Microsoft to force Windows updates?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Steve, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Excerpts from Ed Foster's Gripelog -

    ===================

    It's a depressing irony, but the creep who wrote the Blaster worm may
    very well have done Microsoft a tremendous favor. After all, what
    better argument could the folks in Redmond have been handed to do what
    they've always wanted to do - namely, force users to accept automatic
    Windows updates.

    Earlier this week, the Washington Post quoted Mike Nash, Microsoft
    corporate vice president, as saying the company is "looking very
    seriously" at requiring at least home users to have their operating
    system automatically updated when Microsoft sends out a fix. Another
    Microsoft security official was quoted as saying that having home and
    small business users automatically receive and install software fixes
    "would help the safety of a lot more customers."

    As the Blaster worm demonstrated, what Microsoft is saying is quite
    true. Security would most certainly be enhanced if everyone
    automatically received the fix when one is available for a known
    security hole. But at what cost?

    Even if Microsoft's motives were as pure as the driven snow, one price
    that would be paid comes from the tendency of Windows updates to break
    things. Windows is simply not a robust platform, and it has the added
    vulnerability of being used in a multitude of diverse environments
    filled with ill-behaved applications and devices.

    Few business users choose to install Windows updates now without
    carefully testing them first, and the prospect of Microsoft making
    changes to the OS on its own would cause a rebellion. No doubt that's
    why Microsoft officials for the time being are only talking about
    forcing home users and small businesses to get automatic updates.

    What could be an even bigger price tag on automatic updates is the
    fact that you'd get them whatever Microsoft's motives are in sending
    them out. Given the ability to make changes to the software whenever
    they please, would Microsoft restrict themselves to only providing
    critical security updates? I don't think so, and Microsoft's biggest
    fans probably wouldn't either.

    Remember, from the day XP was introduced, the Microsoft's license
    agreements have given it the right to make automatic updates to the
    operating system. So far, Microsoft has kept Windows Updates
    voluntary, but Redmond lawyers were planning long ago for the day it
    wouldn't be.

    Remember also that the type of automatic downloads the EULA language
    usually refers to are updates of DRM (Digital Rights Management, or
    Digital Restrictions Management, depending on your point of view)
    modules in the OS. The ability to instantly put copy protection on any
    Windows system whenever it wants would be a dream come true for
    Microsoft. Not only could Microsoft then function as the restrictions
    manager for its own software, but for other software companies and
    eventually perhaps even the movie and recording industries as well.
    Automatic Windows updates could therefore lead to all manner of usage
    restrictions on a variety of product and services.

    As we've all learned from the war on terrorism, security is a funny
    thing. The dangers in not having enough security are all too real, but
    there are also dangers in letting the need for security overrule all
    else. The terrorist who sent out the Blaster worm might have thought
    it would harm Microsoft, but its real victims are Windows users who
    will have to choose between too much security and too little.
     
    Steve, Aug 22, 2003
    #1
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  2. Steve

    Jerry Park Guest

    One thing you fail to note. Since this is about security ....

    If my OS vendor can change my system at will -- so can anyone else who
    chooses to pose as my OS vendor. Wonderful security there ...
     
    Jerry Park, Aug 22, 2003
    #2
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  3. Steve

    Will Denny Guest

    ....and those that didn't install the Security/Critical updates - automatically or manually when offered - have now found themselves in deep doo-doo. Luckily some of the MS-MVPs - too many to mention - have managed to help these poor unfortunates. MS don't make updates available just for the sheer Hell of it - not like your posting. I'm still trying to find a sensible question in it - or is it a general dig at MS - as a lot of postings ATM are - the posters not really knowing the 'ins and outs' of a specific problem.

    Will
     
    Will Denny, Aug 22, 2003
    #3
  4. Steve

    Testy Guest

    A properly firewalled computer in combination with a good ant-virus and a
    lot of common sense, is not in dire need of updates.

    Testy

    ....and those that didn't install the Security/Critical updates -
    automatically or manually when offered - have now found themselves in deep
    doo-doo. Luckily some of the MS-MVPs - too many to mention - have managed
    to help these poor unfortunates. MS don't make updates available just for
    the sheer Hell of it - not like your posting. I'm still trying to find a
    sensible question in it - or is it a general dig at MS - as a lot of
    postings ATM are - the posters not really knowing the 'ins and outs' of a
    specific problem.

