Which is better app with or without installer

Microsoft Windows 7 home premium
June 2, 2010 at 19:30:32
Specs: Windows 7, 8GB
I am a software developer and I'm curious, from a standpoint of an average PC user, what would you prefer. Say, you downloaded a small program from the web and:

A. It requires you to install it (you'll be able to later un-install it)

B. It runs without installation (to uninstall it you can simply remove downloaded file).


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#1
June 2, 2010 at 20:22:14
I use SIW. There are two versions. One is meant to be portable and runs off the media it resides on. That version takes a little longer to start up than the installed version. I prefer the version that doesn't need to be installed.

If I understand your question then you wouldn't actually be uninstalling the program when you delete it.


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#2
June 3, 2010 at 06:33:27
Apparently the program does not need registry entry(s) to run so the user would just need to open the file to run it, and just delete it to get rid of it. That generally sounds good to me, but if it opens or runs faster installed, that might be an advantage too. If the speed is different, and it is not too much trouble, you could have two versions, a time unlimited test version (or a time limited trial version)(or a 'run from memory stick' portable version), and an installed version. If this software is of a higher cost-to-the-user type, there may be a better 'perceived' value as an installed version.
Just my thoughts, but that's what you asked for.

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#3
June 3, 2010 at 17:35:57
The average pc user is so confused they couldn't care less. They don't want to know either and I can't blame them at all.

From a design point you can't run all programs from a portable install even if you are John Haller.

Some apps must interact with registry and admin rights to some extent if only to install.


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#4
June 3, 2010 at 21:20:18
Thank you, guys, for your input. The program I'm talking about is not an Office type application, it's much smaller. It's like one of those little apps you can download off the web. As for the start-up time concern, it probably fires up a little bit slower without an installer, but that difference is something that can be hardly traceable by a human eye -- I'm talking differences within a second or two.

As for the use of the System Registry, then almost every Windows program uses it, and the one I'm talking about uses it too, but the amount of data it may leave there is literally minuscule. We're talking about 200 bytes or so. This is nothing in today's system's standards. That data is basically user preferences that make it easy to work with it, stuff like window sizes, checkboxes, etc.

As for the UAC in Windows Vista/7 then we did everything possible to avoid triggering it, since I know how much people like that pop-up window.


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