I reviewed the Software Updates Monitor (SUMO) application for Windows in 2008 for the first time, and included it in the “battle of the software updaters” before that as well. Yesterday, version 188.8.131.52 was released by the developer of the program, and I decided to use that opportunity to take another look at the program, to see what has changed, improved and if features that needed improvement have been improved by the author.
I recommend you download the sponsor-free version of the program on the KC Softwares download page, as you otherwise will encounter toolbar and adware offers during program installation. The program interface has not changed a lot in the four years, but since it was functional then, it is not an issue at all.
Let me give you a quick rundown of the program’s functionality first. The application has been designed to scan the system for installed software, to check the installed version with the latest program version online. It is recommended to keep software up to date on the system, as newer versions sometimes improve a program’s stability, close security issues or add new features that you may want to make use of.
You can click on the Scan button in the program interface to scan the local system for installed software. Keep in mind that the scan won’t find portable software, but you can add portable software and other applications that have not been recognized manually later on with a click on the add button.
A click on the check button compares the installed program version with a master server online. Sumo divides results into up-to-date, minor updates and major updates. You can sort programs by group, so that all major updates are listed on top, followed by the minor updates. The program lists the product name and company, as well as the local version and available update version in the program interface.
A double-click or the selection of an app and a click on Get Update opens a web page on the KC Softwares website listing the different versions, and links to a Google Search and various software portals (including Softpedia, Snapfiles and FileHippo).
There is still no option to download programs directly from within the application, or to initiate a bulk download of all program setups of applications that need updating. This was one of the suggestions that I had back then to improve the program.
You may also notice that some of the findings link to programs that you cannot update, for instance when they are listed in a folder that you have no control over. You can still enable the inclusion of beta versions in the application, which are then displayed as the latest version in the program interface. Keep in mind that you may see program updates in this case that are not really updates for the installed version. If you have Chrome Stable installed for instance, you will see a major update to Chrome Dev listed in the update listing. There are only a few update proposals that seem to link to a wrong version of the software. Sometimes you may see an update for a program that you do not want to update, for instance the next major version of a commercial program that you would have to pay for. You can report errors, or choose to ignore the update instead so that it is no longer displayed.
It still pays to go through the list once a month or so, to make sure all of your software is up to date on the system. It actually does not take that long to do that, even if you have to use a search engine to find a download link. You may even end up with a newer version than the one listed. This happened sporadically during tests.
The program itself is very responsive and fast both in the scanning of installed software and the checking of program updates on the Internet. It is surprising that the interface and functionality has not changed that much in the past four years. It is likely that a lot of work went into the program database and and data collection routines, as they are without doubt the most important parts of the software updater.
Sumo is a nice program to have on your computer to search for updates. It is more of a notification tool that it is a program that will do all the hard lifting for you though.
Have you tried Sumo or other updaters in the past? If so, which one would you say is the best of the pack, and why?