    Will
     
    Testy, Aug 22, 2003
    #4
  5. They already have an autoupdate program that keeps you updated.
    WAKE UP!
     
    BananaPannaPoe, Aug 22, 2003
    #5
  6. Thing is, the people most likely to have properly firewalled computers
    with good antivirus protection, and who have good common sense in
    their computing practices, are also those that, if they use Windows,
    are most likely to keep their Windows security/critical updates
    up-to-date.

    The facts of life are that each time something like msblaster jumps
    off, we find the internet hampered by virus-driven traffic because
    thousands upon thousands of machines, run by people who should
    certainly know better [IOW, not just your Grand-Uncle Ben nor your
    Great-Aunt Mary, who barely know how to turn their computer on],
    *don't* use protective measures like proper firewalls, up-to-date
    virus protection, or taking advantage of MS-provided patches.

    I have found that, after a high-degree of initial skepticism and
    careful toe-dipping, that using the Auto-update feature of WinXPPro,
    properly configured to ask permission both before downloading and then
    before installing, to keep current with critical/security updates is
    neither sinister, intrusive, nor privacy-compromising. For reasons of
    my own, I have not chosen to, nor has auto-update tried to foist on
    me, install XP SP1. However, MS has, separately, issued every
    critical/security update that was included in SP1. IOW, I've gotten
    the crucial stuff without having to deal with fluff before I'm ready
    to.

    OJ III
     
    Ogden Johnson III, Aug 22, 2003
    #6
  7. Steve

    helmsman Guest

    Maybe it's time to dump this crap and get a Mac. It may also be time
    to treat the terrorists like terrorists before they take out a nuke
    plant and execute them.
    Every one of these bug, worms goes after M$. My next machine WILL be a
    Mac! Fact.
     
    helmsman, Aug 22, 2003
    #7
  8. Steve

    Shaun Marolf Guest

    Absolutely correct and the real issue of the blaster worm was simply that.
    Port 135 (RPC) certainly isn't needed nor desired for use in a corporate
    environment anyway so why did so many IT managers leave it open? The bulk of
    home users who got hit by it were newbies or simply unaware of how their
    system was configured. I don't use automatic updates but I do keep my system
    up to date. I would rather have something break on my network and spend a day
    or two fixing it than spending a week trying find and flush an infection. I
    run a firewall in full stealth mode that is intelligent enough to let my
    users and me use the services we connect with and reject everything else, I'm
    not talking about ZoneAlarm either, I use a Linux system as the Firewall
    between myself and the Internet. Common sense is the most important aspect to
    good security.

    --Shaun
     
    Shaun Marolf, Aug 22, 2003
    #8
  9. Steve

    Steve Guest

    I agree with you about AV and firewalls. But there's a legitimate
    question about the risk/reward ratio in downloading MS patches which
    have caused numerous problems in the past. And there are certainly
    issues involved in force-feeding patches...
     
    Steve, Aug 22, 2003
    #9
  10. Bruce Chambers, Aug 22, 2003
    #10
  11. Steve

    Rick Guest

    I spent 4+ years migrating companies from Netware to Windows NT4
    and Win2K, and now in the past three years most of my jobs have been
    migrating companies from NT4/2K to Linux, BSD and other *nix flavors.
    Seems corporate America has finally had enough of the Gates/Ballmer
    merry-go-round: constant security problems, forced software audits,
    service packs that haven't been properly tested, trying to keep their IT
    staffs trained on a half-dozen Windows versions, etc etc.

    From what I can see, at least for business/server use the trend is away
    from MS and towards open source software. IMO it's a healthy switch.

    Rick
     
    Rick, Aug 22, 2003
    #11
  12. Steve

    Will Denny Guest

    Hi Bruce

    Does that mean if one person owns 4 PCs only one license is needed? A bit heavy on 'National Security' - I thought.

    Will
     
    Will Denny, Aug 22, 2003
    #12
  13. Steve

    Tim Miser Guest

    Maybe YOU should wake up. The article is about forcing automatic updates.
    The current system of automatic updates is optional and can easily be turned
    off.

