So the recent 4.3 update to Google Earth brings some neat new features. But it also brings some not so great features. Most noticably is the fact that you must be an admin in order to install the latest version of GE. Old versions installed cleanly for any user. Not only must you be an admin, but you don’t actually install Google Earth from it’s own installer. No, now you must install Google Updater* in order to install GE.
I can’t find a simple link (one hosted by Google) to download just the GE installer. In fact the only way I found to get the GE only download is to be a non-admin user. The Google Updater will fail when you try to run it, and then give you the option to ‘download and install’ GE.
This is quite annoying and I hope that Google provides a simple like to download a stand-alone version of GE soon.
*Another pain is the fact that Google Updater installs a background service that runs all the time. iTunes, Adobe Reader, Google Updater, etc all have these little daemons running that added up bog down system resources. Bleah.
**Special thanks to Tim Snyder for pointing out the Google Updater background service. I didn’t notice that on the first draft of this article.