I bet most of us don’t think about installing software that we need/want to try. We’re either running as local admin or we can elevate to local admin as needed. It’s nice to be able to install a piece of freeware or open source that will elegantly solve a problem. But what happens when you don’t have local admin as an option?
I work on a client provided laptop and I don’t have local admin. I get the plain vanilla app list and it’s not a very long list. Anything else has to be submitted for approval. Supported stuff often then gets pushed to my machine – I can only imagine it will be an uphill battle to get something ‘unofficial’ installed, but to be fair I haven’t asked yet. The big concern is malware, not the helpful app that Joe User wants to install. In general I with the policy – just not when it applies to me!
My solution for those occasional needs are portable apps. The lines can blur some as many need Java or .Net runtimes installed, but the crux of these apps is that you don’t have to install them, just extract them to a folder. Perfect for keeping on a USB drive, they also are a nice work around for the no-local-admin problem. Portableapps.com is my first stop when I need something, you may find a few others on this list.
I wish more were written that way. Not only can you install (run) without a hassle, they are a breeze to clean up – just delete the folder and you’re done.