back to article Zoom to mandate client updates every ninety days, starting Nov 1

Video conferencing outfit Zoom has revealed it will require users to update their client apps at least every ninety days and introduce a "minimum client version" requirement. A support document published late last week explains that Zoom's plan is "in line with industry practices and designed to help ensure that Zoom users …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Big Brother

    or their users will be cut off from Zoom.

    Unfortunately, the web interface is likely to continue working.

    Which is probably just as well, for the rare occasions I need it; Zoom is just one of a number of programs I won't install on my hardware.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SMOP

    why does the link to comments say "1 comments"?

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      Re: SMOP

      Because they know someone will post a comment to report the issue, thus fixing it.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: SMOP

      Because whoever did the site redesign is likely the sort of person that bolts bits of frameworks together and knowing whether or not to drop that 's' would require an extra three megabytes of scripting and twenty two nested function calls...

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Pirate

    Does this mean Zoom will silently push a web server onto your computer again?

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Insanity prevails?

    "The minimum client requirement means older versions of the Zoom client just won't work – users will be forced to upgrade or use Zoom's web client."

    So those of us who use the last sane (constant update free) version of M$ Windoze (7) will once again be locked out shortly.

    I suppose I'll have to buy a new laptop just to use zoom.

    "Subscribe to churn or die!"

    1. Lon24

      Re: Insanity prevails?

      At least they could provide an optional Linux repository which would sort the regular updating issue independently of actual use.

      I do have Zoom installed on 'backup' devices just in case my preferred device is unavailable or having a hiccup when something urgent comes up. Hence the backups will now, likely, be unavailable when they are most needed 'cos they haven't been used in months. So, thanks Zoom, for screwing the feature that brought you from nowhere to market leader during the pandemic - namely just worked anywhere on almost anything with no fiddling!

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Insanity prevails?

        Yep. Teamviewer, for example, does a similar thing. I use it about every 3-6 months to do tech support for various elderly family members, and it is the most frustrating thing to get the stupid "You have an outdated version of Teamviewer! Sorry, you must update to the latest version before doing anything!" message. Which means I then yet again have to coax said family member through the update process.

        Yes, it's often as easy as "click the 'Help' menu, now click on Check for New Version, now wait for the Setup window to appear..." but if said family members were comfortable with following instructions like that, I wouldn't need to be using fucking Teamviewer in the first place... aaargh!

        Dear software vendors. Unless there is some absolute, technical reason why an older version can't be used - i.e. you've changed the protocol so significantly that there is no interoperability - please don't enforce new versions "just because". And "security" is, IMHO, a crap reason for enforcing this. If someone's using an old version, warn them - warn others on the Zoom call too, if you really want - but grant them the autonomy of deciding on their own terms when to upgrade.

        Especially because in too many cases these days, the reason for pushing a new version is that the marketroids have embedded new adverts or telemetry into it, and there is no benefit to the user.

        Grrr. Rant over.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Insanity prevails?

          The irritation I have with Teamviewer is that minor updates do happen automatically, it is just the major version updates that require user input, from what I can see, this is just so Teamviewer can serve an advert.

    2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

      Re: Insanity prevails?

      Not that I recommend it but you could install a slim linux distro in virtualbox and run zoom out of there. Or a regular distro if you have enough ram to give the virtualbox 2GB. (if you don't want to make the jump to linux and keep running win7.)

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Insanity prevails?

      "So those of us who use the last sane (constant update free) version of M$ Windoze (7) will once again be locked out shortly."

      and users of W10 will be locked out 90 later forcing people to buy a new computer or stop using Zoom. I'm sure companies are going to love the dilemma. Do they issue new rugged laptops (super expensive) to everybody so they can use Zoom while everything those laptops are used for works fine on the "old" OS or do they issue a second cheap laptop to those people just to use for Zoom?

      Once I have something set up and working for me, I hate to update. It's very infrequent that the updates deliver anything that makes my work get done faster and usually quite the opposite.

      1. EnviableOne

        Re: Insanity prevails?

        or option 3, do they transition to using the bane of my existence known as Teams that they don't have to pay any extra for as it's "Included" with the latest name iteration of what used to be Microsoft office.

  5. stiine Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    dear god please make them stop

    "That's a notable omission given that browsers – which operate on similar release cadences – jump by a full number for each regular release and make it a lot easier to understand if you are up to date."

    Whoever wrote this sentence, please, please stop. Browser makers use integer version numbers because they are, or were, competing for the highest version number. And of course, these fuckers have been put to shame by the fucking companies who's marketing departments are in charge and decided that using the current year as a version number made any sense at all. Especially since most of these products now have two version numbers.

    We need to start making people think again, or we'll end up with another fiasco like Arby's/Carl's Jr. found themselves in with their 1/3 lb burger trying to compete with the McDonalds 1/4 pounder....only to find that the grazing bastards though the 1/4 pounder was a better deal than their 1/3 lb burger at the same price, because '4' was bigger than '3.'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: dear god please make them stop

      Making people think is a lost cause. If anyone ever questioned that, the 1/3 1/4 fiasco seals the argument.

      Companies have known this for decades (although Arby's apparently forgot). Most companies in most industries are geared to make people not think, not question, just obey.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    Long in the tooth!

    ...that was released in June 2020.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Well that could take me out

    The only machine I have with a camera is a 32bit laptop. They stopped producing a 32bit Linux version some time ago.

    1. EnviableOne
      Linux

      really?

      https://itsfoss.com/32-bit-linux-distributions/

      Most of the Debian tree still supports 32bit, and chances are if they stopped, there'd be a few downstream that kept going.

  8. Irony Deficient

    All users of desktop clients version 5.12.2 or lower will get a prompt to update on November 1st.

    Zoom 5.10.4 is the most recent version that runs on my laptop’s OS. Time will tell if Zoom’s prompt coders were bright enough to realize that not all Zoom desktop clients can be updated past 5.12.2 (or 5.11.0, for that matter). Given the introduction of a minimum runnable version which will methodically increase over time, my Zoom days are numbered. (I doubt that the crunchy old browser which I use would support the requirements of their Web client.)

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    meh

    meh. I'm surprised they've been so lenient before. second life could probably be compatible over 10 years but even they enforce a "most recent + 1 previous version" policy on both their own and 3rd party viewers. they may be concerned about potential security flaws of people running far out of date versions, or maybe the zoom server-side has cruft to handle older protocols and such of older zoom versions that they'd rather remove...

  10. steviebuk Silver badge

    Of course

    How else with Xi be able to slip code into the updates if people aren't updating it.

  11. Jason Hindle

    I’m struggling to care

    The only reason I use it is, thanks to inertia, the other members of the Friday virtual pub lunch started under lockdown*, who can’t collectively be convinced to try anything else. I think that’s mostly because they are all addicted to the little game of fastest finger when zoom ends the meeting after 40ish minutes.

    *We’re still happily working from home or wherever.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just checked for an update and was told I'm running the latest version. I have 5.0.5

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you installed from an MSI...

    The "Check for updates" option and auto-update are absent / non-operational.

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