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What's Really Broken with Windows Update - Trust 521

Be Cool writes "According to ZDNet, Microsoft has steered itself into a real trust tarpit with Windows Update: 'See, here's the problem. To feel comfortable with having an open channel that allows your OS to be updated at the whim of a third party (even/especially* Microsoft ... * delete as applicable) requires that the user trusts the third party not to screw around with the system in question. This means no fiddling on the sly, being clear about what the updates do and trying not to release updates that hose systems. While any and all updates have the potential to hose a system, there's no excuse for hiding the true nature of updates and absolutely no excuse for pushing sneaky updates down the tubes. Over the months vigilant Windows users have caught Microsoft betraying user trust on several separate occasions and this behavior is eroding customer confidence in the entire update mechanism.'"
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What's Really Broken with Windows Update - Trust

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  • Monopoly Mentality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mike Morgan ( 9565 ) * on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:02AM (#20982389)
    This may have been a bad move, but Microsoft knows that in actuality there's nothing the users (corporate and private alike) are really going to do about this. They may complain a bit; write some unpleasant articles in some online sites/blogs, but at the end of the day you're still going to be using their stuff. Effectively saying "just suck it down and shut up". And in reality, this is what 99.999999% of Windows users are going to do.
        If you have an effective monopoly, trust really doesn't matter.
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:10AM (#20982491)
      It does matter. Not for MS, but for the rest of the net who has to suffer from unpatched, trojan'ed machines running a MS OS.

      I was for a long time in helpdesk and system repair. Time and again I've seen unpatched machines. The usual reasons:

      1. Obviously, hacked versions that couldn't get updates.
      2. Hacked machines that could get updated, but people fearing that MS sends the FBI, CIA and WTF after them if they only attempt to update.
      3. People who got burned once with an update and won't ever, ever do it again because "it broke everything".
      4. People who got people from 3. as their friends and don't want to end up like that.

      So yes, it might not affect MS. It affects the rest of the 'net world.
      • by Whatanut ( 203397 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:37AM (#20982827)

        2. Hacked machines that could get updated, but people fearing that MS sends the FBI, CIA and WTF after them if they only attempt to update.
        Where do I sign up for that last one?

        "Who are you?"
        "WTF! Shutup and give us your stuff!"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dusty00 ( 1106595 )
      I disagree. Linux is gaining ground and it's because Microsoft is failing. You're quite right about what the majority of users are going to do but I think your estimate of 99.999999% is way too high. I'd estimate 90% of users are going to just suck it up but that 10% that aren't is significant to Microsoft. A large part of their business model is to make sure people think they're the only workable alternative so that 10% will threaten to grow if they don't improve.

      Just my 2cp
    • by Speare ( 84249 )

      It's not just monopolies. I have stated before that democracy and capitalism (voting with the pen and with the wallet) seems to break down at 1e7~1e8 customers or voters. Once there are that many, the company or political party knows they have nothing to lose... any negativism is drowned by apathy.

      • by pintpusher ( 854001 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @12:38PM (#20983703) Journal
        I've long thought the same. Looking at the US situation, that method of government (american style democracy (i'm usian, btw)) (oh and I like scheme;) works really well in small groups with common interests. And it *still* works well in the right scale: small towns, social groups (neighborhood associations, PTG's etc) but rapidly loses effectiveness as you move up in scale. In fact I think the number, at least for governed populations, is much smaller than 1e7. You really need to know at least a sizable portion of your fellow citizens to develop a situation where you give a damn about the rest of the population. Once you get to a "them" mentality, its all over because who cares if it hurts "them" so long as "we" get what we need/want. I think that if the local level is working well, then it will carry up the government ladder to regional and even national levels because the local effectiveness keeps people involved. If you, as a citizen, have access (I mean *real* access) to your elected representatives, and those representatives have some clue who you are, then government will work for you. If not, then apathy sets in.

