A while back I blogged about Google Earth’s stealthy, silent automatic update feature. That post continues to be pretty popular, so I wanted to share an update: Google has released a version of Google Earth, including the Web plug-in, that does not include the self-updater. On the download page, the EULA features this paragraph:
(b) Automatic Updates. The Google Earth software may communicate with Google servers from time to time to check for available updates to the software, such as bug fixes, patches, enhanced functions, missing plug-ins and new versions (collectively, “Updates”). By installing the Google Earth software, you agree to automatically request and receive Updates.
However, if you navigate to the advanced setup page, there’s a box you can un-check labeled “Allow Google Earth to automatically install recommended updates.” This box directs you to a separate download that does not include the updater. The EULA, however, does not change when you deselect it. I don’t think that really matters as much in the grand scheme of things, so I’ve really got to give Google some kudos here for listening to systems administrators and concerned users on this one.