back to article More gnashing of teeth after Microsoft update brings PCs to a standstill

This story was updated on Thursday 25th October 2007 23:21 to add comment from Microsoft. Something seems to have gone horribly wrong in an untold number of IT departments on Wednesday after Microsoft installed a resource-hogging search application on machines company-wide, even though administrators had configured systems not …


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  1. yeah, right.
    Gates Horns

    That'll teach them.

    Lie down with shit covered elephants and you're not going to be happy. That's basically what's happening to these people. They have put ALL their eggs into the basket of a company that has repeatedly shown they really don't give a damn about their customers, only about their profits. These idiots have only themselves (or their pointy haired management) to blame.

    I can't help but wonder if this "search engine" isn't reporting things back to MS if it finds "pirated" software? ie: software for which Microsoft hasn't been paid, regardless of who actually created said software.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr yeah, right.

    Hey Genious, you really think they'd be able to handle that much information? Seriously, 90% of the market reporting back to MS? No one can handle that much bandwidth....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Whatever happened to support packs?

    I think MS needs to go back to releasing support packs on a supposedly regular schedule. Updates to the windows update service can be put in a support pack instead of silently installed. If you want to use windows update, you have to be at a certain support pack level.

    Corporations can test the SP before putting it in their environment. Security patches can still be released quickly via windowsupdate. And-big bonus-when you install a new windows machine you don't have to spend 12 hours online with dozens of security holes on your machine until you can get all the security patches installed and reboot (of course) a dozen times.

    I hear Vista Sp1 is due out eventually. Why not XP SP3? Let's rollup all those security fixes, test them, and then release it!

  4. John Folken Wolf

    Re: Whatever happened to support packs?

    fyi, XP SP3 will be rolled out in Q1 2008, bout same time as Vista's SP1

  5. Tim Bates


    I wonder if that "update" hit any of my boxes... Or the ones at the places I work. I hope not.

    I agree with the first part "Yeah right" said. Trusting a company that's only interested in profits is bad. They are becoming more and more arrogant towards customers, and couldn't care less about problems with their software or their ways.

  6. Quinnum


    " that's only interested in profits..."

    Ummm.... So you think companies are made to benefit mankind? No, they are made to make money for the owners.

  7. Chris C

    re: yeah, right

    I'm so sick and tired of your kind. People like you are constantly blaming the users when MS does something like this, saying stuff like "Well it's your fault for using Windows". Contrary to what you probably believe, most companies use Windows because that's what's required by the software they need. The software simply isn't available for your precious Linux or Mac. I'll be the first to admit it's a catch-22 situation. Most vendors won't write for Linux/Mac until they have more market share, and companies can't switch to Linux/Mac until their software runs on it. But don't try to make it out like Linux/Mac is the answer to everything. Most software packages, especially industry-specific (read: high cost and most important) software packages, are Windows-only. And while the company *CAN* choose to say "No, we'll go with Linux/Mac instead, even though it doesn't run the software we need, so it'll be completely bloody pointless", it's usually not a good idea. It's about using the required tool for the job. If I'm trying to screw in a slotted screw, I'm not going to grab a philips-head screwdriver or a socket wrench.

    Now, are there a lot of FOSS software packages out there that can be used in place of some proprietary software? Of course there are. But don't try to make it look like all proprietary (or otherwise Windows-only) software has a FOSS (or otherwise Linux/Mac-capable) equivalent, because it doesn't. And until it does, those companies that require that software will be stuck with Windows.

  8. Steve Roper
    Gates Horns

    That's called malware.

    Software that installs silently without the user's knowledge or consent, and even if the user explicitly denies permission? There's a term for that in this industry: I believe it's known as "malware". Or, as Google & Co would have it, "badware."

    Maybe Google should redirect search results pointing to to the warning page instead. After all, this behaviour is in direct violation of's guidelines, specifically:

    Section I Para 2;

    Section II Para A;

    Section III Paras A, B, D, F, and G.

    Maybe it's time Google applied the same rules to Microsoft as it does to all other websites with apps it classes as "badware". Microsoft need a decent kick up the bum and Google's the only bunch with the boots big enough to do it.

  9. yeah, right.

    @ Coward

    Are you really that stupid, or do you just play one online?

    Sample exchange:

    PC: I'd like to download the next patch please, now that Microsoft has closed off the only viable alternative.

    MSUpdate: OK. Please send details on current system.

    PC: No problem. I did a full search and found the following (2k compressed file)

    MSUpdate: Thanks. IP address tracked, system serial number tracked, drive content list stored. Here's your update (10Gb)

    If they have the bandwidth to handle all the updates in the first place, how much extra do you really think it would take to do what I've suggested they could, Mr. Coward?

    Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't already doing it.

  10. David Wilkinson
    Gates Horns

    12 hours? sounds like you need Autopatcher.

    I'll skip the obvious rant against MS and just say something useful.

    Autopatcher XP is a 3rd party bundle of all the post SP2 updates with an installer that can be fully configured and automated. Also versions for Vista, 2000, Media Center....

    After 4 years MS suddenly decides to crush them in a manner that angered tens of thousands of computer geeks.

    Luckily the new version will ship with no MS patches, and will instead update its self from MS download servers.

    Also the August 2007 release is still on the mirror sites.

  11. gollux

    Answer's simple folks.

    Don't auto authorize patches and updates on your WSUS server. Saw this come through on the synch, declined it, no worries.

  12. Stuart

    The first rule of updates..... surely to test them before rolling them out?

    Or, alternatively, you trust implicitly the software vendor (whomever that may be) not to completely hose your systems.......and then live, or have to deal, with the consequences.

  13. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    This is all BULLSHIT, who wrote this? Steve Jobs?

    I administer as the Dir of IT, over 18,000 PC and a few Macs (that's all that are left) at a major school district in California. We have seen ZERO problems after the update, NONE on Windows XP, 2003 or Vista PC's ! I think those numbers (over 18,000) versus the paltry number this stories so-called "journalist" reporter quotes speaks for it's self ..... this story is BULLSHIT.

    Frankly, I see this as a anti MS story plant by Apple PR or by an Mac zealot media writer.

    With the few Macs we have left after YEARS of bugs, flaws, prematurely dead Logic Boards amongst other costly hardware failures, we have MORE problems after nearly every Apple OS X update that we ever have with our 18,000 plus Windows boxes.

    You know what we call Macs? Just another PC Clone, but with a much more flaky OS at twice the price of a Win PC.

  14. Grahame
    Gates Horns


    I wondered why my PC asked me if I wanted to install updates before shutting down. I certainly didn't download any!

  15. lansalot


    Perhaps these WSUS admins shouldn't be so asleep at the switch as to roll out to their whole user base without adequate testing?

    Just a thought...

  16. Luke Reid


    I'm at Rhodes University in South Africa, and its installed itself on every single workstation in the university. 90% of the machines don't have anything saved locally worth searching...!

    This is absolutely insane.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: yeah, right

    MS have consistently been pretty easy on pirated software, including the scheme of getting a legit copy free if you tell them about the source. If you're that paranoid do a netstat after the update installs and monitor how much bandwidth you're using. Of course there's no way that they could do this anyway, considering how many different versions of MS software there is. Think about all the updates to Vista already, you'd need some sort of index of ALL the patched software so far with the filesizes and a checksum, I can't see another way of checking if software is pirated or not.

  18. Joe M

    Hear, hear!!!

    Chris C you are 100% correct. Add the fact that there are many business applications for which Windows is a much better platform than current Linux + GUI anyway.

    Before anyone flames me: I use both Windows and Linux and program both of them down to the driver/kernel level. Each is good and bad in their own way and I'm glad that they are both around giving me a richer choice. Horses for courses, as they say.

    Have to go now. New kernel build.... (and an MS security patch just popped up....)

  19. hans-peter carpenter



    lol - of course there is not, but this company thinks their customers are theirs forever and it reacts the way it likes - no other company could afford to do that.

    @Chris C

    Well, if you are in a situation where you can tell one or more software providers that you need it to run on that specific platform, then YOU MUST TELL THEM, otherwise IT IS YOUR FAULT! Who is even trying? I believe that there might be a few niche companies that could not start to migrate to linux/mac osx/solaris tomorrow, but MOST could! It would have been even easier had they not put all their eggs into one basket! I have been busy with companies migrating to OpenOffice, and their biggest fear was excel macros ... lol A first step before migrating other software to FOSS or platform independent software.

    Migration will become easier, everybody is moving to web interfaces, we develop software and use j2ee with web interface ... we develop for firefox and port to ie!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    Anyone that lets an update service run amok without checking what it's going to install is an idiot. All the Windows update tools, including SMS and WSUS let you dictate exactly what goes on your PCs, similarly Windows Update on the PCs does the same thing themselves. Anyone with a brain knows Desktop Search is a resource hog by default as is anything that does a full text index of disks. Do any of you chumps actually test patches/updates before rolling them out?

