Microsoft Thinking Of Forcing Updates On Users

from the maybe-the-good-worm-is-from-them... dept

With all the stories going around now about the “good” worm that supposedly is fixing the security hole that led to the MSBlaster worm, it appears Microsoft is wondering if they can do that themselves. One of the strategies for dealing with future problems like this one is to force update their operating systems. That is, as part of using Windows, you’ll have to agree to let them come in and change the operating system whenever necessary. In the past, users have made it clear they had no interest in having Microsoft muck around with their machines without their permission. However, with the number of security holes (and with broadband, always-on connections becoming more widespread) apparently some consumers are coming around to the idea.


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Comments on “Microsoft Thinking Of Forcing Updates On Users”

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15 Comments
Mike Booth says:

what to do?

From Micro$softs point; They had a patch for this hole available long before the spread of this virus. But did people update? As usual with M$ users they did not.
I’m not going to question the “quality” of M$ software, but I think the main reason for this and many other problems faced with Windows machines stems directly from the System Admin’s having very little actual knowledge of their systems (all they do is run the various wizards M$ conveniently makes available). Whereas most Linux/Unix admins are at a much higher level and actually understand the workings of their systems and the internet at large.

I personally admin a large network of windows servers, and have not been affected by any of these virus attacks over the years (codered, nimda, and so on…) Why? simply because i keep my systems locked down and keep them up to date as soon as patches/updates are made available (and ofcourse tested before released to the mission critical machines)

So what should M$ do? the majority of their system admins are bordering on the “stupid” side (no offence to you admins out there) they make their system so “easy” to use which is the main reason, and then they get a lot of bashing because their systems aren’t updated, so naturally (being the kind of company that M$ is) they would consider this Forced Update approach

MLO says:

Re: what to do?

I agree that there are sysadmins out there that do fit the description of “stupid” and “lazy” however, there are other sysadmins, like myself, that are faced with the task of updating lots of systems with little to no resources, staff, or time.

In an ideal situation, a sysadmin would be soley responsible for maintaining the health and security of their systems. Unfortunately, given the job environment and shrinking IT budgets, quite a few are like me, expected to perform the duties of several people (or departments), without the necessary resources. Case in point: I am currently tasked with doing disaster recovery tests for our core systems, while at the same time being responsible for updating all the servers and workstations where I am employed.

MLO

Bard says:

Re: Re: what to do?

.. and you’ve never seen a *ix server that hasn’t been patched up to date? RIGHT.

The thing with a lot of windows “sites”, they don’t NEED their own inhouse system admins – and hence DON’T have them.

They end up relying on outside consultants, and no matter what you do, a lot of “management” types see the bottom line and will opt NOT to have patches installed on their servers or network – rather stupid but that’s the way a lot of management are.

Then you have users with laptops that are rarely in the office and are too lazy to do their windows updates.

Forcing updates is not a good thing – i’ve had MS patches pork things in the past, and i would hate to think of the extra grief i’d have if all of my clients were patched with a bad microsoft patch all at once.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: what to do?

“Forcing updates is not a good thing – i’ve had MS patches pork things in the past, and i would hate to think of the extra grief i’d have if all of my clients were patched with a bad microsoft patch all at once.”

Nonsense. Forced updates are a great idea.
Just think how much it will help decrease IT sector unemployment…

aNonMooseCowherd says:

did MS write Blaster?

I wonder if MS actually wrote the Blaster worm in order to make automatic updates look more attractive. I’m sure they would love to have complete control over everyone’s computer. If they want to spy on you, they can force-load into your computer a modification that reports all your activities, and then they can remove it later to eliminate the evidence. Looks like Big Brother will be Bill, not the government.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I think the main reason that people don’t use auto-update or even regularly use windowsupdate.microsoft.com is that they’re using pirated copies (like most of China).

Hehe, I did see the price of NortonAV2003 drop to like $20 in a lot of stores this weekend!

On another note, why don’t all broadband ISP’s supply firewalls with their service – instead of just a cablemodem or DSL modem, can’t they supply a Linksys router or even a copy of ZoneAlarm or something?

I have several levels of protection including a Linux firewall, encryption etc. and almost died the other day when a friend of mine said he directly connects his XP box to his cablemodem!

Alfonso says:

auto update worm

i can already see it happening. once microsoft implements an forced update system in its operating system there will be virus programs that will take advantage of it and make things even worse. the idea of a forced update is just what virus programmers dream of. imagine an well known and open port, like the infamous port 135, that windows uses to accept remote commands. yay microsoft. screw your customers big time with this one!

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