        Probably the same for capitalism as well. Capitalism works great when everyone knows everyone else, or at least most everyone else. I, as a retailer, know my customers and my customers know me. I'm happy to sell to them for a reasonable price that supports me in a reasonable manner and they are happy to buy from me knowing that they're not being screwed. They know this because they know me and know my lifestyle, at least somewhat. Once you no longer know your customers, then you begin to view them as objects with money that you want to get. It's sort of inevitable (I know, I own retail businesses). Likewise, if you as a customer don't know the producers/retailers of goods and services you purchase then you objectivize(?) those people and no longer care about their living and working conditions, you begin to just want the stuff as cheap as you can get it.

        It is my opinion, based purely on anecdotal experience, that the system breaks irrevocably once the scale of the local population gets above some number of thousands (maybe 10-50, at a guess) and the population at large is also sufficiently large (a few million?).
    • The other side is that a lot of people don't see it that way. I still trust Microsoft to not mess up my machine, even if they're pushing stealth updates to their software. I'm usually anti-stealth anything, I hate software DRM for that reason (don't go patching my CD rom driver to play your game) but in this case it's a good idea to have Microsoft able to stealth update the windows updater, it's one piece of software on your machine that doesn't really interact with the others all that much.

      I know a lot of
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dr Caleb ( 121505 )
        "and I have no doubt they will, I trust them."

        So, which patch for XP puts a 'MyWorks' folder on the partition with the most space? And what is is for? Where did the 'DRM' folder in your profile come from? Which updates say they will do these things?

        I don't trust them in the slightest - and the 'stealth' patch for IE7 shows I was right, because IE7 opens up holes that weren't previously there.
  • by smokeala ( 912641 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:03AM (#20982391)
    In order to break trust, you must first have trust.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Mathness ( 145187 )
      Microsoft have to be very careful with trust, considering the amount of antitrust it have. One careless mix of trust and antitrust, and you have a huge explosion at Microsoft HQ ... or what is left of it. :p
    • Oh, they DID have trust. Back in the MS-DOS days. Then all started, and they became too powerful for anyone (even the government) to do anything about it.

      I wonder what would have happened if Digital Research had sued Microsoft (and succeeded) for crippling Windows 3.x if the underlying OS wasn't MS-DOS.

      But you know what really screwed everything up? The exclusivity contracts with hardware manufacturers. You know, bundling and all that. Those things must go away, since they keep ruining competition (how can it be possible for a machine with Windows being cheaper than one without it?) Don't you hate hidden taxes?
  • Long Lost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:03AM (#20982399) Journal
    Anyone who trusts Microsoft after the past two decades of dirty behavior is a fool.
  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:03AM (#20982403)
    I don't think 95% of Windows users care if Microsoft is untrustworthy or not as long as they feel it keeps their computer from getting hacked.
    • It's not a matter of caring - it's a matter of not being able to do anything about it.

      For all those who feel they have to use Windows (please, please don't take that as flame bait) then it's pretty essential to keep the machine patched to the latest level. The only relaistic way to do this is to accept whatever M$ send down the pipe. I don't trust M$, I'll never trust M$, but, until I can get all the things I want on Linux I'm stuck with M$ and it's going to be a well patched version.
    • by dave420 ( 699308 )
      Exactly. They've already got gigs of MS software on their computer - getting a few megs more a month isn't going to make them stop using it...
    • I don't think 95% of Windows users care if Microsoft is untrustworthy or not as long as they feel it keeps their computer from getting hacked.
      Except in this case, it's like having Microsoft hack your computer.
    • by fritsd ( 924429 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @12:55PM (#20983933) Journal
      <tinfoil hat>

      Microsoft is a U.S.A company, right? Wrong. Microsoft is a multinational company.

      Now imagine they move HQ from Redmond to Shanghai. If you're an USian, would you still feel the same way when your deactivated auto-update program suddenly automatically updates something unknown (according to Microsoft, just itself)?

      </tinfoil hat>

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:05AM (#20982413)
    Even without TPM, even without CPU serial numbers, if the update software has to change my computer without telling me, it is operating out of bounds. I can't trust it in enterprise; I can't trust it at home; I can't trust it as an install or development environment.

  • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:06AM (#20982429) Homepage Journal
    as long as you've got powerpoint and can read the Word documents you're sent in the mail?
    • Who needs trust as long as you've got powerpoint and can read the Word documents you're sent in the mail?
      You were modded funny? With my experience with family and at the workplace, that's *insightful*!
    • by mh1997 ( 1065630 )

      "Who needs trust" as long as you've got powerpoint and can read the Word documents you're sent in the mail?

