nationwide will return quantities of the "now-obsolete" software, threatening financial ruin in some cases.

This ends up being a problem for software consumers and corporate buyers alike. Software publishers don't like to publicise the existence of minor revisions. These revisions are often slip-streamed into the channel in boxes that bear little or no indication that, for example, Version 2.0 is now Version 2.0a. But the new "a" improvements might be just the thing a Windows user or corporate software buyer needs at that moment. Without checking constantly, software users won't know when some vital feature of their software would benefit from a quick upgrade.

A solution to this problem may be upon us. The new availability of telecommunications choices and the explosion of PC users with modems are creating a market for a new way to upgrade software. I call this method "self-healing software". This kind of software upgrades itself by periodically downloading and installing any new software components that may have become available since the last product upgrade. The Internet may be the solution for publishers and consumers alike.

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