The Automatic Downloads Syndrome Strikes Again. Care to explain, Microsoft?
A new batch of automatic downloads found its way onto users' computers. The first wave of complaints regarded mysterious changes made to the Microsoft Update service, while a second one inquired about the sudden installation of Windows Desktop Search. Microsoft tries to explain.
October 30, 2007
“OneCare is built for people who don't want to worry about protecting and maintaining their PC,” wrote the representative of the Windows Live OneCare team. Therefore, important updates will be automatically installed, whether the user likes it or not:
“When you first install Windows Live OneCare, setup informs you that if you choose to proceed your computer settings will be changed to automatically download and install important updates from Microsoft Update (a Microsoft service that provides software updates for Windows components and other Microsoft programs). You may still choose whether or not to install recommended and optional updates.”
Things get a little more complicated with the Windows Desktop Search (WDS) issue and Microsoft's explanations tend to be confusing. Bobbie Harder, programme manager for Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), writes:
“As you know, Windows Desktop Search was published last February 07, as an optional update that was only applicable to systems which had WDS previously installed. Then on Tuesday of this week we revised that update package to be applicable (but still optional) to Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1+ systems which did not have WDS installed. Unfortunately, in revising this update, the decision to re-use the same update package had unintended consequences to our WSUS customers. Namely many of you who had approved the initial update package for a limited number of machines, had Tuesdays' WDS revision 105 automatically install on all clients because of the expanded applicability scope and because by default, WSUS is set to automatically approve update revisions. “
Harder added that the distribution of the Windows Desktop Search through WSUS had been temporarily suspended, with the current package being available only through the Microsoft Download Center. He also provided instructions on how to uninstall WDS update revision.