Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Opinion: Microsoft WU like a House-breaker's Jemmy

Microsoft is at it again. The company has pushed an update through Windows Update which silently, without user consent, installs two browser extensions. Without asking the user, and without any indications, update KB982217, installs two browser extensions - one for Internet Explorer, one for Firefox...

Ars Technica installed the update on a test system where the Windows Live Toolbar was installed for Internet Explorer only - yet, the Firefox extension was installed as well. While there are no direct security threats, there are several alarming problems with this.

  • One, the update description doesn't describe what it does or what's affected.
  • Two, Firefox is not a Microsoft product is not Microsoft's property and should not be updated via Windows Update
  • Three why is it installing extensions for Firefox that the user hasn't chosen?
  • Four, this shows a blatant disregard by Microsoft for other people's property and while there isn't a legal equivalent in software for breaking and entering there should be.
Then again, I don't use windows, so there.  RC

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