The updates don't always go smoothly, either. "The annoying little icon pops up on my system tray on a regular basis," offers Nir Gryn of New York City. "I have tried to download the update, and it has failed on several occasions. Now I mostly ignore it, but would love to have it install successfully and let me work." And people can ignore that little icon bouncing at the bottom of their desktop (that's what it does on my Mac) for only so long.
Reader can be a bad guest even when it isn't whining for an update. "It seems they are always putting launch icons in the tray even when I tell them not to," writes Anne Hellmich of Muskego, Wisconsin, on the PCWorld Facebook page.
Sure you can use an alternative PDF viewer, but it may not be able to open files that were created using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat.
In the past, RealPlayer was extremely pushy about selling you stuff like a for-pay version of the player. I remember searching for the free version of the player at RealNetworks' Website and for the longest time not being able to find a link to it. I finally found the download button on another page that was a click deep in the site. Meanwhile, offers for a Rhapsody music subscription or a "SuperPass" were jumping out at me from all over the page. RealPlayer wants badly to be the go-to media player on your PC, and it isn't shy about asking you for that privilege.
For people who still use RealPlayer, getting a new version seems to have gotten easier. I just upgraded my free RealPlayer, and I found the link to the free app (it's now called RealPlayer SP) front and center on the home page. In addition, I managed to install the app without getting bombarded with offers for other for-pay RealNetworks services. So kudos to the good people at Real.com. Still, I'll have to live with the new RealPlayer SP for a while before I'll be ready to give it the "Not Annoying" seal of approval. And of course, there are alternatives.