updated 04:35 pm EDT, Thu September 13, 2007
'Secret' Microsoft patch
A recent patch issued by Microsoft, described by some as an unwanted "secret" update, was connected to Windows Update, the company has explained. The controversy stems from the patch being forcibly installed on Windows XP and Vista computers, despite many users having disabled automatic updating; this led to complaints in forums and the media, arguing that no company should be able to update a computer without consent. Without automatic updating, people must normally visit the Windows Update website and select which patches to install if any.
In response, a PR agency acting for Microsoft has said that Windows Update must update periodically, and that it has actually behaved this way since its inception. The agency tells InfoWorld, however, that Microsoft feels it should better explain how Windows Update functions, and that it may make the software more "transparent" in the future. "We've received helpful and important feedback on this point," a Microsoft statement reads, "and we are now looking at the best way to clarify [Windows Update's] behavior to customers so that they can more clearly understand how [it] works."