BinderDundat: If by "trusted" you mean the Windows firewall or ZoneAlarm or something, then you are correct. However, the wa* files Microsoft updates have no special "trustworthiness" assigned to them by the operating system. Windows Update could potentially change ANYTHING on your PC, and they have demonstrated the ability to do so without notifying the user.
Justice: So long as Microsoft ONLY twiddles the mechanism that interfaces with the update servers, then I agree. I am not protesing the maintenance of files Windows needs to update itself; in fact I avail myself of Windows Update periodically to get the recommended patches. That's only common sense.
But MS has demonstrated their ability and willingness to deliver updates DESPITE MY REVOKING PERMISSION TO DO SO. I opted out, they did it anyway. Doesn't matter if the patch was necessary or not, it's frikkin rude to shove software onto my PC without telling me. May even be illegal, since most states prohibit unauthorized tampering with data systems. And no, the EULA does not shield such intrusion; there is plenty of legal precedent protecting computer users.
But here's the kicker: I don't even believe it's necessary. When you login to the Windows Update website, what's the very first thing that happens? You get a small update to your "Installer" and THEN you get to the scanning-your-pc phase. If updates to the wa* files are necessary, then that's the logical place to perform maintenance. I would bet real money that they *are* updated there, also, just in case your machine hasn't been online in awhile and the stealth updates never installed. Not everyone has a 24/7 connection. Note that the Windows Update website works fine even on machines freshly installed from CD without any patches at all.
So it's rude, possibly illegal, potentially dangerous, damages the user's trust in MS, and finally: UNNECESSARY.
All for what? Microsoft's response continues to be evasive, addressing only WHAT was stealth-modified, but not why. Yes, we know those are Automatic Update engine files, and it'd be nice if everyone was 100% in sync all the time with the latest micro-update. But why do it this way, using stealth and sneakiness? If told up front what was being changed and why, I doubt any reasonable user would object.
So again, Microsoft, why?