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Definition: live update

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. For example, the Windows-based subscription to this encyclopedia uses both methods. Whenever the software has been revised and deployed on the server, a "silent update" is performed when the user runs the app. The new executable is automatically downloaded replacing the older version, which takes just a couple seconds. However, when a data update occurs, the user is given the choice to download now or later. The reason for the difference 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 just look up one term, they may prefer not to wait the 10 to 15 seconds to download the updated definitions. See browser updates.