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Google Takes Google Update Open Source

Renames it Omaha

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Google Update, which is now being referred to as Omaha, is a program that installs requested software and keeps it up to date. It comes with Google products like Google Chrome and Google Earth for Windows.

"Use of Omaha allows us to add features seamlessly and address any bugs or security problems, all without concern that these updates will disrupt our users," says Google. "Omaha allowed us to ship 12 versions of Chrome beta in 4 months, without requiring Chrome users to work hard to keep their browsers up to date. Such behavior is very useful for new features, but essential for security vulnerabilities."

Google has made Omaha open source. One reason for this is to keep it transparent. The company wants people to be able to tell just what is happening on their machine.

Omaha

"Obviously, we understand that not everyone is both willing and able to read through our code, but we hope that those of you who do will confirm for the rest that Google Update’s functionality serves well to keep your software up to date," says Google in a post at their Open Souce Blog.

But that’s not he only reason Omaha is open source. Google is encouraging developers to use the code and integrate it with their own software products.

Resources for Omaha include the project on Google Code including the source code and developer starter guide, and the discussion board at Google Groups.

Google Takes Google Update Open Source
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  • Thrawn

    Automatic updates can be good, but only when the user is given control.

    A web-connected service that installs silently, runs continuously, downloads data, breaks applications if removed, but has no interface, is a Bad Thing. It’s bad for security, system performance, stability of your operating system (important in corporate environments), or just being in control of your computer (which a lot of tech-savvy people care about).

    Why doesn’t Google Update come with an ‘Off’ switch?

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