    I hate to lower myself to answering some of the rubbish posted above but some of the statements are the kind of pap I'd expect a 14 year old to come out with: "company that's only interested in profits" which is really the first function of capitalism, unless of course you've never bought a computer (don't you know Intel is a workers co-op?) bought a car, been to a supermarket, never bought clothes or any electrical goods - in fact don't you know Microsoft is actually the only for-profit company in the world? Think about that while you're sipping down your Starbucks latte that they sell at a 400% mark-up. With such intellectually bereft thinking no wonder Microsoft can turn you chumps over, every-time.

  21. Rob

    Word game for you

    "Trusting a company that's only interested in profits is bad. They are becoming more and more arrogant towards customers, and couldn't care less about problems with their software or their ways."

    Try and make a sentence with the following:

    Planet, You, On, Do, Live, What

    What company isn't interested in profits (please read carefully before some idiot pips in with a name of a charity and subsequently gets flamed for it).

  22. gareth

    @David Wilkinson

    or you can download the ryanvm patch pack allong with nlite and creat a fully patched unattended install xp cd

    you can set all the settings befor install inside nlite and add drivers for hardware that xp doesn't already have and if you do some readding you can even merge .net ie7 you antivirus and firewall all into one auto install disk

    thats the way to go

  23. paul

    hang on a sec

    where and when was this update released?? i have machines with XP sp2, server 2003 and vista. none of them has recieved this update (not found in add remove programs or in the update history) all machines are up to date. have i seemed to have missed something??!?

  24. b166er

    Quinnum connundrum


    So cavemen went hunting to make money?

    So societies formed to make money?

    All labour is undertaken from a desire to advance mankind.

    Agreed, many companies (and their staff?!) appear to have forgotten that.

    You really SHOULD get out more!

  25. Hugh Cowan
    Gates Horns

    Still using Windows?

    Windows is so 1990s!

  26. Hedley Phillips

    I thought our WSUS would stop this :-(

    I recently installed a WSUS server so that I could control the updates on our network.

    I carefully created a test group of our tertiary systems and a few desktops so that I could approve or decline as per my testing and then role these out to the primary systems.

    Imagine my anger when I see that the desktop search for XP and another for 2003 systems is approved for all groups and has already installed on one of my test machines.

    Luckily I managed to catch it in time and decline for all. There is no way I approved this on Tuesday for all machines without at the very least testing it first.

    What the hell is going on?

  27. Sean Ellis

    I installed it yesterday

    ...thinking it was an update to Windows Search, for which I very deliberately have indexing turned off.

    Here is what I understand about it after a little playing about:

    - You can disable the new search, but if you do, you can't search at all.

    - You cannot turn off indexing, merely pause it for a while.

    - There is no "pause until I turn it back on", only "pause for X amount of time". max(X) = 1 day.

    - It appears that the search requires the index - I have found no fallback to a brute-force search.

    - The indexing status display is unreliable. About 20 minutes after installation, the status was about 4000 indexed, 1000 to go. After 4 hours, it was 17000 indexed, 21000 to go. On the positive side, after the initial day or so of disk grinding, it does seem to have calmed down.

    - For certain (but not all) Powerpoint files, the preview pane takes ages to render the preview, during which time, the UI is entirely unresponsive.

    - Even though Firefox is my default browser, IE is used to preview HTML and other content (e.g. powerpoint files). Luckily, it does at least respect my disabling of ActiveX controls. I know because of the errors it displays.

    - Microsoft's definition of "music files" does not include ogg vorbis, although they do show up if you select "everything".

  28. M


    ...after finding it parked on my desktop when I fired up my work pc, nevertheless it get kicked off via Add/Removed within 2 mins.

    I don't give a feck to any spyware/malware/crapware from microsoft installing on my pc without my consent.

    They need a good smack down soon...

  29. Anonymous Coward

    People in Cloud-Cuckoo Land

    yeah right wrote: "a company that has repeatedly shown they really don't give a damn about their customers"

    Tim Bates wrote: "They are becoming more and more arrogant towards customers"

    These are very odd statements. Perhaps MS don't do exactly what you'd, personally, like them to do, but to suggest they annoy their customers *on purpose* is just plain bizaare. Maybe you don't realise that they get their money from their customers?

  30. Andrew Wood
    Thumb Up

    Unexpected but actually quite good

    Although I too got caught out by the unexpected install of Windows Desktop Search (I assume it got incorrectly flagged as a Critical Update) and had my infrastructure brought to its knees for a while whilst the indexer ran on all the Desktops I look after it is actually quite useful.

  31. Mark

    Quinn says

    "Ummm.... So you think companies are made to benefit mankind? No, they are made to make money for the owners."

    Read the origins of a corporate charter.

    Yes, they ARE supposed to benefit the society that makes them. Just becasuse they are too powerful now to do this doesn't mean they shouldn't have to.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Wondered what that was...

    Was easy enough to get rid of though.

  33. LittleTyke

    Use Windows 98SE!

    I really have no time for those who shunned older OS's for years and continue to suck at the MS teat for continual upgrades. Be like me, reinstate Windows 98SE and never let MS bother you again!

  34. Mark

    It IS your fault Chris C

    Way back in Windows 3.0 days, the company I was working for was using WP for Dos. When we started using Win 3.1 as a corporate desktop system, we standardised on MS Word, etc instead.

    I knew (and said) at the time that buying from the same company the critical applications along with the essential OS to run them gave the company too much power over the company future.

    Didn't listen.

    Now, when Office 97 did everything that was needed, you still bought MS Office 2000. you still upgraded after you found that your VBA business critical add-ons were NOT portable between your 97 and 2k versions of Office (complaining that moving to something else would require retraining and porting your VBA...).

    So yes, it IS your fault. Do something about it or accept that you don't WANT to move off.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dunno if its related but....

    Since the last patch tuesday, my XP home box is utterly useless, the culprit is services.exe, the bastard is using up 100% CPU!!!

    I have installed Ubuntu until this gets magically fixed with SP3. I simply have too many apps installed to think about re-installing doze. I'll wait for Jan 2008.

    In fairness to M$, this is the first thing that has gone wrong with the box since I originally installed it a few years ago. But its a biggie, only for hyperthreaded CPU's, it would be rendered dead as a dodo.

  36. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Didn't install here

    WSUS is used in our modest sized business, but I approve updates before they go on - it's one of the features of WSUS.

    I haven't installed Desktop search (I remember FastFind and I didn't like the idea of Google indexing my drives for me either).

    To my mind you can't blame MS for anything other than creating a processing power soaking application. If you choose to install it blindly that's your issue.

  37. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    @Yeah, Right

    "MSUpdate: Thanks. IP address tracked, system serial number tracked, drive content list stored. Here's your update (10Gb)"

    You really think it's OK that MSFT should know at all times where you are and what is on your hard drive??? Is it out of some sort of macochistic tendencies (not that I find anything wrong with masochists... just not my kind of thing) or is it because you have nothing to hide, so - nothing to fear?

  38. Brent Pickup

    WMP Anti-Trust

    Wouldnt this have similar implications to MS as the WMP Antitrust case? (ie: attempting to increase their market share by forcibly pushing their search product to gain an advantage over a competitor). Sure sounds like a monopoly to me.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @Chris c

    Your uninformed Linux is already used everywhere including data centers and supercomputers there isn't anything important it doesn't have a program to accomplish you are simply talking out your ass.

  40. Rob Stiles

    Apple are less greedy?

    Not. Look how they've locked their iPhone to the Verizon network in the US. Here in the UK they've chosen to do a similar thing with one of the worst networks in this country, no doubt thanks to a generous back-hander from said network.

    I'm assuming you probably are a Mac user rather than a Linux user. In which case you even stuck your hardware eggs in the same basket.

  41. Bill Fresher
    Gates Halo

    Proof of concept.

    First they see what they can sneek onto poeple's machines, then they "update" everyone to Vista.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    What apps are misssing from Linux?

    I am becoming increasingl tired of people saying that Linux doesn't support, or that ISV's haven't written software to run on it.

    For instance, I was using a SAP platinum gui on SuSE more than 4 years ago, is this not classed as expensive?

    With the uptake of Java and Web based access to apps,I fail to see how this argument stands firm any longer.

    - Oh! and by the way, M$ suck eggs. An admin should have complete control over his managed estate, and visibility of every patch/update being applied to it. If M$ continue to treat their customers like this, I really, can't see any future for them, especailly since I just purchase iWork '08 and it seriously rocks, makes Office look like pish.

  43. Richard Hebert

    Mustard with it ?

    The only thing really worrying is that MS really can do anything

    they want with machines that run windows.

    If they can .. what's preventing the NSA and other spying agencies

    of getting in just as discretly as they did and plant software ?

    Or for that matter , disable all microsoft rinning computers in case of

    cyber warfare ?

    Think about it .. it aint all that farfetched ..

  44. Keif Gwinn

    WSUS2 auto-approved it

    I just got back in the office, after a day out and found a machine I was half way through configuring prompting to patch. So I checked it out, and found this... then as I'd never approved any form of Windows Search through our WSUS I checked the settings there.

    It'd been automatically downloaded, and approved for installation on all my machine groups without any intervention by us. If we'd had it set to install patches every night, then I'd now be having to clean it up.

