Making sure your system and the software running on it is up to date is one of the things that you need to do to protect it from malicious attacks and malware. And while updating works more or less automatic when it comes to the Windows operating system, the same cannot be said for software that is running on it. Windows 7 and previous Microsoft Windows systems do not include options to scan for and install third party software updates.
This changes only slightly with the release of Windows 8. While it still won’t be able to update desktop applications natively in the operating system, it will be possible to update web apps via Microsoft’s Windows Store.
Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a free program that scans the system for programs that are installed in an outdated version.
The developers have just released the first beta version of Secunia PSI 3.0 for Windows. The new version introduces automated patching of applications to the program which makes the updating of software more comfortable and at the same time faster than before.
When you start the program for the first time after installation, you are asked to run a scan on the system. Secunia compares the list of installed software with the latest versions stored in their database. A list of outdated programs are then displayed in the program interface.
Depending on the software, it is now possible to run an automatic update or a manual update. Some applications may require additional information, language for instance, before they can be updated on the system. A manual update usually opens the website of the software developer from where the new version of the program needs to be downloaded and installed manually.
Users of previous Secunia versions may also notice the simplified – some would say minimalistic – user interface. The first screen displays a single scan button on start that needs to be clicked on to run the initial system scan. The next menu lists the software that requires an update, a scan again button and a need help link.
Information that were displayed in previous versions, the threat level of applications that were not up to date for instance, are missing. No option is provided in the beta to switch back to an expert version that displays those information again.
The minimalistic design and concentration on the program’s core feature should appeal to Windows users who use the program to update their software. Experienced users on the other hand will certainly miss some of the features that previous versions of Secunia PSI offered.
Secunia PSI 3.0 is compatible with all recent 32.bit and 64-bit editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.