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Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) is a Microsoft®-based term that refers to a system for providing updates for software applications. This means that when a consumer purchases a product, if any bugs are found or other problems are presented, they can receive automatic updates via email or update tool. These updates can then be installed onto the buyer's computer to add better features to the program or fix features that were not behaving correctly.
In many cases, Quick Fix Engineering is used to fix security holes within a software application. These fixes are offered as downloads to customers with the objective of repairing any malfunctioning feature or a feature that may be posing a security risk. Most times, these fixes are done on a customer-to-customer basis instead of offering them to a host of program users.
Sometimes, Quick Fix Engineering actually creates more problems than it solves. New bugs can be introduced via the new downloads, and then additional downloads must be created and sent to repair the newly created bugs. Some Quick Fix Engineering systems provide an option that allows users to uninstall the new downloads, thus returning the program to its original state.
Consumers may have to pay an added fee to receive updates for software or to request a fix for a problem they are having. Whether signing up for such a program is warranted will depend on the user. For instance, someone who uses a word processing software for home use may not find it necessary to fix slight glitches in the software. Another person, however, who uses the software for important business correspondence or to create sophisticated documents may need every feature to work flawlessly. Prices for quick fix packages vary.
There may be some companies that do not charge for Quick Fix Engineering services. Although the term was coined by Microsoft®, most software creators offer some sort of quick fix packages. Open source freeware, for example, is often created by numerous programmers. This leaves a lot of room for bugs to creep into the mix. These software designers are generally happy to offer a solution to any problems that arise in the software, however.
In order to receive a quick fix patch or repair, it is generally necessary to contact the software maker. If Quick Fix Engineering is not available from that provider, there is may not be much that can be done unless the software is open source. Often, programmers are not allowed to tamper with another company's software unless granted permission in writing.