    That's what people should be annoyed about, the fact that MS bypassed the reviewing stage that any serious sysadmin would go through with any changes to their systems. That they took it on themselves that this would be an improvement to hundreds of servers who never have anyone on the console and so never even use it.

    If it had gotten loose, I can imagine it would be currently using a hell of a lot of cycles indexing the TB of data it would now of found.

  45. Anonymous Coward


    I write several large, expensive packages for Nightclubs, Theatres etc I wont say what it does but the investment in hardware for the software is large. In some situations the software needs more resorces than can be provided, and hence a lot is on bleeding edge kit.

    That OSX cant support

    That Linux doesnt Support yet

    That Windows supports NOW

    I see no sane reason why I should be coding for anything other than Windows. I see no reason to rewrite 10 years of code to support a minority OS and my customers are happy with that. There's a Linux port going on out of sheer interest and I have to say its going to take a LONG time. I have no desire to waste my time porting drivers for hardware.

    My sales are small, customer base smaller still and there is no sane way for me to justify the time, effort and expense to do the porting. Especially when the only people that can benefit are going to get shot in the foot with the next hardware upgrade.

    If you are going to take the mickey out of people for using windows bear in mind.

    Its the Dominant OS

    It has the best hardware support

    Its easier to code for

    It has the fastest design cycle for my application

    There is no Hardware Lock-In, I can buy a Dell or get my own hardware.

    Horses for courses. All my servers are Linux so I'm not a Windows Zealot and I'm debating getting a MacBook soon. Flame away about how stupid and blinkered I am

  46. D. M

    @Chris C & Webster P

    I work for a large department, and I'm not talking about a small number of PCs here. I also worked with other big or small companies.

    From what I've seen, it is people like you who give M$ green light to do whatever it wants. you do not need to give in, as customer, M$ should listen to you, not the reverse. Yes, it is your fault.

    It is true that some software are windows only, but most of time, not everyone uses them. Say if only accounting people required windows to do their work, there is no reason why everyone else has to use it too.

    My work is (part of IT division) to support our business system, everything can go wrong will go wrong with M$ software. A lot of the problem are far beyond any reasonable explanation apart form "it is M$".

    When I spoke with our external IT service provider, the only disadvantage they could think to go majority Linux desktop is "users will requires more training", plus they may not be able to mess up their PCs. Well, our average users, will not tell any difference between Windows or a Ubuntu Linux, and since when "user cannot mess up their PCs" a disadvantage?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder....

    This situation makes me think of another in history, which has some uncanny parallels to this situation.

    Many moons ago the US used to have a very healthy industry manufacturing televsions. However, in those early colour/black and white days, the things were quite unreliable. The Japanese started making televsions too, but in the early days, they were also unreliable. Here is what the Americans decided to do - make the televisions have more interchangable parts, easier to service, have better training of technicians, inventory control and service plans. Here is what the Japanese decided to do - make them out of parts that take so long to break down they last a lifetime and eventually effectively become disposable whole units. The US are no longer the world leaders in making TV's.

    Back to Windows. What we have in WSUS, is a super-duper-mega-patching system for the enterprise. Here is what we need - an OS that doesn't NEED this. And if the super-duper-mega-patcher starts messing up, then what?

    Now, before I get flamed - I am a programmer, I know how complicated these things can get in code. However, I can see that this is all just getting worse, rather than better.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aren't monopolies *wonderful*? <3

    This is what you get for helping MS push the competition out of the market. You were the ones flocking to MS in droves. Now you have lost control of your PCs.

    You, dear friends, are stuffed.

  49. Abdul Omar
    Thumb Up

    More FUD from the MS bashers

    Looks like the Linux and Mac PR firms are busy today desperately spreading lies about the greatest computer company that ever existed.

    I have had absolutely no problem at all with Vista.


    Browse the web? No problem. Send email? No problem. Write a grammatically perfect note to the milkman in Microsoft Word 2007? No problem.

    So there you go. THIS IS A NONE ISSUE.

    Even the guy with 18,000 PCs had NO PROBLEM (except for his Macs of course but what else could you expect).

    Oh if you want to steal someone's IP then I daresay you may experience a little difficulty.

    But if you are honest like most of us you will have NO PROBLEM.

  50. Anonymous Coward


    People are saying that people shouldn't just let WSUS run and roll out patches without double checking. However it does seem odd that Local Search seems to have been grabbed by WSUS and flagged automatically for installation - without intervention by the Administrator.

    Forget all the fucking arguments about Linux or Windows or Macs - it is getting rather pathetic to see every discussion turn into "My OS is brilliant, yours is a pile of crap".. its getting extremely boring and frankly is dragging the whole of The Register down to the rest of the IT news sites which are full of fanbois of all persuasions who have NOTHING useful to say

    What the hell is going on when a NON-CRITICAL bolt on is apparently flagged for automatic installation ... surely THAT is the question here and can ANYONE explain why this is apparently acceptable or allowable?

  51. Colin Morris

    Don't approve automatically in WSUS 3

    As a sys admin I made sure that WSUS 3 only approves Critical updates and update definitions for our computers at work.

    Thankfully, this mean that Desktop Search had no chance of installing on all our computers without my knowledge.

    If all sys admins check the WSUS options properly then unexpected installations would not happen in an environment 'supposedly' controlled by a WSUS server. I have to admit that though that M$ are completely and utterly wrong to force this ridiculous Desktop Search business on non-domain computers that simply have automatic updates turned on.


  52. Anonymous Coward

    AN indexing service from Microsoft which slows everything down...

    Sounds like Microsoft Office Find Fast all over again...

  53. Ted Treen
    Jobs Halo


    Phreaky, old man. Good to see you back and on predictable form. Please make sure you don't get TOO excited, or your nursie might have to administer some of that nasty medicine again........

  54. John

    The general plan is..... slow everyones PC's down. Every update and my XP box gets slower, there is now a random 30 second wait on after I login where the PC does nothing before its innards get busy. This is pure conjecture, but I think that one in every few "security" updates actually tells the CPU to miss a cycle in every 1000 or so.

    Gradually people will come to realise that their PC isn't the mutts nuts they thought it was 2 years ago and go for new one, scratching Intels back, and actually selling copies of Vista.

    Conversely, when I'm booted into Linux, where I do my actual work (XP is for Fifa and GTA), the latest updates in the scheduling system in the kernel actually make my PC run faster!!

  55. D. M
    Black Helicopters


    You have no idea how real world works.

    Do you know why Webster ("the guy with 18000 PC") had no problem? Because people at that level has no idea what the real world looks like, and they won't listen anyway. So they think everything is perfect, if there is anything goes wrong, it is the "worker". Often, even they know their ideas won't work, they will push it anyway, because they are so used to order "small people". Everything for them "will work out", as long as they bully enough. Most knowledgeable people won't waste time with them, since there is no hope for so called management to do the right thing.

    You have no idea how ill informed and f*cked up the top management are. They take 110% credit if things work; they take absolutely zero responsibility if things don't work; they only listen what they want to hear; and try to tell them they are wrong - don't even think about it.

  56. stalker


    My LAN is configured to use WSUS to download and install only crticical security patches, which is what is essential on the LAN to plug the holes (for the user who wanted an OS that didn't need patching, does that mean he wants the hackers to quit finding exploits and M$ to stop developing components and applications to hopefully improve them?)

    Yes M$ are bad people, yes they have the monopoly on OS's, but at the end of the day 90% of my failures/problems are either user error or hardware failure. The other 10% tend to be application based, rather than OS based. I like windows, its a good OS for the most part, it does have its limitations, true, but it keeps me in a job and lets me play my games/steal movies/watch porn/share my inner ramblings with teh world at home.

    we use Linux at work for our DB servers, and W2K3 for file/print/mail/web serving and desktops. Our workshop has a broad range of IT experience, from Linux specialists, Cisco gurus and the humble M$ MCP's, but at the end of the day the glue that holds it all together is my desktop machine, running windows XP Pro and office 2003...its where I spend my days sitting and working, and in the two years I've been here I can't crib it tbh.

    Surely the moral of the story shouldn't be that M$ are evil, its that LAN admins should test their downloads, configure WSUS/patching correctly, and do their jobs better, rather than blaming M$ because a patch slipped through their system?????

  57. Daniel


    The bad thing I hate about AutoUpdate in vista, is that its configured to do it all automatically as a default feature. And once done brings a pop up stating you need to restart.

    But if your running a full screen game, the popup drops you out of it, and most times cant get back in to what your were doing and lose time that you might as well spent on drinking or women.

  58. The March Hare


    I just checked my primary WSUS server & I see that WDS (windows Desktop Search) V2.6.5, 2.6.6 & 3.0.1 are all classed as plain "updates" & are all set as "no approval set" - meaning that I don't have to worry about it springing up when I'm not expecting it - is someone being a little cavalier with the auto-approval thingy?

  59. Stuart Andersen

    Re: More FUD from the MS bashers

    > Write a grammatically perfect note to the milkman in Microsoft Word 2007? No problem.

    > So there you go. THIS IS A NONE ISSUE.

