I have been getting (and seeing) quite a few inquiries about Google Earth. I have experienced more than a few issues with GE myself. I fairly frequently need to uninstall, download and reinstall. This is particularly true if I don't use GE for a while on a particular machine. When GE is launched it usually loads the required upgrades.
But that isn't the main problem. I'm sure everyone realizes that net products have evolved. We have now gotten to the point where the small devices like phones, iPods, iPads, Kindles, and even yes! the new Microsoft tablet represent the larger portion of the regular users in the market. The developers can't seem to launch their new versions fast enough. That means the kids at the bottom of the class don't even learn how to use their old phones before they "have to" get new phones.
The software developer is challenged to make a product that works flawlessly on many different operating systems. Older products like Windows XP struggle to keep up with updates, especially those that are developed with Apple product users in mind. Hardware issues in older machines, especially the graphics cards and RAM can also be problematical.
Savvy users know to load virus protection packages that do most of the updates for them. But in the graphics-heavy demand in the Age of the Cloud older hardware simply cannot keep up. The big portion of the consumer market gets a new cell phone every six months. Work station users rarely change in less than three years. And many wait a lot longer. Yet they have to compete with the small device users who drive the larger market share.
My feeling is, this problem will likely get worse before it gets better.
I also keep Arc Explorer loaded. For me, it handles the "survey type" tasks a little better than GE. And it is way better at tech support. But its big advantage is that it is developed with the work station user in mind.
If you have them both loaded, the next time GE crashes, you can perform whatever task you had in mind before you start dealing with Tech Support.