SUMo is short for Software Updates Monitor. It's a handy, free tool that scans all your programs and automatically checks online for program updates. It can help you find the updates, too, though you have to install them individually since each is different.
SUMo's simple, list-style interface and controls make it very easy to use. The Scan button scanned our PC for installed software, though we could also drag and drop executables directly into SUMo as well as use Add and Remove buttons and configure an Ignore list. SUMo displayed all our programs listed alphabetically or by program version and other headings. Clicking Check initiated the update checking process, which took about a minute, though how long it takes obviously depends on how many programs it must check, your connection speed, and other factors. SUMo displayed color-coded icons to indicate which programs were up to date or if a minor or major update was available. Clicking Get Update opened a Web page offering various links for downloading the updates. However, we preferred to check each program's site and install the updates directly. SUMo proved pretty accurate, though it did identify major updates that proved to be entirely new versions, such as flagging Photoshop Elements 10 as an update for 8. SUMo found many more minor updates than major ones, but that's to be expected. The simple fact of being able to check all our programs for updates at once makes SUMo worthwhile even with the occasional misidentified update. And, if it misses any updates, you're no worse off than you are without using SUMo, are you?
SUMo's options include adding Microsoft software to its scans, but it's not recommended. A note about SUMo's installer: Like many free tools, SUMo pays the bills by bundling optional, ad-supported toolbars with its installation package. Selecting the quick installation method installs these extras automatically. Selecting the custom installation option doesn't change how SUMo installs or works, but it does let you choose whether to install these optional programs. We only evaluated SUMo, not the optional extras.