Dear Microsoft: Please Stop Pushing Potentially Unwanted Software Through Windows Update
One of my home machines is Windows 7 Enterprise x64. A few days ago an interesting thing started happening. Windows Update (WU) traybar is notifying that there is a new “Important Update” that needs to be installed.
I have it configured for manual update because I want to decide what gets installed and what doesn’t. So I open the WU console and look at the details of the “Important Update” and to my surprise its not an update at all but rather a bunch of new software which I don’t really want in the first place nor have already installed on my machine, so it doesn’t need updating.
It seems Microsoft is reverting to using WU to push unwanted software, kinda like what adware, spyware and rogue software does. I guess if you can’t convince users to download and install your software the next best thing is to push it down their throats whether they like it or not. Nice move MSFT!
I decide to un-check the “Important Update” and forget about it. But to my (second) surprise, the WU notification from the traybar does not disappear as it normally does when you decide not to install an update. I open the WU console again and, surprise surprise, the “Important Update” is still there checked by default (even though I already told it I don’t want it), ready to be installed as soon as a user hits the “Install Updates” button.
” software bundle is named Windows Live Essentials 2011
and at a 160MB size includes the following:
– Photo Gallery
– Movie Maker
– Family Safety
– Windows Live Mesh
– Messenger Companion
– Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector
– MS Outlook Social Connector Provider for Messenger
– Microsoft Silverlight
– And as a BONUS you also get: Bing Toolbar for your browser, agreeing to a new Service Agreement
updated a couple of months ago and asking you to provide personal information.
Searching around a bit I found a couple of interesting blog posts by Microsoft. One here
saying that the install will only be shown as “Recommended Update” or even “Optional Update”, which is not true as it is showing as an “Important Update”. But more interestingly, here
there’s hundreds of users complaining not only about the tactics of the installation but also about the buggy software and how this “update” has changed their preferences, lost their business contacts, lost functionality previously used in other software, etc.