Automatic updates: Microsoft adds double-edged sword clause in Windows 10 Home

By Shawn Knight
Jul 17, 2015
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  1. Microsoft is set to begin the rollout of Windows 10 on July 29. As the final version of Windows, the Redmond-based company is moving away from big releases and will instead issue incremental updates to keep the OS up to speed.

    Automatic updates aren’t anything new in Windows but if you’re planning to purchase or otherwise upgrade to Windows 10 Home edition, you need to know that Microsoft will install updates and new features automatically whether you like it or not.

    In the final version of Windows 10 that was distributed to beta testers this week, Microsoft added a small clause to its end user license agreement (EULA) which states that users will receive automatic updates without any additional notice. In other words, the updates will be mandatory (unless you disconnect from the Internet, I suppose).

    It’s a bold move, one that some will no doubt view as a double-edged sword.

    Having the latest security patches and features installed seems like a noble cause that would protect users from various vulnerabilities. If you’ve ever had to work on a friend or family member’s computer because they contracted something from not having the latest security updates, you can certainly relate.

    Yet at the same time, it’s not uncommon for a particular Windows update to cause more harm than good. Whether a patch is incompatible with specific hardware, installs unwanted drivers or is downright buggy, Windows updates have been known to cause all sorts of trouble for end users. What’s more, the automatic downloads could be an issue for those on tight bandwidth caps.

    What do you think about this policy? Is Microsoft doing the right thing by making updates mandatory or will it ultimately cause more harm than good? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Night Hacker

    Night Hacker TS Enthusiast Posts: 125   +20

    I can always re-install Windows 7 or worse, Linux. Most of the time I install all updates, I don't recall one to date I haven't installed in fact so I don't see this as being an issue.
    Evernessince likes this.
  3. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    Except for security patches and Defender definitions I expect to have control what and when I update on my PC. Don't need new Edge, Skype, face recognition, won't need Cortana (I seriously doubt they would deploy it for my native language, still probably the whole World gonna have it on their HDDs and small SSDs alike. Had BSODs caused by M$ updates and driver/software incompatibilities that M$ Update tried to ignore in the past by downloading most recent driver. I believe, that's how I've learned of the 'let me choose to download and install' option few years back. Hacks will be out in a month or so, if not, Windows 7 will be my last Windows. My PC, my castle...
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,525   +828

    I'm okay with it, what I'm not okay with was updates forcing me to restart my PC or restarting it for me without my ability to disable it until later
    spectrenad and deemon like this.
  5. Oliver Johnson

    Oliver Johnson TS Rookie

    I see a very big problem should Hackers find away to Piggy-Back on the Automatic downloads. Come one, Come All, Easy entrance here?
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  6. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 247   +103

    I've had one update-related issue in Windows 7, but it's not something a typical user is going to run into. And I dare to say that the type of user who cares about updates causing problems probably isn't using Windows Home.
    dixon606 likes this.
  7. mcborge

    mcborge TS Addict Posts: 169   +87

    The main problem I see with this strategy is the odd occasion when microsoft have released borked updates... every win 10 home user will be effected... thats a lot of machines and a lot of angry users who will never get the chance to avoid any borked updates in the future.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    I'm sure it'll annoy many people but I'm also sure there will be many forums on the interweb explaining how to disable it manually. Personally Windows automatic updates have never bothered me thus far, I let it happen automatically.
    spectrenad and Evernessince like this.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    My problem is not with Windows automatically updating. My problem is what Windows does after the automatic updates. I wouldn't care if the reboot messages wasn't so annoying to the point of forcing a reboot. What is the harm in waiting 2 days after the update to remind the user they haven't rebooted to finish updating their machine? Hell it takes Microsoft way longer than 2 days to get the updates ready for delivery, but then they try forcing the update instantly once it is automatically installed.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,373   +2,161

