Mobile has substantially changed the security update landscape, driven in part by evolving consumer expectations that champion frequent, minor enhancements over stability and security. I first discussed the defect acceptance trend in 2012 as a way to explain how software companies have been able distribute flawed software while also handing responsibility for maintaining that software to the consumer. In the two years since, accelerated use of mobile, and by extension cloud, applications has worsened the trend by limiting end-user control and forcing the consumer to accept unwanted feature changes to receive security updates. Not only must consumers accept flawed software, they must now also trade flexibility for some semblance of protection.
I’ve recently had three operating system software updates that each provide new perspective on how software maintenance has changed over the last decade. I’ll take a look at how those changes reflect new cost to consumers.