The automatic updating of software via the Internet. First used to keep operating systems, antivirus software and Web browsers more secure, live updating migrated to all types of software. On startup, many applications query the Internet for updates.
Silent or Announced
The update may take place with or without the user's knowledge. The Windows-based subscription to this encyclopedia uses both methods. Whenever a revised program has been deployed on the server, a "silent update" is performed when the user runs the app. The new executable automatically downloads and replaces the older version, which takes just a couple seconds. However, when a data update occurs, the user is given the choice of downloading now or later. The reason is that if there is a bug in the software, every user should be running the repaired application, but if users are in a hurry to look up a term, they may prefer not to wait the 10 to 30 seconds for the data update. See browser updates