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Author Topic: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?  (Read 3131 times)

zridling

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Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« on: October 12, 2007, 09:50:55 PM »
[via Mary Jo Foley]:
Windows Update seems to be automatically changing user settings (again).  —  After Patch Tuesday this week (October 9), some Windows Vista users noticed something strange: Windows Update had changed their Automatic Update settings and rebooted their machines automatically without their consent.
________________________________________________
Microsoft responded with a "Who me?" statement Friday. This kind of behavior — or rather not fixing it — is what drove me away from Vista. Is there any circumstance where a software application or company should change a user's settings and reboot without their approval? This ain't right. I don't mind applying the changes, but it seems half the time that we find a few days after updating that the latest Windows Update broke something else.

Renegade

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 09:58:43 PM »
The update there has caused me some significant pain... Not happy about it...

This is the second such instance where MS has forced something... They aren't behaving very well at the moment. I expect this sort of thing should stop fairly soon as it's bound to cause an outcry in the professional sector. You can't just reboot a machine. You need to plan for that.
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cybernetnews

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 10:42:25 PM »
I voluntarily restarted my computer after the update, and my settings remain unchanged. All five of my computers weren't affected by it, so it must have been isolated incidents?

Josh

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2007, 07:53:19 AM »
What significant pain did it cause you?

Renegade

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2007, 08:50:00 AM »
I had a false positive on an important piece of software. I was planning to contact the anti-virus vendor about it, but didn't get around to it in time.

The software was marked for deletion by the anti-virus software, but required a reboot to do it. I didn't get to the vendor in time and the reboot screwed the software. Not sure how I'm going to repair it for the moment.

I'm intentionally leaving out the software and anti-virus vendor names above.

And actually, I think I may be mistaken  :o - I might have that server set for automatic reboots... My bad there... I can't remember exactly - I have so many computers set differently that I tend to confuse them when I'm not working on them.

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nosh

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2007, 09:12:43 AM »
I remember setting up my mother's XP machine from scratch and applying Windows Updates, the last thing I intended to do before backing up the whole image. XP just wouldn't start after the WinUpdates reboot.  :)

Sometimes it may be imperative to reboot immediately so no external app messes things up but even then a soft-shutdown [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\AutoEndTasks=0] is the least they can do. I doubt if Windows Update ever does a hard shutdown in any case, not that I put anything beyond MS.

mitzevo

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2007, 09:55:00 AM »
Quote
Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
Only if the user agrees to such changes, ofcourse. Otherwise, gtfo.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2007, 10:02:45 AM by mitzevo »

zridling

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Re: Should a software app be allowed to change the user's settings?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 03:16:37 PM »
Adrian Hughes weighs in with What’s really broken with Windows Update — Trust:

See, here’s the problem. To feel comfortable with having an open channel that allows your OS to be updated at the whim of a third party (even/especially* Microsoft … * delete as applicable) requires that the user trusts the third party not to screw around with the system in question. This means no fiddling on the sly, being clear about what the updates do and trying not to release updates that hose systems. While any and all updates have the potential to hose a system, there’s no excuse for hiding the true nature of updates and absolutely no excuse for pushing sneaky updates down the tubes.