      I suspect this is a joke, but it (or something similar) is what I live by with my computer. I have no pirated software on my computer, I don't watch videos or listen to songs on my computer, I use my computer for work, email, and killing time by surfing the web.

      If my computer allows me to work, check my email, and read slashdot, I am not concerned about the rest.

      I am a fan of privacy rights, but r

  • by Bullfish ( 858648 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:08AM (#20982461)
    manually, you can select what updates you want to apply and which you don't. As for hosing a system, MS has no monopoly on that. I updated my ATI drivers on Friday and I lost my 3D capability until I rolled my drivers back. Had similar things happen with Adobe stuff until I switched to Foxit. Frankly none of the software companies impress me with their auto updates. I trust none of them.
  • by AxemRed ( 755470 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:09AM (#20982479)
    I was working as as PC tech for a university at one point, and it was policy to install all critical Windows updates on the university-owned computers. On one computer, I accidentally checked the hardware updates as well as the critical updates. For some reason, Windows update decided that the video card (an Nvidia TNT2-based card) needed to be updated with the old, Microsoft-provided, French-language video drivers. This computer was using English Windows XP, and there were no language packs installed or anything. Anyway, Windows blue-screened when coming back up. I had to start it in safe-mode and remove the drivers to get it to work again. I remember thinking that if a "normal" user had installed that update, they would have been screwed into having to pay $100 for a "professional" to fix Windows. After that, I started paying attention to the hardware updates. And I noticed that on approximately 5/100 of their computers, Microsoft listed the French-language Nvidia driver as an appropriate hardware update.
    • by fremar ( 527009 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:39AM (#20982851)
      Maybe they consider French as an upgraded version of English?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Two things:
      1. Hardware suppliers are supposed to give you the exact same hardware for each of the "same" system you order--makes regressing problems easier, and eases management issues. Your supplier didn't--maybe they used a different video card that had the same chipset but different manufacturer. If you installed Windows on a hundred computers, with the exact same hardware, the results should be exactly the same except for the odd crash. This doesn't sound like a "Microsoft being stupid" story as much as
  • What a suprise... (Score:3, Informative)

    by DatMeg ( 1172715 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:10AM (#20982485)
    I'm not suprised. When looking at what is being downloaded (either automatically or manually) you have little idea of what you're actually downloading. All you get is a strange ID number for the update and an extremely generalized discription of what is being fixed (or unfixed). As the updates pile up, the process takes longer and longer. When there is an update it insists on interrupting whatever you are in the middle of. When it downloads it sucks up CPU time. And when it's finished it will not leave you alone until you restart the computer.
  • by CompSci101 ( 706779 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:10AM (#20982489)

    I totally agree with the tag that reads "editorsdontgetit". The problem with having this stealth update capability in the first place is that it's a clear and obvious vector for attack and p0wn4g3.

    If somebody figures out how to hack these stealth updates (and now that people know the capability exists they will definitely try), then we can all look forward to the time when a rootkit or other exploit is pushed down to machines and installed with the blessing of the OS and the complete ignorance of the person whose machine just got screwed. And it'll look like a legitimate update as far as all parties are concerned after the fact.

    The author claims that it's a "Bad Thing(tm)" when people eventually decide to pull the plug on Windows Update, and I agree given all the legitimate patches that have been made available this way. But on the other hand, what choice do we have? Do we leave a door open that has been proven to be used in an untrustworthy fashion by the very people that are telling us to trust them and that they're making our machines better/safer/++?

    Will somebody please start writing games for Linux so I can be free of this nonsense?


    • by sqlrob ( 173498 )
      Starforce, SecurROM, Warden, and you're worried about Windows Update? You're likely dealing with more holes because of your gaming than what Windows Update does.

    • by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:52AM (#20983073)
      I totally agree with the tag that reads "editorsdontgetit". The problem with having this stealth update capability in the first place is that it's a clear and obvious vector for attack and p0wn4g3.

