As Windows Secrets' Scott Spanbauer reports, even some folks who've set Windows Update to not install patches without their explicit approval found themselves on the wrong end of an IE8 or other updates they didn't want.
Windows XP and Vista have started installing updates at shutdown, in certain cases, without displaying a warning or requesting permission, according to reports by several readers. The forced-install behavior has been witnessed at least three times by Windows Secrets editors, but Microsoft says its procedure for Automatic Updates hasn't changed in the last 10 months.
Microsoft can't explain why this might be happening, though Spanbauer theorizes it may have something to do with the record number of updates MSFT issued earlier this month, which overwhelmed the company's servers. This may have caused some updates to not fully download, which in the past has caused problems with update notifications. As S.S. notes:
At this point, I'm unable to make the behavior reproducible or demonstrate the exact conditions under which forced installs occur. Until a better explanation of the aberrant update behavior is provided, however, I'm calling it an unpatched bug.
At this point, my thoughts on Microsoft browsers are well known (and alternately loathed or lauded). But what bugs me isn't IE8's security holes -- it's the performance suck. I've never gotten a Microsoft browser to perform as nimbly as Firefox or Chrome; opening more than a handful of tabs turns my computer into a mastodon stuck in the tar pits. And I'm not alone. Reader Charlene says:
I’m about to switch back to IE7 on one of my computers. It's an older computer with only 1GB of memory. IE8 creates a separate process for EACH tab. After opening my normal 5 windows with 6-12 tabs each... oops, didn’t get to the 4th window. IE8 hung. Have to reboot... Now I have to turn OFF the computer because it won’t shut down on its own.
Exactly. Of course, your mileage may vary. But one of my favorite definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time. I've had the same experience with every Microsoft browser since IE3.
I may occasionally go a little crazy, but I'm not nuts.
OK, have at it. Tell me all about your deep love or loathing of Microsoft -- good, bad, ugly, or indifferent -- by posting below or dropping me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.