    -Tim
     
    Tim Miser, Aug 22, 2003
    #13
  14. Steve

    Tim Miser Guest

    ....and those that didn't install the Security/Critical updates -
    automatically or manually when offered - have now found themselves in deep
    doo-doo. Luckily some of the MS-MVPs - too many to mention - have managed
    to help these poor unfortunates. MS don't make updates available just for
    the sheer Hell of it - not like your posting. I'm still trying to find a
    sensible question in it - or is it a general dig at MS - as a lot of
    postings ATM are - the posters not really knowing the 'ins and outs' of a
    specific problem.

    Will

    ---

    I think part of the issue is that when XP was released, it was touted as the
    most secure OS ever. Arguably, that has not been true. However, if you
    ever do a clean install of XP before applying the updates, time how long it
    takes XP to start up, and then time how long it takes IE to start up. Then
    install the updates and see the huge difference in the speed of your system.
    It really is sad to see those updates make such a huge negative impact in
    your system performance because if not for this issue, I would be all in
    favor of these updates.

    -Tim
     
    Tim Miser, Aug 22, 2003
    #14
  15. Steve

    Will Denny Guest

    Linux - that 'OS' is a bigger laugh than my mother-in-law 'passing wind' into a trombone.

    Will
     
    Will Denny, Aug 22, 2003
    #15
  16. Steve

    PCyr Guest

    See Below...

    --
    Check out http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com for amazing tweaks and fixes

    Member of "Newsgroups are for everyone" (Perdita X. Twitt is a
    self-appointed, self-righteous, ruthless, bitchy net-cop too!)

    Email address is fake to prevent SPAM.
    Real email address is pcyr2000 AT hotmail DOT com
    Change the obvious to the obvious.
    ------------------
    Macs are very user-friendly, and very secure. But they are very pricey, and
    of no use to power users. Plus, most software isn't written for mac. And
    you can't configure them as much, hardware and software.
    I'm glad you don't make the decisions. I hate terrorists, but we can't go
    around killing people. Lock them up, and throw away the key. Of course,
    this is a very conterversial issue, so let's not get into that.
    It's their choice wheather to update or not. That statement is just
    ignorant. Plus, Updates are there for a reason. My computer ran smoother
    after installing SP1
    Good for you. As well, they go after Windows because they were written for
    windows. Why? Because most people use Windows, so it'll infect more
    people.

    And if Apple is sooo great, then why does MS have to give them money to keep
    them in business.
     
    PCyr, Aug 22, 2003
    #16
  17. Steve

    PCyr Guest

    Big issue. The fact is, just like with counterfeit money, people find ways
    to get around the security issues.

    --
    Check out http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com for amazing tweaks and fixes

    Member of "Newsgroups are for everyone" (Perdita X. Twitt is a
    self-appointed, self-righteous, ruthless, bitchy net-cop too!)

    Email address is fake to prevent SPAM.
    Real email address is pcyr2000 AT hotmail DOT com
    Change the obvious to the obvious.
    ------------------
     
    PCyr, Aug 22, 2003
    #17
  18. Steve

    kurttrail Guest

    That's why even MS uses Akamai Linux servers to protect their web site
    from DoS attacks! LOL!

    I guess MS is protecting their web site with your mother-in-law's farts!

    --
    Peace!
    Kurt
    Self-anointed Moderator
    microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
    http://microscum.kurttrail.com
    "Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
    "Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei!"
     
    kurttrail, Aug 22, 2003
    #18
  19. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Not to mention the folks who buy a brand-new XP system, then have to
    spend hours downloading updates on a dialup connection.
     
    Steve, Aug 22, 2003
    #19
  20. Steve

    EGMcCann Guest

    Which models? For what most people *really* do, an eMac (starting at $799)
    would work perfectly. iBook ($999) if you needed mobility.
    "Most software" being... ? Games? I'll give you that, though that's getting
    better. Anti virus utilities? MS Office... no, wait, that's on the Mac. Of
    course, for what most people do, the included Appleworks does fine. And IIRC
    reads Office formats.
    But do you really NEED to? More RAM. Sure. Hard drives? Sure. The PowerMacs
    are easy to open and get into - and aimed at the professional. The iMac and
    eMac are aimed at the home/casual user, and are closer to the "computer
    appliance."
    Ummm... they don't. Why did they give them money before (and get non voting
    stock?) PR. One time. Over five years ago. And in the overall scheme of
    things - it *wasn't* that much. The original iMac really turned things
    around for them.
     
    EGMcCann, Aug 22, 2003
    #20
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