      Exactly! All they need are the private keys MS uses to sign the updates.. oh wait.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rrohbeck ( 944847 )
      Just wait until the weekend to install the updates unless there's a really hot patch that you need on Tuesday. By then you should have seen it on Slashdot if there's any nastyness going around.
  • An open door (Score:4, Interesting)

    by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <DenisBergeron@y a h o> on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:13AM (#20982529)
    How long it will take to someone to figure how to make they own updates using the door open by Microsoft in they OS ?
    If I was a hacker, I have begun to work on this door as soon has the "feature" has been released.
    Imagine, using Microsoft Update to update your virii or you Troy, that a nice "feature".
  • Err... No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EveryNickIsTaken ( 1054794 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:22AM (#20982653)
    I call bullshit on this alarmist blog. 99% of the world's Windows users don't give a shit about the updates, and will click anything that pops up on their PC. Most of them likely have no clue what "Windows update" is. The 1% that know what their doing have likely never trusted Windows/Microsoft for anything in the first place. To say that "Trust in windows update is eroding" is just a bit fud-dish.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by R2.0 ( 532027 )
      You are absolutely correct in that "The 1% that know what their doing have likely never trusted Windows/Microsoft for anything in the first place." That includes sysadmins and supervisors, who turned off auto updates precisely because they don't trust MS to roll out patches correctly. But MS just overrode their business decision, causing some of them problems and probably giving most an uneasy feeling.

      There's a difference between watching your vendor closely for QC issues, and watching them closely to pre
  • Trust isn't something you got by default. You have to give me a reason to trust you.

    Unfortunately MS has shown time and again that their primary concerns are not their users but their business partners. Which does not mean their customers, though.

    Now, an update to an OS can alter it considerably. The OS sits between me and my data, it controls all input and output my machine generates, it controls all data received and transmitted, can alter, generate or suppress information, in both directions. So the tech
  • by Hanners1979 ( 959741 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:26AM (#20982691) Homepage
    I guess I can see why they made this a 'stealth' update on Windows XP/Server 2003. I had to perform a fresh install of Windows Vista last week, and the first time I fired up Windows Update, it gave me a prompt which ran something along the lines of:

    "Windows Update needs to download an update so that it can update to provide you with updates".

    I felt so dizzy trying to comprehend that, I just clicked 'OK'.
  • Oh wait.

    Yes i have.

    "What do you mean you don't use Apache as your webserver?!?!?! Doesn't everybody?!?!?! What else would you POSSIBLY USE?????"

  • It may be obvious to us, but not to the general population. Remember that this is a ZDNet article. People reading ZDNet are in the majority, Windows users who don't know Microsoft's evil tricks as much as we do. I'm glad that columnists write these articles once in a while, to make people realize Microsoft is not the "quality assured" company they pretend to be.

    If we want to evangelize about open source/gnu linux, articles from "relatively neutral" parties such as this one are a very good resource.
  • by lisaparratt ( 752068 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:34AM (#20982793)
    1) Didn't even think about rebooting my box by itself, regardless of configuration
    2) Installed updates when I turned my computer on, not off - if I'm turning it off, then any second I'm going to be slinging the machine in my backpack, and jumping on my motorbike. Last I heard, Microsoft didn't possess the magical mystical powers required to ensure a hard drive works perfectly in these conditions.
    3) Fucked off when I press the "I don't want to reboot now" button, instead of pestering me every 30 seconds like a bloody 4 year old.

    None of these should require registry tweaks or policy hacks - they should all be *defaults*.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dave420 ( 699308 )
      1. For most users, when Automatic Updates is enabled, it installs them in the middle of the night, and rebooting is not a problem. It makes sense, as it doesn't impact the user.
      2. Hibernate.
      3. And it's 4 hours on Vista, not 30 seconds.

      Some granularity to the configuration process could be used, though. It sounds like you can change one setting and solve all your problems (that is: "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them" - it won't interrupt you only to tell you it has new updates.
  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:36AM (#20982813) Homepage Journal
    Two points...

    First, most people don't really trust their computers anyway, because they don't understand them. So the "trust degradation" of giving Microsoft free rein is minimal, maybe even negative, because "At least Microsoft understands my computer, and if anyone can keep it running, they can." Basically it's responsibility transferral for something they don't understand.