    Maybe you should use Word 2007 for forum postings as well. Or, maybe you did, but it accepted "NONE ISSUE" instead of "NON-ISSUE"?

    Besides, for a single user machine there may not be a problem, but when you have thousands of machines accessing the network file system it will cause trouble.

  60. Yuri

    Hey, that's not Microsoft's fault!

    It's one's because one should have the latest computer with full the machine's ram capacity no matter what it costs

  61. myxiplx

    FUD? where?

    Loving the comments from a couple of the MS supporters here; "I have no problems so nobody else can either".

    Nice world you live in there. Try not to get your ego stuck in the door on your way out....

    Here in the real world, I'll be taking the steps to ensure wsus doesn't push this patch to our client machines.

  62. Tony
    Paris Hilton


    "Hey Genious, you really think they'd be able to handle that much information? Seriously, 90% of the market reporting back to MS? No one can handle that much bandwidth...."

    Surely no more than the traffic they must get when people report applications crashing on Windows... ;)

  63. Adam Onesti

    Specialist software and MS

    I am amazed at the vitriol pouring at Chris C for his statement. Its almost like some of you have taken personal offence.

    I'm sorry guys though, Chris C speaks the truth, for a lot of business use specialist software you cant get the equivalent in Linux. Its not just the programme either, its the support contract and everything else that entails with the providing company.

    We're currently reviewing our software, we're an insurance broker in the UK, and there is no available mainstream, supported and proven software available that does not run on Windows. Nothing. Its not just the software availability that's an issue but the professionalism and support contracts given by the supplying software vendor.

    I think to suggest there is shows a naivety about business software requirements in some business sectors. Yes you can the general stuff on Linux, and a lot of the big boys stuff, but that's not what a lot of business actually need to run. Each sector has its specialist software vendors (for Insurance in the UK its companies like Sirius, SSP, Acturis, Insurecom, etc.) and its this piece of software that makes the business, and its this software that is not available outside of Windows.

    Finally, if you demand a Linux version (as someone suggested) they'll happily tell you to piss off. They don't care about it, don't want to support it and don't want to spend the time or effort to create it...

  64. Robert Hill


    I started in desktop computing before there WAS an MS-DOS. Did early commercial programming in CP-M for the Z-80. I've used Unix, Macs, Apple IIs, Ohio Scientifics, PETs, DEC 2020s, IBM SP-2 supercomputers, AT&T B32s, you name it...

    Know what? Windows works. And well enough, for the majority of people.

    I installed Ubuntu 7.10 this weekend - on a clean disk, off a verified ISO, on my existing desktop machine. Booted into interactive mode off the install CD, selected the disk partition application, made two new partitions (one for swap, natch), and then executed the partition. The app then went to check the partitions - and crashed!

    Huh. I can't think of the last time I went to set up a clean Windows box and the install ITSELF failed or crashed.

    Then there is the software. I like MIDI and synth, so I decided to sample some of the suggested music apps: stuff like Hydrogen, Freeborn, etc. Know what? Some of it is OK, and most of it is free as in beer, but absolutely crappy compared to commercial applications that run under Windows. Freebirth is a spin on the commercial Re-birth commercial synth, and it has 5% of the features, and the WORST user interface known to man. Hydrogen has a great interface, works well, and...has TERRIBLE audio quality. Pops, snaps...sounds like breakfast cereal. No way you could make a usable recording from this. (tbh, ZynAddSubFX synth does work well, but is a basic FM synth - at least I know the audio problems above are not hardware related!). And the MIDI ALSAConnect application has such a garbage interface (and no help!) that I can't even figure out how to actually specify a link between sources.

    So, I decided to dj a bit...downloaded the Ultramixer commercial app demo, and installed the .jar. Works perfectly...except that it can't see load ANY of my music that exist on my NTFS partitions...even though everything else can. So, I can either move a few gigs of music into my ext2 partition, or...load Ultramixer under Windows. (Or scrap Windows entirely, but then where would I run good synth software?).

    So...I like Linux, and am pretty impressed overall with Ubuntu 7.10. But give up Windows entirely? It just doesn't make the case really...doesn't impress me as being totally there yet (a conclusion I reluctantly reached two years ago the LAST time I tried to convince myself to move to desktop Linux as well).

    TBH, I think I am leaning towards installing VMWare under Linux, and running everything as a virtual that I can switch back and forth as I want, when I want without needing to see GRUB.

    And lastly, for the fanbois - MS doesn't hate it's customers. It just makes mistakes the same as ANY business does, and any technical development group does. Even some of it's policies are sometimes the decision of one lone manager who needs to make a fast decision, and can make the wrong one. Or one guy in Testing and QA, who had a fight with his wife and signed off the wrong module. It happens, its part of adult life. Deal with it, m'kay? It's no worse that the bugs and crashes that affect CCP's software, and make my online life in Eve so interesting...or are you saying that a bunch of gaming programmers hate their customers too? Of course not. People just aren't perfect...

  65. T. O'Hara

    "most companies use Windows because" they are stupid

    In all the companies I have worked for (6 to date) almost everyone uses their computer to create documents/spreadsheets/presentations/project plans/web browsing/wasting time and other administration activities. None of them need Windows and use it only because they don't know any better.

    I EDA software which I was only available for Unix systems in the early days but when Windows brought along cheaper alternatives I started using them. I now need Windows only for EDA. Everything else I use Linux.

    So save some money and teach all your admin people Open Office, next thing you know Microsoft might actually go back to designing software that we want.

  66. Thomas Swann


    ... it took, what? 10 seconds for this to degenerate into Windows vs Linux?


  67. Andy

    You get what you sign up for

    The way I see it, if these IT departments didn't want an OS that is completely controlled by a different company (i.e. MS), they wouldn't have bought Windows. MS's practices have been well-known for a long time, but IT departments everywhere act surprised when MS does something like this.

    To every IT department who's dealing with this: I just want you to know that your money went to pay for MS to develop this system which is now causing you so much trouble. If you didn't want them to do this to you, you have had every opportunity to choose a different platform. This is a company that has proven time and again that it will screw over its users; if you like giving such a company complete control over your software (and implicitly, your network), by all means, keep buying Windows! You are getting exactly what you paid for -- control by the mothership in Redmond. Don't like it? Don't buy it. Don't want it anymore? Go get something else. I'm not going to feel an ounce of pity for a company that gets what they bought.

    Before the trolls go to work on this post, let me point out that I have neither bashed the technical merits of Windows nor lauded any other platform as being better.

  68. elder norm

    @webster Phreaky

    You are such an MS troll. I love reading your rants. Of course I know that you are a troll so I do not even try to believe them. :-)

    "Frankly, I see this as a anti MS story plant by Apple PR or by an Mac zealot media writer.

    With the few Macs we have left after YEARS of bugs, flaws, prematurely dead Logic Boards amongst other costly hardware failures, we have MORE problems after nearly every Apple OS X update that we ever have with our 18,000 plus Windows boxes."

    While I have read stories from Apple fans, I have never seen as much BS as I have seen coming from MS trolls/fanboys. !! Yes, I totally believe you (LOL) that you have never had problems with MS and PC systems. All those tales of woe that I have read on MS blog websites are just junk. :-) Ballmer tells me that MS is great so I must believe him (or get hit by a flying chair).

    "The revelation that Microsoft is pushing yet more installations not explicitly agreed to by administrators is not likely to sit well with this same vocal contingent. Redmond may want to don the asbestos suits now."

    "Why now? Why this update?" (sort of from legally blond) LoL

    "Yep, at Redmond, its business as usual. You guys that have locked into MS are just stuck. You would have to totally change your systems. You will never do that. We have spent years programming software to make it impossible to do that. :-) Just sit back and enjoy the ride...... er sort of. " :-)


  69. Mark Broadhurst
    Gates Halo

    Found it!

    Windows Desktop Search 3.01 for Windows XP (KB917013)

    Download size: 4.7 MB , less than 1 minute

    Windows Desktop Search (WDS) 3.01 helps you to find, preview, and use your documents, e-mail, music, photos, and other items. On an upgrade from previous versions, you may need to rebuild your index. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Details...

    Don't show this update again

    found under "Optional software updates" which again isnt installed on any of my PC's this doesnt seem that widespread could it just be linux fan boys not knowing how to configure WUS ?

  70. Mark Broadhurst
    Gates Halo

    A quality scarmongering article.

    Well I've got auto updates on and I havent got it, I havent manually installed it and theres no sign also I think more than one company should be complianing.

    Is it more likely you have no idea how to configure you WUS ?

  71. Adam Starkey

    re: Word game for you

    "What company isn't interested in profits (please read carefully before some idiot pips in with a name of a charity and subsequently gets flamed for it).


    I think what he said was:

    "Trusting a company that's only interested in profits is bad. They are becoming more and more arrogant towards customers, and couldn't care less about problems with their software or their ways."

    Please read carefully before you act like an idiot and pip in with a pointless snide comment. You may be particularly interested in the use of the word "only" in the quote above. I.E. the question is not whether a company is interested in profit (healthy), but rather whether they are *only* interested in profit (very unhealthy)


  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's obsession with searching

    What is it with microsoft and searching, Indexing enabled by default, and now this.

