Windows Update's Perception Problem

The Web site Windows Secrets.com identified the odd updating behavior, which eWEEK Labs independently confirmed, in a newsletter published today. Windows Update changed nine files on Windows XP or Vista systems without asking permission. Besides asking why this was done, is the question of "What?," as in what was updated.

Microsoft PR responded with three paragraphs attributed to an unidentified spokesperson. Since receiving the response, we have made a more explicit request to talk to someone on the phone. In response to that request, we were asked to submit questions via e-mail because the people who could comment "are busy trouble-shooting" the situation.

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News source: MS-Watch

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24 Comments

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I will update my windows when I what to update it..not with Microsoft what to do it...KEEP OUT OF MY COMPUTER...its not up to you to update my computer...its up to me...SO KEEP OUT Microsoft

dwarthan said,
I will update my windows when I what to update it..not with Microsoft what to do it...KEEP OUT OF MY COMPUTER...its not up to you to update my computer...its up to me...SO KEEP OUT Microsoft

Grow up!

All they are doing is updating 'Windows Update', nothing more nothing less - i very much doubt they will use it to slip in other updates (well not now anyway).

DOES IT REALLY MATTER THAT MUCH!!??

Do keep in mind that while you may own the computer, you do not technically own your copy of windows. The EULA gives you the right to use that software, but it is still the property of Microsoft. If they wish to update it, then nothing short of unplugging the cable can stop them.

What I would like to know however is if the update was initiated by Windows Update itself by checking to see if there is a WU update, or if Microsoft actually has a mechanism to force updates onto systems. Would be interesting to know.

that dose not give them the right to come in to your computer with out you know it.
bbfc_uk you need to Grow up ...if you think Microsoft is going to stop at that .....you should look at what they have done in the past...

Privacy and trust are one thing, but if you're a sysadmin monitoring mission-critical systems and your main concern is to ensure system stability by sticking with known and tested software versions only, then your only real recourse is to block that machine's access to the outside world.

Which is what anyone in this position should be doing anyway.

I am so confused... I thought this was a known feature... its clearly talked about in the WSUS update implementation guide.... so MS has to know about it and its not a bug or problem, its just how updates work!

The people who are crying about this now would be the ones to cry the loudest if their system got compromised because they themselves would have missed out on keeping their WU uptodate.

STFU people. All these files are WU's own that it updates itself when necessary. You'd have to cry way more about your privacy if MS left updating this critical component to the end user, of which most would totally miss out on that and might just have one huge security hole at the core of their system at some point.

Mole hill to mountain? It's only updating the Windows Update files. Big deal. It's a glitch. Neither of the articles (eWeek or the MS-Watch one) say that they even TRIED disabling the service. Very professional.

GreyWolfSC said,
Mole hill to mountain? It's only updating the Windows Update files. Big deal. It's a glitch. Neither of the articles (eWeek or the MS-Watch one) say that they even TRIED disabling the service. Very professional.

So you think MS couldn't use this to update files other than Windows update? Or add new functionality to Windows update? They've already tried to sneak WGA on users once, and I'm sure they've tried to covertly gather user data countless times the all the numerous collection mechanisms in MS software and services.

You can go on trusting Microsoft, but I think most people, especially businesses, don't like the idea of Microsoft spying on them or altering their systems without permission. No matter WHAT was done, Microsoft or any other corporation should not have unfettered access to a system or private network. Involuntary updates of system files is a breach of trust and Microsoft has no excuse for it.

I recall back when they pushed a critical update through AU and it left a metric bleep-ton of comps broken (win 2000, citation needed).

That'd be my biggest worry of them just throwing files in my comp without my knowledge or consent.

Next we'll see MS stop the auto update of it's WU components to please these people, then the headline next week will read.

"MS leaves millions vulnerable unless they place 2 clicks to update WU components!!!"

I'm no MS fanboy.. but it just seems like these big companies, MS included.. can't win.

phiberoptik said,
Next we'll see MS stop the auto update of it's WU components to please these people, then the headline next week will read.

"MS leaves millions vulnerable unless they place 2 clicks to update WU components!!!"

I'm no MS fanboy.. but it just seems like these big companies, MS included.. can't win.


QFT.

The_Decryptor said,
People are upset it auto-updated, even with auto-update disabled, nobody is complaining that it auto-updates when that feature is enabled.

Yes, however when I disable AU from updating... I expect it not to update my computer. Then again... I don't call it updating ITSELF my computer. That's just Windows Update keeping itself sane. People are just too paranoid. Give Steam as an example... You can disable updating of the specific games. HOWEVER, you must keep the steam platform updated. (And it makes sure of that by updating every time you start it.)

erm maybe people should look into what these files do before criticizing MS. these files are for windows update its self up to date so it knows which updates are available. some people will say that they don't want windows update to update its self at all when unless WU (windows update is switched on), but there the same people that would criticize windows update of being very slow when they first turn it on because it has to update itself. also why should microsoft have to keep back compatbilty with older versions.

http://blogs.technet.com/mu/archive/2007/0...up-to-date.aspx
http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsv...ic-updates.aspx

One of the fringe benefits of running XP in non-admin mode is that WU doesn't work, so crap like this can't be pulled

Havin_it said,
One of the fringe benefits of running XP in non-admin mode is that WU doesn't work, so crap like this can't be pulled :)

Why would anyone in his right mind think that keeping Windows Update totally non-functional is any kind of benefit – fringe or otherwise?

Ignorance is bliss, eh?

Octol said,

Why would anyone in his right mind think that keeping Windows Update totally non-functional is any kind of benefit – fringe or otherwise?

Ignorance is bliss, eh?

... in non-Administrator mode all he has to do is 'Run as' IE and do windows update or fast user switch to the admin account... Never said it was not functional, just that he doesnt run as admin so auto update cant ninja files into his computer.