    Second, there are cases where trust is absolutely required. A few I can think of are medical/HIPPA, military, and media. In a way, the first 2 embody opposite requirements from the 3rd. The first 2 absolutely require data integrity and system control, and the machine owner is central, in control, and responsible. There seems to be quite a difference between medical and military usages, and IMHO it's because medical usage grew out of IT departments, where such things were understood. It appears that military usage grew out of command/control and procurement, where they weren't. As a result, there's no shortage of people waiting to see the fireworks between Microsoft an HIPPA for the former, and the Win-Yorktown and all of our current cyber-security fears for the latter.

    As for the 3rd example of trust mentioned above, you can find DRM arguments all over on /.
  • by Hymer ( 856453 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:43AM (#20982909)
    ...that developers from MS Gold partners are telling you to shut down automatic updates because they can/may/will ruin the $1 mill. .NET based project they are developing for you.
    I have heard this from several different MS partners in the past years.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:52AM (#20983055) Homepage

    An article on that subject by someone above the blithering blogger level would be useful. This subject needs coverage in the Wall Street Journal or Business Week. There are some real issues here. If you're a bank, what do bank examiners think of Microsoft having a backdoor into your systems? If you're a health care provider, is there a HIPPA compliance issue? If you're a law firm and some of your clients are adverse to Microsoft, is it a breach of your duty to your clients to let Microsoft control your systems? If you're a defense contractor, is that back door permissible?

    Many such companies run background checks on anyone who potentially has access to their data, and audits of what's happening within their own business. Who's auditing Microsoft for security? Who actually has access to the master keys that allow pushing an update? How many people have access to those keys? Are they US citizens? Do they have security clearances? Are they bonded?

    Now those are the questions to be asking.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Allador ( 537449 )
      Have you never done any reading or research about this?

      This stuff only applies to consumers using AutomaticUpdates or WindowsUpdates/MicrosoftUpdates.

      Businesses use (or should be) WSUS or other systems so that they have complete control over the patching.

      If businesses dont do this, then they are making a choice to not have control over updates to their system.

      No one is forcing anyone to go this route.

      Now, mind you, MS should never have been doing silent updates without full disclosure. But its not like the
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:58AM (#20983153)
    I have to use Windows for one single heavy duty application, so I have no choice. But I loaded a new hard drive with Win XP Pro XP2, the updates at that time (2 years ago or so) and the application.

    The Dell has never been back on line since then, and has never sufferred a BSOD, nor any update issues, and has stayed up virtually 100% of the time, performing flawlessly.

    All work on the web is done on my MacBook Pro, thank you, and it has never suffered any downtime, either. Well it didn't until I filled up its hard drive and needed a larger one.

    I am seriously tempted to repeat Win XP SP2 install on a new Dell to take the next version of the application I must run. The last thing I want is crap from the web shutting me down for various crapo reasons.
  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @11:59AM (#20983167)
    This is a problem that the western world has. I'm 45 these days and I believe society is changing, while I can't be 100% sure, as I am getting older and changing as well, but apathy and disregard for our rights and freedom is growing at such an alarming rate.

    We have rights, we do, but we need to fight for them or people, politicians, and corporations will simply assume we will be lazy fucks and taunt "nah nah nah nah nah" and take them away.

    We have the right to own our machine. We have the right to tell companies "I won't open a word document, send it to me in ISO ODF or PDF or text." We have the right to remove Windows from our system. We have the right to sell our OEM Windows licenses.

    Without even getting into politics or the growing U.S. police state, corporate america needs a dope slap. We, ALL OF US! have to stand up to corporate shit. We do not stand against it in great numbers, then nothing will ever get done.

    Call tech support when shit happens, keep them on the phone for a long time, it costs them money. Send products back, it costs them money. Tell people to avoid products that suck, it costs them money. When the shit that comes from China has lead in it, sue them, it costs them money. The government isn't going to do anything for you, the politicians represent the corporations. It is only when bad corporate policy costs them money, will they change and not one minute sooner.