    I'll stick with Win7. By the time that is no longer an option, the third party patch disabling said feature will be No.1 in the Windows section of the Pirate Bay.
    DaveBG likes this.
  11. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    Before you know it, Microsoft will tell you that you cannot update your computer unless you take your prescribed mood-enhancing pill that makes you the happy worker, happy camper and happy robot the Big Brothers of the Global State want you to be. (And, yes, it is coming.)
  12. Everyone please try and remember that this version of Windows is not like previous versions. The entire Windows Insider Fleet will receive these updates a month before the average person. That is 4.5 million people submitting bug reports and perfecting the update before it reaches you. No other OS before WIndows 10 has run as well as the Windows Insider program. I am a Insider and have personally seen Microsoft respond quite quickly to user feedback when given. I know that it can be hard to let go of the past, especially when MIcrosoft doesn't have the best track record with these things. However, when they say that this a NEW OS they really do mean it. There has never been anything like what they have made.
    spectrenad likes this.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,099   +523

    This times 1,000. I don't really see the harm in Microsoft just letting the update happen when the user goes to sleep.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  14. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    I don't trust Greeks even when they bear gifts, especially wooden horses.
  15. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 212   +72

    My IPTABLES setup will deal with this problem with ease.
  16. (n)not good use linux mint instead(y)
  17. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Booster Posts: 154   +40

    Probably stupid question but can't you just block it with the firewall?
  18. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Booster Posts: 185   +43

    Don't matter to the Home version user. How many Joe 24 packs actually know that their phone apps updates constantly? How many of you went to someone's house that have the You have updates icon pop up and they just ignore it? The people that will care will have Pro anyway. If enough people complain about it they can change it before launch
  19. The problem would be for users with low bandwidth connection.
    For example, for work reasons I use to connect to Internet via the WIFI Spot on my cellphone. My cellphone's data plan is limited to 2GB per month to max speed (8Mbps), after that it is limited to 256Kbps (yep, that sucks!).
    If Windows choose to install the updates when I am using the cellphone's WIFI Spot it will waste my cellphone's bandwidth.
    Currently, in Windows 8.1 you can setup 1) that the WIFI connection is a metered, 2) Don't allow Windows Update on metered connections.
    I hope this can be setup on Windows 10 too.
  20. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Maniac Posts: 302   +103

    5,000,000+ Windows Insiders with a wide variety of machine types will be testing these updates and features BEFORE the general public ever see's them. Not just a small group of internal Windows Testers like in the past. This is why this new update policy is nothing to worry about from a stability standpoint.
    GeekGirl1515 and spectrenad like this.
  21. Here's one for ya: During my run with XP, I never let Windows install anything with DRM (Digital Rights Management) - which is the euphemism for psudo-virus-like software that ca tell me what I can or cannot have on my computer. This is a HUGE issue, because, if you haven't noticed, companies are constantly and swiftly movine to totally regain control over user's digital life. There needs to be a consumer advocacy group set up to counter this!
    ypsylon and noel24 like this.
  22. I have 4 current Windows 7 updates that simply fail to install. I've tried downloading and installing the individual KB also, but they simply fail. The only way I can get rid of the "updates are available" message is to disable those updates. Also, I've come across a handful of hardware drivers installed via updates that causes problems with the device no longer working.

    So my experience would shape my opinion for Windows 10 such that I would hate having forced automatic updates with no choices allowed.
    noel24 likes this.
  23. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,373   +2,161

    Do you guys hear yourselves? You're literally trying to sell mandatory auto updates by stating that Microsoft will be doing huge beta testing, with great support, too!

    Nobody cares that they are automatic. Even the fact that they occur in the background is perhaps not a major issue. What is objectionable is the fact that there is, at least according to this article, no opt out and no notification.

    As someone who is dependent on OS and software stability (I'm a futures trader), unless Microsoft is going to reimburse me for a few thousand dollars in losses caused by an update interfering with the operation of my trading platforms, I don't care if the Microsoft Insiders are the greatest testing group in history. Stealth modification to the OS is a deal breaker. Period.
    noel24 likes this.
  24. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 536   +152

    You can always uninstall the updates...
  25. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,157   +195

    aren't wifi hotspot and cellular data (counts against ISP data quota) two different things or did I miss something from this statement?

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