    Who wants disk thrashing and wasted resourses, I mean really how often do you actually perform a search?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Antitrust anyone?

    Didnt take microsoft to go back to their old tricks now did it?

    Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

    Bungle, Bundle, Break (new markets)

  74. Paul
    Thumb Up

    Agreed, @myxiplx

    "Loving the comments from a couple of the MS supporters here; 'I have no problems so nobody else can either'.

    Nice world you live in there. Try not to get your ego stuck in the door on your way out...."

    Agree 100%. I see this a lot with the people who claim that Microsoft can do no wrong. (That said I also I see it happen with Mac and Linux folks too, and I know that while they blow Windows out of the water on reliability, they are by no means perfect themselves.)

    Perhaps the "I have no problems" people are the lucky ones who got the random install that wasn't messed up, or their definition of "no problems" is a lot looser than most, or maybe all they ever run on the thing is Minesweeper, Solitaire and a screensaver. Or maybe they're MS astroturfers and everything they say is BS/FUD.

    I even had it happen once, with Windows ME of all things, that I installed a system and it ran beautifully. It's the only Windows box I ever saw which had no notable problems. Around the same time I bought a laptop which also had (pre-installed) ME, and it was already at cruft force 5 by the time I'd finished booting it for the first time.

    If Windows was so bloody perfect, it wouldn't have the reputation it's had for most of it's life. If Vista was so flawless, people who have no religious devotion to one OS or the other (some of whom don't even know there *are* other OSes) would not be raising stink about how bad it is. Yet in all that, some people are going to be fortunate enough to not have problems. It's random that way. Which kind of disturbs me a little, now I think about it.

  75. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Software not available for linux

    Anyone got a clear spec for this unavailable software?

    How much is it worth to you and your competitors?

    Got a sample support contract?

    A new open source project will not have the tested and proven track record you require, but five years from now when Vista2 is a real threat you will wish you had published your requirements.

  76. Kensho_Admin


    Guys, I haven't even seen this update on my WSUS Server, and I just synchronized manually about 10 minutes ago. This just goes to show that you really need to spend some time configuring it so you don't get unwanted crap like WDS. I have WSUS set to only download "security" and "critical" updates. Since I am not getting WDS here, I doubt that it is being categorized as either one.

    Beyond that, I suspect that the people who had the update automatically approved for install need to uncheck "Automatically approve updates for installation using the following rule: " under the "Approve for Installation" setting. I have never had any patch automatically approved for installation. You could also create a "Test" group in WSUS and change the rule to approve for that group, if you are extra paranoid. Then don't put any computers in that group, or only ones that you'd like to hose if you are an evil-admin.

  77. teacake

    @Anonymous Coward

    "Your uninformed Linux is already used everywhere including data centers and supercomputers there isn't anything important it doesn't have a program to accomplish you are simply talking out your ass."

    Are you trying to say that Master Of Orion 2 isn't important?

  78. Mark

    Adam Onesti

    "I am amazed at the vitriol pouring at Chris C for his statement. Its almost like some of you have taken personal offence."

    Hey, CHris C STARTED IT.


    He whinged that he didn't like being told it was his fault.

    That was a vitriolic attack (or at least as much as the responses were to him).

    Tough titty, it IS his fault. Not completely, but enough that he can't complain about people telling him to TRY.

  79. Mark

    To T O Hara

    "In all the companies I have worked for (6 to date) almost everyone uses their computer to create documents/spreadsheets/presentations/project plans/web browsing/wasting time and other administration activities. None of them need Windows and use it only because they don't know any better."

    No, they use it to create Word Documents. Excel SpreadSheets (with VBA). PowerPoint Slides and look at their IE-only intranet.

    A little forethought would have them creating documents, etc. But when all that matters is the quaterly report, the five-year-plan is all about how you get your workers to change, not how your decisions will change the company.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they send someone to remove it from my PC

    As per norm MS will send everyone instructions or some tool to remove it. But I dont see why I must fix something someone else broke. If plumber brakes your boiler you dont pay and dispute it untill they send someone out to fix it.

    They can send some money to everyone for the bad service they bought into aswell as a free of charge engineer to remove it. No instead we will see some unknow org send MS a fine and all the people who suffred will not see a penny. All the paper and blogs will report this so you can feel a little better about it.

    Just my 2 cents on this.


  81. Alex
    Thumb Down


    I use WSUS, and had previously approved Windows Desktop Search in the hope and understanding that it would not go and install itself willy-nilly on every machine but update existing manually installed copies. Until the 24th, this was the case.

    On the morning of the 24th itself I had noticed that an update to WDS had been downloaded (and auto-approved since it was an update to an already approved update - something I am happy with) but instead of doing what it had previously (only updating those who already have it) it wanted to install on all machines. I had to quickly change it back to not approved before anyone else had installed it.

    Microsoft definitely have made a change for the worse with this particular product.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ all the flaming fanboys

    Don't you think debating the topic in hand might be more productive than trying to claim that virtually every buisness could switch to 100% linux if they wanted to, and everyone is just being stupid and lazy?

    That's the sort of language that makes you look like a university student, or maybe a young IT admin for a small buisness. Not that there's anything wrong with either, but you really dont have the experience or knowledge to make sweeping statements about how most buisnesses could switch to linux if they wanted to. The real world ain't like that folks.

    As a side note, in my current position I am one of the lucky few who can (and do) run solely linux and unix. its nice. but i would never pretend its the norm.

  83. Rob

    @Adam Starkey

    Indeed a good point and your right that is what the poster said, which is why I quoted it.

    I was obviously not clear enough about my point, which was, nowadays it's more of a surprise to find a company that's keen on turning a good profit balanced against good customer service etc.

    Which in an ideal world should be the other way round, should we not be surprised when we come across a company that doesn't give a shit about it's customers and is only interested in profits.

    I just find it funny that people still expect a lot nowadays from companies when it's already been evidenced that profit is more of a driver than anything else.

    Hence the reason I added the remark about charities, as they seem to be the only people that work for the sole reason of providing a good service, which is as it should be.

    As someone else mentioned, maybe in the origins of a company charter once, but alot of people seemed to have forgotton it a long time ago.

    Your call (notice how I refrained from name calling, you numpty... DOH!)

  84. Don Mitchell

    Desktop and Toolbar Apps

    I hate applications that try to crawl the file system, and MS Desktop Search is only one of many. The Nero DVD burning software installed a search program that went out looking for media, Yahoo and Google installed tools that sometimes slayed my machine by searching your files.

    I don't install anybody's "desktop" or "toolbars" now, and that has improved performance on the browser and my system in general.

    It's too bad, because when Desktop Search was installed, it was handy to be able to do instant search queries on my email and files. But it was just too annoying, so I'll love with the default slow search program, which still can search my 100 gb of files in about a minute.

  85. RW

    It's not a plot, it's just the usual MS incompetence

    I was once talking with a guy here who does contract work for MS. One thing he said has stuck in my mind: that MS is "incredibly arrogant."

    However, it appears to me that this arrogance usually manifests itself not as sinister plots, but as incompetence. They're so very sure they know what they're doing they're not about to contemplate the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they don't.

    Sometimes when I'm reading about the latest MS fuckup, I get the impression that someone at Redmond read a "For Dummies" book and now thinks they're an expert on some specialized field of knowledge or other. MS seems, as a corporation, to fully embody the modern MBA mindset that employees are interchangeable cogs in the machine and that experience, specialized knowledge, and unique abilities are irrelevant. Is it any wonder then that foulups like the one being argued about happen, or that Windows itself is notoriously badly programmed?

    I think the implications of my remarks in the present context are obvious.

  86. Andy

    Yes, but wherefore incompetence?

    RW, I agree with you in general -- The root problem is arrogance, which leads to incompetence, which leads to these cans of shit getting lobbed at undeserving users. However -- and this ties back to all the people whining about how companies are perfectly allowed to care only about profits earlier in this thread -- there's another problem which makes this worse. If MS listened to history or to its users' complaints, eventually this sort of thing would get fixed -- someone would hear them and think to fire the incompetents. The problem that's worse than arrogance is that they don't care. Yes, companies are perfectly able to care only about profits. But most companies, MS excluded, realize that the best way to maintain profits is to listen to their customers and modify their products to best satisfy the customer. MS's strategy, instead, is to maintain profits by forcing existing users to pay more money. Their arrogance isn't the only source of the problem (plenty of companies, in many markets, approach business with a "we're the best!" mentality -- including the consulting firm I work for); their unwillingness to pay attention to their customers is why they continue to get into these clusterfucks.

    Although, what does this say about the intelligence of those MS users (or in this case, IT departments) who willingly continue to pay more money to a company that has not once listened to their needs?

  87. Andy

    I suppose that... long as I'm weighing in on the other topics, I'll weigh in regarding the software availability issue. Business users can be divided into three types:

    (A) Those who use a computer to do things like typing, keeping track of money, creating presentations, graphic manipulation, and other such applications. These people do not require Windows, as suites to do all of this and more are available for every major modern OS.

