Eric is correct that you *should* be able to update from version to version.
After recently updating CaptureNX2 something "broke". If I tried to batch render a folder of images it would crash after rendering about 40-50 images. With single renders or small batches I don;t think I had any specific problems.
I fixed it by uninstalling ViewNX2 and CaptureNX2, and reinstalling using the shortest path possible. At the moment that is Capture NX2 V2.3(full) + the latest update, and then ViewNX2 V2.7.1.
Having had similar problems in the past, personally I would avoid updating if possible. For example, I would never install the apps provided on the camera CD. I would start with the latest possible install just to avoid potential problems. But that only because I've been there and done that more than once, just doing periodic updates as new versions come out.
I suspect the problems I had may well be due to how Nikon shares modules between View and Capture, and how things may go bad when they are using incompatible versions. Or something like that. If you don't install and update Capture you may not have the update problems I've had.
The assumption with any program included with a camera is that you will update the software. Updates include everything from minor enhancements to bug fixes, unpublished fixes and support for new cameras. Most new camera NEF files cannot be processed without updating.
You should update to the newest version. Nikon Message Center is not a reliable or timely way to follow updates.