A Poorly Conceived Download Process: VMware Fusion

I run VMware Fusion occasionally on my Mac, for the few Windows programs (mostly go programs) that interest me. Today, the company released an update for this program, and I tried to use the built-in auto-updater. It downloaded the update (with no indication of how big the update was, and no progress bar showing how much was being downloaded), then the update failed. Of course, there was no information that helped me understand why it failed, so I tried again. Failed again.

I then went to the dreaded VMware web site. Unlike other sites where you can simply click a download link to get software, VMware is very, very complex. First, you have to register (something I’d already done in the past for a previous update problem). Then you have to sign in, which didn’t work this morning; the password in my keychain didn’t seem to be correct. So I had to reset my password.

Finally, you get to a download page, where you have a choice of two versions: one, at around 150 MB, which is just Fusion, and another, at 450 MB, which includes a “free” trial to a Windows antivirus package. I chose the smaller one. Clicked Download. Then had to agree to 2,000 words of legalese, which I had already agreed to when I first launched the product, and when I had downloaded a previous version from their site. Finally, it started downloading.

Why does a company see the need for such a complex process just to get a new copy of software? To be honest, this is the only software I use where it’s such a hassle to get an update. Don’t they want to make things easier for their customers?