MS: For your protection

Vista’s on my main machine. For what it’s worth, it isn’t nearly as buggy as people seem to think. I’ve been reluctant to make the upgrade until 7 has been pushed along farther, and may decide to not make that transition.

And because it is necessary, I run Windows Update. But Update has, for the last few weeks, been pushing me to install “Office Genuine Advantage Notifications” as an “Important” update. While it may be important to Microsoft, it is utterly unimportant to me. I’m supposed to download it because it will tell me if my copy of Office is pirated. I really don’t care too much. It’s the copy the university provided and given our university, I’m pretty sure it is a duly licensed copy.

But, given past experience, I don’t trust Microsoft to adequately judge whether it is or is not properly licensed. And really all of this comes down to trust. Microsoft doesn’t trust me as a user, and frankly, I don’t have a lot of trust in it as a software provider. And not just because of things like the Spy Guide, but because they seem to have a habit of “fixing” their software with things that make it worse.

Moreover, I don’t like the premise. If they think I’m a pirate, then go after me legally. Don’t assume I’m guilty and force me into the “if you aren’t guilty why not just let us look through your computer” trap.

Unfortunately, after scanning the net a bit, I don’t see any way to get update to ignore this bit of crap. My choice then is to be annoyed by it or get rid of Windows Update. In other words, MS has managed to make its software interfere with my productivity, and as a result, I’m forced to make it less secure. Maybe they should spend more time making good software–things I’d actually want to install–rather than bad software to bug me to install more bad software to let them know if I’ve stolen any bad software.

(Oh, and to provide a quick shortcut for expected comments. I have and do use Linux but it has its own problems. And yes, OS X is better, but it only runs–well & legally–on overpriced Mac hardware. But MS is quickly falling from its “best of all evils” position.)

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One Comment

  1. m7aamd
    Posted 3/22/2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post!!

    I agree that Microsoft updates sometime kill the system. A month ago, my laptop crashed because of Microsoft updates. I spent almost the whole day trying to recover it. My wife’s laptops crashed at the same day and from the same updates.

    I agree also with the notion that the updates are not doing any better to windows system. In my case, each time extensive windows update happens, my laptop becomes slower and slower.

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