    (B) Those who maintain servers and data centers or act as technical support for group A. These people do not require Windows, as server software for almost any protocol is available (and usually better-implemented) for other major modern OSes.

    The vast, overwhelming majority of business users fall into the above categories.

    (C) Those who use custom-written software and are locked into whatever OS that software runs on. For those companies that choose to run Windows-only software, congratulations! You've chosen your OS vendor implicitly. But as I said in my first post, you get what you pay for, and you paid for a software bundle that directly has the consequence of giving control of your company's resources to MS. You knew this when you bought it; you get no sympathy. The alternatives are many: lobby the company to port their software to your preferred OS. Find a solution that involves combining features of more than one existing program for your preferred OS (it's amazing how often this will work). Or get equivalent software written for your company. There are plenty of consulting firms that can do this for you relatively cheaply, or you can hire some geeks and do it in-house. Don't pretend options aren't available just because someone is shoving Windows in your face.

    The true number of business users who cannot avoid using Windows is very, very small compared to the number who THINK they cannot avoid using Windows.

  88. Simon Westerby

    Wonder if its called "Desktop Search" because ...

    ... 99.9% of computer users just save everything (they download) to the desktop ...

    .. Hmmm wonder when "My Documents Search" is gonna appear....

  89. Firetrue

    Bite me Microsoft

    I have nothing constructive to say after coming to work and finding every machine sodomized without my permission. Microsoft can bite my @ss.

  90. Morely Dotes
    Jobs Horns

    Was this a legal "forced installation" or not?

    It is illegal under Washington law to "induce a computer user to download software by falsely claiming the software is necessary for security purposes," according to Senior Counsel Paula Selis of the Washington State Attorney General's office.

    As a general rule, automatic updates are configured to download *only* patches required for security, or to correct known functional flaws.

    It would be interesting to ask Microsoft which way they decided to categorize the two "forced" installations. I fail to see how Desktop Search - or, for that matter, Windows Genuine Advantage - can be classified as security enhancements.

  91. Matt

    @ Steve Roper

    MS Bad, Google Good? Perhaps you've not heard of doubleclick or checked your machine for cookies by said and wondered what they do with your browse history? Tried to get rid of them? Checked up on who owns doubleclick?

  92. RK

    all the arguments here...

    bring me around again to my conclusion that the core problem here isn't profit or arrogance or customer service or Linux/Mac/Windows (each of which have their strengths and weaknesses), but that the very nature of hardware/software development and, tbh, the fundamental nature of capitalism, is that leaving well-enough alone IS NOT acceptable.

    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a phrase nearly everyone knows and nearly everyone agrees with, yet we have example after example of engineers, developers, what-have-you, that have to come up with the "new bigger better thing" that simply gobs up what already works pretty well. my theory is that this very thing is built into capitalism ("limitless growth") and all the rest just cascades down from there, mostly because all these companies are driven by the imperative to make more money than they did the previous quarter(s). couple that with marketing principles that insist on "new and improved" because they are convinced that people have to perceive something as "new and improved" (whether or not it really is) in order to be convinced to buy what they (often) don't need, and you've created "planned obsolescence" and forced people into that cycle, whether it's good for them or not. obviously there's examples where that was the best course of action, but there's plenty of examples where it was only best for the bottom line of the manufacturer (or appeared to be at the time), and the customers are left to pick up the pieces.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Seriously, how many of you actualy work in IT?

    I'm currently working on probably Europes largest installation of Linux to date - not that you'd have heard of it, real IT users rarely advertise their strategies ;-)

    OK, it's mainly server based and doesn't come across the issues you are discussing here, but it is pushing M$, IBM, HP and SUN out of the Data Centre, and when I say Data Centre I mean >4000 servers.

    When I look at this in conjunction with the in-roads Apple are making; my kids, wife, Uncle and more recently M$ fanatical brother-in-law have all purchased Macs I'm starting to believe that M$ as an Operating System is coming to it's end.

    With the advent of MONO for Linux and the introduction of virtualisation into the mainstream I wouldn't expect it to be too long before we see an OS independent version of M$ Office, followed by VM host versions of Exchange/MS-SQL etc. and M$ just getting out of the OS market space. Lets face it it is far more trouble than it's really worth and do they honestly make any money from it?

    If Linux can compete against 4 major players (M$, IBM, HP and SUN) in the Data Centre, just wait till we actually round on the Desktop space, with M$ and Apple the only players, we're gonna eat ya for breakfast.....q flame war :-)

    IT isn't difficult, manaing M$ and non IT educated numpties (go go Alan Brazil) is the problem.

  94. Pheet
    Gates Horns

    IF you think this is acceptable

    To those who think what happended is Ok or the sysadmins are at fault, I'll give a contrasting example.

    On my FreeBSD box, everyday a vulnerabilities database is scanned against the installed software, and I'm sent an email of a list (if any) of software that may have a problem.

    I can then decide to patch the software, deinstall/stop using it, or ignore if the vulnerability doesn't apply in my environment.

    This is very different to machines updating themselves without my say so, especially when extra software is installed.

    I'm waiting for the news (maybe tomorrow) that installing Desktop Search opens up a huge security vulnerability....

  95. O
    Gates Horns

    Search does phone home

    Not sure if my installation of XP has installed Desktop Search or not - it certainly hasn't asked me. What I do know is that when ever I use search, Zonealarm asks me if I want to allow search to commuicate with the M$ mothership - naturally, i always say no, having forgotten that it does this. Now, why does a search feature have to communicate with Redmond every time you use it, hmm?

  96. This post has been deleted by its author

  97. Geoff Mackenzie

    In fairness ...

    Windows is a cute little system. Maybe in a few years it'll be ready for the enterprise.

  98. tempemeaty


    It's my sincere hope that people will FINALLY start the practice of asking their favorite software vendors for their product on the alternate OS of their choice and remembering to name the version they would like it for. Dare I also mention doing so on a regular basis and not expecting once to suffice.

  99. Gordon Fecyk

    I use WSUS 3, got WDS 3.01, declined it. What's the big deal?

    The thing wasn't automatically approved, it didn't automatically install, so we weren't bogged down with it.

    The only thing I can think of about our system that's different from the default WSUS system, is I removed the auto-approval rule that was placed. Even so, the only auto-approval rule was for "critical updates" and WDS 3 was under plain old "updates." It wouldn't have auto-approved.

    So are the WSUS admins whom were hit by Windows Desktop Search just lazy because they have all updates, not just critical ones, automatically approved? Sounds like good ol' end-user error to me.

  100. Anthony Kuhn

    Monkey business


    Microsoft needs to work out these kinks if they want users and staff to support them in their bid to quash any competitive OSes. I used to be in IT and can truly say one of the reasons I left was the never-ending treadmill of updates and patches and the resultant user fallout/anger. Meh. The model of software stability and expectations is broken.

    I cross-posted on your piece to The Innovators Network is a non-profit dedicated to bringing technology to startups, small businesses, non-profits, venture capitalists and intellectual property experts. Please visit us and help grow our community!

    Best wishes for continued success,

    Anthony Kuhn

    Innovators Network

  101. Anonymous Coward

    Now we pay

    Our WUSS updates are managed by an IT company. We now must pay this company money to remove this so called update from our systems. They claim it's not their fault. Will M$ pay us back. Sure we can do it our selfs, but why should we pay or uninstall this for someone elses mistakes. Clasical case where the people who buy into M$.

    M$ can spin this what ever way they like but it's still costing companys money and time for something they did not want.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    Configure it Pirate Style:

    Just go: Start / Run


    Right click the following services and set their start type to "Disabled"

    Background Intelligent Transfer Service

    Windows Update

    and if you:

    Never ever use Internet Explorer (Plenty of free browsers out there)

    Never ever use Outlook / Outlook Express (Web based email accounts only)

    and you go

    Start / Run

    regsvr32 /u wmpshell.dll

    and then install Media Player Classic

    You'll never need another security hot fix / patch or update will you, and as long as your third party / hardware firewall holds up Microsoft will have a hard time sending you one won't they?


  103. Celicajim

    I never approved WDS

    I use WSUS and had it setup to NOT auto approve updates but I DID have it setup to Automatically approve revisions.

    But - I had not approved WDS for install previously, yet the new WDS revision still approved itself for install.

  104. Steve Roper

    @ Matt

    "MS bad, Google good?"

    No, both as bad as each other. I do know about Google's business with doubleclick (I have doubleclick blocked at my router anyway) and I know about their browser-invading toolbar too. I don't use any of the "desktop" stuff Google puts out, nor do I use GMail or their online SaaS document stuff.

    What I'm saying is, if we can get Leviathan fighting Behemoth, so to speak, maybe the conflict will cause both to pull their fingers out and start providing product that does what it says on the tin; i.e. actually work properly.

  105. botmline
    Thumb Down

    That's the Last Straw

    With purchase authority over 300+ desktops in our enterprise, I have declared today's fiasco the Last Straw. Tomorrow we begin analysis of our critical applications to determine who gets a Mac and who gets Linux.

