A technique for automatically updating software, including but not limited to application programs, residing on, e.g., a client computer. Specifically, an update script is stored on a network server for each software product to be updated and, where appropriate, for each different country or locale in which that product will be installed. At a scheduled time, the client computer automatically, through an executing updating application: establishes a network connection to the server; constructs a file name for a file containing an appropriate update script; and then downloads that file from the server. The script contains appropriate update information, including whether the update is to occur through a web site or through the script, and if the latter, listings of operating system (O/S) specific and O/S-independent product update files. For a script-based update, the updating application downloads those update files, as specified by the script, corresponding to the executing O/S and then, in a sequence specified in the script, executes various files therein to complete the update. Once the update successfully concludes, the updating application appropriately updates the locally stored version number of the installed software and schedules the next update accordingly.