    Start RETURNING computers, WHOLE COMPUTERS, because vista sucks. If Windows is part (as OEM's claim) of the computer, the the WHOLE COMPUTER is defective. That will make the Dells and HPs start to offer new options. Seriously, if 10% of the slash dot readers went out and bought new computers at the big retails stores tomorrow and returned them the next day siting that Vista does not work and is not reliable. It would make a HUGE impact on the industry. No one could ignore it.

    But, no, no one will do that because they ARE to fucking lazy.

  • by mike_sucks ( 55259 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @12:00PM (#20983177) Homepage
    Surprise, surprise.

    As Bruce Schneier points out [], the problem is not that Microsoft can install updates on your computer without asking, but as soon as it gets cracked, then soon every script kiddy on the planet will also be able to do so.

    Then you're really going to be screwed.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @12:38PM (#20983697) Homepage

    I'll admit this may be a little tinfoil-hattish but it makes me wonder if MSFT is the only player in this saga. Just supposed in the wake of 9-11 hysteria that someone in the administration had the brainy idea to slip a PC's to track terror suspects. Not something that reported to a third party...too easy to spot the traffic. Something that relayed the data through MSFT so the destination would remain hidden. Now the forced updates are wiping out whatever it was.

    Probably out there but a few years ago suspecting the phone companies of listening in on the phone calls of millions of Americans without a warrant would have been really out there.

    And before that was the revelation that printers were spitting out identifiable information in the background.

    It's a sad testimony that wholesale spying on PC users is not out of the realm of the plausible for the current administration to attempt or Microsoft to cooperate.

    It may be years from now before we find out the whole truth. What we know today should send a shudder through every freedom loving person in this country. I'm mildly surprised so many hard-core right wingers are okay with the government spying on them.

  • by Nim82 ( 838705 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @12:52PM (#20983891)
    I've often wondered with the slow Vista uptake whether MS would torpedo XP via updates that actually degrade performance or break things deliberately. It's weird, I have a number of XP boxes with very good reliablity, but in the last 3 months I have had a number of software related failures on nearly all of them - most requiring re-installs. The drivers haven't changed, usage hasn't changed, the only thing that has changed is the MS updates. No hard evidence, but many fellow admins I know have seen similar oddities occur (esp after the stealth update)...

    It could just be coincidence as it would be a very dangerous move by MS, yet I wouldn't put it past them. Users who are having to fuck around are surely more likely to consider switching OS. For the bulk of desktop users that would be Vista.

    The best fastest way to get people out a building is to set it on fire...
  • by Seto89 ( 986727 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @01:33PM (#20984481)
    I originally trusted MS with Windows updates, but as usual with matters concerning Microsoft, it was a huge mistake.
    The updater got greedy and decided to update my MS Office. I don't have outlook installed, since I never use it. The updater however somehow failed to detect that and started downloading a "critical update" for Outlook without permission. It then started asking me if it's ok to install, but naturally the install always fails, as the files are not where it thinks they are, so it cancels and later again asks me whether it's ok to try. I've been seeing that wizard ever since for a few months now. The solution? I can think of two actually:
    1) Reinstall the OS (preferably to something Open Source)
    2) Get used to the thing.

    That's how it always is with Microsoft - the bug is there for so long that everyone knows about it, and then it's not a bug anymore. It's a "feature"...
  • Trust? Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:27PM (#20989741)
    Microsoft betraying user trust on several separate occasions and this behavior is eroding customer confidence in the entire update mechanism.'

    I think there are probably a lot of people on Slashdot that got burned early by WindowsUpdate, and never trusted it again. I've been burned a few times, and now I leave automatic updates off unless I have a good reason to leave it on. Nevertheless, I really believe that Microsoft is making a mistaking screwing around with this particular sacred cow, although I'm sure the temptation to abuse it was just irresistible. As Wally from Dilbert put it, "What would be the other reasons for having power?"

    Still, if our good friends Joe Average and Joe Sixpack get it into their heads that WindowsUpdate has a significant chance of blowing away their systems, they're going to just turn it off and to Hell with patches and fixes. And you know what? They'd be right to do so. This is a stupid, dangerous game that Microsoft is playing.

"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead." -- Lucy Van Pelt