    Windows is no longer suitable for serious enterprise deployment on the desktop.

  106. Robert E A Harvey

    It's not M$ that's the problem, it's desktops

    I grew up in the era of "big iron", when what sat on desks was dumb and there was only one computer.

    Desktops came in in an uncontrolled, and largely unplanned, manner when managers decided to bypass computer departments (we were not IT then) to achieve things that we had offered to do years before but they would not fund at our level.

    They are still largely out of control in most organisations, and the efforts of modern BOFHs to keep things working are pissing in the wind. The huge variety of management tools that exist alongside windows to cure problems that should never have existed in the first place amount to greater fragmentation than we ever had in the days of big iron.

    Thin clients, big central databases are brave attempts to return to some sort of properly planned and managed system. The fact that the new NHS IT system is not based on systems like this is proof enough to me that it will fail.

    The Microsoft monopoly, the poor quality of windows, the essential fire-fighting nature of modern IT professionals is all the consequence of decisions taken, or often not taken, by those "captains of industry" who now call themselves CEOs. They have the business systems the chose, or rather didn't bother to choose.

    it's a betamax story.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprise surprise

    Strange things are afoot, when I checked my WSUS server yesterday, when I first saw this story, all the Windows Desktop Search versions were set to Declined (I don't have anything auto-approving).

    So I set them all to Detect to see if it was installed, arrived this morning and surprise surprise M$ have expired the recent version released on 23 October so it can't be installed!!

    Seem to me as if M$ are trying to contain the problem before releasing an updated version that can tell the difference between network and local drives?

    One thing that I can't understand (said in best Scooby Doo tone of voice) Why on earth would they release a version of the 'Desktop' search for servers? Unless it does a similar job to Google's desktop search? Dons tin-foil hat and invokes Rule 8.

  108. Cameron Colley

    Surely Microsoft have every right to do this?

    I don't know why people are moaning about this -- Microsoft have a right to do what they like with their property and, thanks to the license agreement you accepted when you installed their software, they have every right to do what they like to your hardware too. You should be thankful that Microsoft let you continue to use their software at all.

    If you want someone to blame for this you can blame hardware and software manufacturers for forcing you to install MS's software in the first place and, to a lesser extent, those in charge of academic institutions who indoctrinate their students into the MS world.

  109. Ron Eve

    Business software

    "The true number of business users who cannot avoid using Windows is very, very small compared to the number who THINK they cannot avoid using Windows." @Andy

    Do you know, I've struggled for years to figure out WHAT this 'business software' is that comprises the majority of software used and I can't. I've been in, oh I don't know, hundreds of company offices and most people seem to use the usual suspects - word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database. All of which have equivalents in all mainstream OS's. Database applications can be built to run on anything. Then there's browser based applications...

    I can understand that application software is going to be developed for the majority system in-house but to say that software is 'unavailable' for a particular system is a non sequitur.

    (Oh btw, thanks Webster Phreaky, you brightened my day once more :-))

  110. amanfromMars Silver badge

    A Burning Bush Question

    "I'm currently working on probably Europes largest installation of Linux to date - not that you'd have heard of it, real IT users rarely advertise their strategies ;-)"

    If that is a Referencing Storm Ontology, AC, IT is bound to work XXXXCellently ..... Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.

    If not, please destroy and disregard this message.

    SurReal Virtualised ITusers, the Post Modern Yin to Olde Worlde Yang, would always advertise their strategies, whether Linux or not. IT makes Everything Simpler to See.

  111. Anonymous Coward

    Alternative program: ;)

    Here is my alternative program to replicate the search program. No phone home. No update. No error checking. :) Paste into a .bat file and enjoy. (dunno why elreg added al the extra line breaks)

    @echo off


    echo [1] Index a drive.

    echo [2] Search the Index.

    echo [q] Quit.

    set /p choice=Choose Something:

    if %choice%==1 goto index

    if %choice%==2 goto search

    if /I %choice%==q goto end

    goto end



    echo Enter the drive letter of the drive you would like to index. Just the drive

    echo letter will suffice.


    set /p choice2=Which drive would you like to index :

    dir /b/s %choice2%:\ >>index.txt


    echo Done.

    goto menu


    set /p choice3=Search Term:

    findstr /I /c:"%choice3%" index.txt


    goto menu


    echo Bye.

  112. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Ping ....... AIDynasty

    <Hello, NeuReal World>

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    get an education

    re. This is all BULLSHIT, who wrote this? Steve Jobs?


    Gosh - they have people like you in education in California?

    Open up, calm down, and get therapy. You are scaring the kids.

  114. This post has been deleted by its author

  115. Kevin Martin

    No update without prev. version...then why the slow down?

    Isn't it strange that the M$ rep. stated that the update wouldn't have occurred if a previous version wasn't already installed and yet it seems that the updated version is going thru and reindexing? Why would it need to do that if the index was already built by a prev. version? Sounds like somebody's fibbin'!

    Oh, and FWIW, I use Linux on my laptop and find no limit in the functionality in comparison with M$ and it's products. I AM in the IT industry but I've also converted other M$ users (retired folks at that) over to Linux and have been thanked repeatedly for doing so.

  116. andy

    You know what?

    "You know what we call Macs? Just another PC Clone, but with a much more flaky OS at twice the price of a Win PC"

    That's quite a mouthful...

  117. Alex Coward

    Step #1 against storm botnet


    This is Microsoft's first volley aimed at the storm botnet. It's called gathering intelligence. Yes, Microsoft botched it up by making it so conspicuous but if there is one tool that can destroy the storm botnet it is Windows update.

  118. notrick

    Comeon Be Wise - Dont take shrotcuts to get pageviews (to

    First of all, it didn't bring every fucking computer to a standstill. I administer 100 desktop machines and while my network utilization jumped a lot, it hasn't been enough that I've even had to do anything about it. On a competent, switched Gigabit network, it's not a problem. Perhaps on something slower it would be, but in that case you would not have your WSUS server automatically approving every update, would you?

    Secondly, I can't see it bringing a local machine to a standstill. It's doing fine on my oldest running machine here, a P2-450 with 256mb RAM. All it does is activate the Indexing Service and provide a nice interface to it, as far as I can tell.

    Thirdly, this is a story on the Mac Observer. The bias is obvious, and the headline is oddly sensational: THOUSANDS OF PCS! Well, I hate it break it to you, but there are fucking tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of PCs. Thousands is small fucking potatoes. You could make a headline like "RUNNING OUT OF DRIVE SPACE BRINGS THOUSANDS OF PCS TO STANDSTILL!" Who cares?

    Fourthly, it's basically Microsoft being nice and rolling out a new feature to an old OS. If you don't like it, fuck off and disable it.

  119. David
    Gates Horns

    re:Step #1 against storm botnet

    "Yes, Microsoft botched it up by making it so conspicuous"

    Actually, I don't think they did botch it.

    With all the many thousands upon thousands of computers that must have spent hours upon hours effectively dead while they gradually trawled through their disks, perhaps bringing networks down as well, and flooding internet bandwidth as they sent who knows what back to m$, how could Storm or it's controllers manage to do anything?

    As to all this guff about Linux being so bad.. Well, I've done a quick demo of Ubuntu to someone a couple of days ago, and now I am doing my 3rd "wipe windoze and put that on please" of the day. Seems to handle all those hard to find drivers for laptop modems and so forth with ease as well...

    One dodgy windoze update, another dozen Linux users :)

  120. Anonymous Coward

    To Linux Lovers.... and the rest...

    Before critizicing for the sake of criticizing... why don't you first have look at the products that make Microsoft Windows the best choice for companies?

    Have you ever heard about Active Directory, or things like System Center Family(used to be called SMS and MOM), WSUS 3, Ms SQL 2005, Exchange 2007, Sharepoint, Office 2007 and the fact that all these technologies integrate seamlessly.... Where little knowledge is required to manage thousands of PCs...

    All the Linux hype is cool and I think it's great to see other OSs rising, but please realise that people that manage IT infrastructure with thousands of clients do not have the time to play around with software that are barely in their infancy in term of Desktop deployment and management.... Before I get bashed by u little Linux lovers, have a look at the System Center family of products, and try find just ONE single viable alternative in your little Linux world....

    Linux is growing and it is for the best, but any serious company that have studied alternatives to XP deployments perfectly know that there is NO SERIOUS ALTERNATIVEs.. for the moment that is....

    Regarding WSUS, if you've been through SUS and various variants of WSUS and now use WSUS 3 (please note that it is freeeeeeee by the way), you will know that it's an amazing piece of software where everything can be decided in advance and tested... now regarding WDS, there is been a little problem from Admins and maybe Ms for not properly mentioning the risk of this happening.. but shit happens... like Last week when Ubuntu was relaesed and shit happened.. like a few days ago when Leopard was release, and the Apple fans came to know what was the blue screen of DEATH.... so please stop critizizing for the sake of critizing....

  121. David

    RE : To Linux Lovers.... and the rest...

    why don't you first have look at the products that make Microsoft Windows the best choice for companies?

    And they would be what?

