Silverlight Getting it Wrong

It’s monday. This is a rant.

I work in Google Chrome, it’s my browser of choice. Today, I got yet another popup reminding me to update Microsoft Silverlight. So I said to myself, what the hell, I’ll update it finally, despite the fact that I see nothing horribly wrong with my browsing experience. (N.B. Our shop uses a Microsoft backend, including heavy use of Sharepoint.)

So after clicking through to update Silverlight, I am presented with this.

Get Silverlight | Microsoft Silverlight

I think I stared at it a full minute before figuring out that I had to click the link for the “Current Version”. Current Version implies to me that it’s the version that I have installed on my computer. I had to compare the version numbers to see that the “Current” version was really the NEW version I needed to install.

Every other “Update this software now” installer I’ve used either A) started downloading the software immediately or B) at least provides a big bright UPDATE NOW button to send you on your way.

And people wonder why Microsoft is fading. They can’t get something this simple right. This smells like design by committee. Or design by people who don’t use their own software.

I think that everything else was just confusing the matter. Looking further, I have a 9×10 chart (NINETY different elements!) to look at to determine which version and OS Silverlight works on. As I said, I am on Chrome. I’m also on OS X. So if when I dug deep enough into this chart, I found that Silverlight is not compatible with Chrome on OS X 10.5.7+.

But wait, Silverlight was capable of telling me I needed to upgrade it, so SOMETHING was running on Chrome. But apparently it’s not compatible. Or maybe it’s no longer compatible. But compatible enough to harass me to upgrade every damn time I went to my company’s intranet homepage.

So, in summary, I have been badgered into updating software that is infuriatingly vague to install, but won’t provide me with the features it’s supposed to bring to my internet experience. Way to go, Microsoft.

At the very least, I hope that upgrading it will stop it from ever bugging me to upgrade.

UPDATE (Dec 4):

After updating Remember the big “INSTALL NOW” button I was looking for? It’s actually created with Silverlight. So if it’s not running because it needs to be updated, you don’t see it and the page isn’t confusing. I guess a PNG is too difficult to create at Microsoft.