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CNET Editors' note: The Download Now link will prompt a local download of the Firefox extension. To install the extension directly, open the file using your Firefox browser.

CNET Editors' review

While it's true that this program offers an alternative to Windows Update, it wasn't always smooth sailing with this freeware. The headaches were even harder to overlook knowing this application offered virtually no advantages over the standard Windows offering.

For one, WindizUpdate was duly downloaded and installed, but when the link in the Firefox Tools menu was clicked the first time, we were directed to the WindizUpdate site and notified that a system scan indicated we didn't have the plug-in installed. There was no explanation for the two-part installation. That could be forgiven if there were some benefits in using WindizUpdate over the standard and also-free Windows Update. Unfortunately, this freeware tool just adds steps to the process and its results didn't always jibe with what the Microsoft tool recommended. To check for updates, you not only need to open Firefox, access the link, and run the scan, you'll then need to pick and choose which updates you want to install. The Web site makes a vague promise that the scan will cover software aside from Microsoft's, but it doesn't specify which ones. Our testers didn't find any scan results that backed this up. Also, the results of the WindizUpdate didn't always tally with what Microsoft Update recommended.

Novice users are better off sticking with the standard update tool. Those who can make informed decisions about which updates to install, or those who just prefer working through Firefox, can give this freeware a shot.

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