    No serious company needs anything from microsoft. Those who imagine they do are only in that position because they let someone sell them software that they don't actually need, because there is a better, freer alternative anyway. If it runs only on windows, say "No thanks, I'll save my money and get something better".

    Microsoft is past it's use by date, and like all things rotten, is due to be thrown in the rubbish. It's been left around far to long, and is really stinking up the place.

    Enjoy your slowed internet, and your regular dose of virus-laden spam.

  122. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    @ T. O'Hara

    Another IT guy with his head up his ass, who would of guessed he'd be using Linux, who gives you your wage you tit, you're right they must be stupid. As for this story, how many people are actually affected.... and one of the "Anonymous Coward's" was correct we use System Centre, Sharepoint, Office, Exchange with Push, VS, we have a few servers on 2008 and IIS 7 all co-ordinating hundreds of clients and mobile devices and website, this wouldn't be possible with any other OS, Macs maybe great for a home PC and Linux might be great for some business applications and large adhoc systems but if you want a rock solid base for a standard company to work within a budget and a small IT department windows is the way, whoever says different must run some wierd business model.

  123. Robert Pogson

    You can live without M$

    An Anonymous coward wrote:"Have you ever heard about Active Directory, or things like System Center Family(used to be called SMS and MOM), WSUS 3, Ms SQL 2005, Exchange 2007, Sharepoint, Office 2007 and the fact that all these technologies integrate seamlessly.... Where little knowledge is required to manage thousands of PCs..."

    Some of those, no, but we have OpenSSH, OpenLDAP, BASH, DHCP, APT, BIND, and stuff that works really well and does not bring the house down. The problem here is that M$ cannot be your sysadmin. They do not know and love you and your clients. Why let them try?

  124. Anonymous Coward

    Spotlight vrs Windows Live Desktop Search

    On another news, the new version of Mac OS X was launched the 26 of October. Which, among 300+ new features, has an improved Spotlight that is faster (the first version didn't slow down computers to a crawl) and has boolean search.

  125. Matthew Smith
    Black Helicopters

    Hot Mustard

    "If they can .. what's preventing the NSA and other spying agencies of getting in just as discretly as they did and plant software ?"

    Before 9/11, MS were complaining publicly about the backdoors they were required to leave open for security services. Since then, the complaints have stopped.

  126. Geoff Mackenzie

    Linux business software

    Some of the pro-Windows posts (Chris C's is a good example) seem to be suffering from the same delusion that most people in charge of IT purchasing decisions seem to be suffering from: that business software that runs on an open source operating system must necessarily also be open source, and that all proprietary software must necessarily be Windows only.

    This is simply not the case. Microsoft's software tends to be Windows only, but consider Domino, Oracle, Sybase Adaptive Server and hundreds of other proprietary products that can be run on Linux systems. Businesses have been locked into Windows because they have standardised on MS Office and, more seriously, because they have written in-house software using Microsoft technologies like VB.

    Some things are really a pain to port, but others are not so bad. Sybase Adaptive Server is a huge improvement over MS SQL Server for example, and porting the SQL side of a client/server application from MS SQL (a bastardised SAS anyway) to SAS is, while not trivial, perfectly doable and quite worthwhile.

    Companies that lie down and accept that they're tied to this expensive and defective platform remind me of the sort of people who borrow money to cover debt payments. Rather than accepting that they need to take a little pain just now for the sake of the future, they prefer to list the problems and then stare at you blankly (or worse, smugly) as if those are brick walls, not mere challenges.

    Ah, there's no convincing some people. They'd rather bury their heads in the sand and say clever-sounding things about ROI and TCO based on a few duff studies funded by software vendors.

    Hey, never mind. Darwinism will sort this out. If, as I firmly believe, it is a genuine advantage (no pun intended) for businesses to run FOSS, the bottom line will reflect it eventually. Of course there are lots of other factors, but if businesses that use Linux are systematically better off than those who use Windows, it's only a matter of time.

    Incidentally, FOSS tends to sneak in through the back door anyway because the loudmouthed, self-satisfied naysayers are not bright enough to realise the number of devices and appliances that have Linux kernels in them. I work for a "Windows shop" which at this point uses hundreds of Linux devices, largely because nobody mentioned they used Linux during the purchasing process. Soon enough, the powers that be will have to admit that they need some Linux people, and then the TCO claptrap will go out the window finally and maybe I'll see some Linux servers appear.

  127. Brian


    Bottom line:

    Business's want software that had support. There are a number of OSes out there and each has their own use, but the bottom line is that there is a decent amount of software out ther ethat works on Windows. If you can find a decent alternative to all of the 100s of applications that some companies use (1000s when you consider some of the larger companies), that all have support, DECENT documentation, are remotely manageble, have a suitable learing curve and are still supported, then kudos for you. BUT, any decent LARGE business out there would have to go through hell and back with finance and putting through a business case for any software used, usually tested against other alternatives, including free versions. I've seen it before that it comes back to going with what works and what has support (ever heard of an Service Level Agreement? Try getting one of those on something with a GPL!).

    Anyways, thats my two cents, flame all you want, meh.


  128. Geoff Mackenzie


    "Business's want software that had support" - I think the past tense and bad grammar speak for themselves. There's plenty FOSS software, and non-free software that runs on FOSS platforms, that does enjoy commercial support if you prefer to pay than hold it together yourself (which nobody denies a lot of businesses prefer; outsourcing support is much better for the buck-passing that is far more important than service for most IT departments). Microsoft's support is overrated anyway; how often do businesses actually use their support for XP? An IT department that functions effectively is far more likely to resort to reimaging a desktop (about half an hour's non-work) rather than trying to fix bizarre issues with it, spending hours on the phone to a disinterested support person at MS.

    The usual fear of FOSS in businesses seems to be largely based around the learning curve caused by some kind of insane mass switch-over to open source alternatives. Nobody's suggesting that any business should immediately switch to a pure open-source setup. Where there is an open source alternative, it would be a good idea to use it. Where there is not, obviously don't.

    The fact that many IT departments can provide no Linux expertise is not a downside of open source software. If the IT department's lack of skills is beginning to cost the business money, the solution is training, or hiring one or two Linux or FOSS specialists. Since a Windows shop is likely to introduce FOSS slowly, one or two individuals with appropriate skills will probably do, to start with, and will often be happy to help with knowledge transfer to the rest of the department.

  129. Robert Pogson

    Service level agreements

    Brian wrote:"(ever heard of an Service Level Agreement? Try getting one of those on something with a GPL!)."

    Sure. No problem! When Munich made their big migration, they found many local firms ready willing and able to do that. I give my own SLA to my employers: my stuff will be available on time and under budget and I will not sleep if something is not working. In the past year I have had mere minutes of downtime in my system. No forced reboots. No lost files. A couple of hardware failures. A GNU/Linux sysadmin is like the Maytag repairman, the system just keeps working without me. Look at the surveys. There are lots of GNU/Linux systems in the top ten or top 50. There are only a few M$ beasts and they are idling, like GoDaddy's parked sites... The same reliability that comes with GNU/Linux in the server room applies to desktops, too. It is only possible to give a SLA with that other OS if you firewall off M$ and delay implementing updates until tested. It becomes impossible if M$ cuts off support. Who will give a SLA for XP after M$ kills it? How can you give a SLA for a system with so many zero-day exploits? M$ does not even claim their software is fit for any purpose. How can anyone guarantee that closed-source software will be fit for any purpose?

  130. Anonymous Coward

    @Little tyke & Windows 98SE

    Why would anyone want to go back to 98SE? What a horrid OS. Tons of holes and no HAL, like any modern OS should have. Or do you like rebooting your machine every time a program gets a little wonky? And FAT32, what a robust, wonderful FS! Great security features too! /sarcasm XP has its issues, but far far superior to 98SE. Or if you prefer to be retro and insist on using MS, how about Win2K? Relatively stable and you can run modern software on it--while not being quite the resource hog that XP and Vista can be. I shudder at the days when I used 95/98... Don't know your password? No problem, just hit ESC. The daily BSODs were so pretty...

    That said, didn't anyone at MS think of testing the desktop search upgrade in an Enterprise environment? Did they decide to roll it out to the general public before releasing it on their own networks perhaps?

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My blog post on this

    Like you haven't had enough to read about this... I add my two cents worth:


  132. Alex Barwick

    What a load of Crap

    Hay you guys I think it is about time you went back to dead trees and pencils. I have never heard such a load of bollocks in my life anyone woud think Bill Gates and Microsoft were the devil incarnate. If you dont like Microsof move to another OS then the rest of us can have some peace. Linux will then become popular and every one will be writing software and drivers for it. I have Vista Ultimate and like it, multi national company's use windows, governments use it, national defence use it, the US & Royal Navy's use it for fire control. so what is the problem. Updates are usefull they make the system more secure and make the system run smoother.

    What is all this about conspiracy theory about collecting data from your systems again bollocks and even if they did, what have you to hide. Go back to Paper, pencil and the postman, I have no doubt that your costs would escalate, plus side of that would be less unemployed down side your services and goods would then become more expencive and no bugger would use or buy them and you would be out of work.

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