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10/30/2007
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Woops, Says Microsoft, Sorry for That Unauthorized Install

IT managers who subscribe to Microsoft Windows Server Update Services program but didn't choose the automatic updates setting must have thought the desktops on their networks had taken a page from HAL.

IT managers who subscribe to Microsoft Windows Server Update Services program but didn't choose the automatic updates setting must have thought the desktops on their networks had taken a page from HAL.The Windows Desktop Search tool was automatically being installed on those PCs  and the computers were automatically rebooting.

"Microsoft is now apologizing for the foul up," writes InformationWeek.

"We sincerely regret the inconvenience this has caused and extend a sincere apology to all impacted customers," writes Microsoft WSUS Program Manager, Bobbie Harder in a blog posting. The posting provides a way to uninstall the Windows Desktop Search tool.

IW explains that "the problem was the result of a glitch that occurred when Microsoft updated the Windows Desktop Search tool for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP 1+."

According to CRN, Microsoft plans to release a new WSUS package soon, but, it quotes Harder as saying, "this one won't come in the form of an update revision, to ensure that Windows users can be able to enjoy what [Harder] described as "predictable update behavior" with automatic approval settings."

Unpredictable updating and rebooting seems to be plaguing users of Microsoft's OneCare security product as well. Microsoft said OneCare is set up to automatically download and install updates.

ComputerWorld quotes a Microsoft spokesperson who wrote in an email, ""It may be more a case of someone clicking to change their AU settings but not realizing/remembering doing so."

CW notes that the spokesperson "also called out OneCare's installation as one such possible moment and claimed that the security suite offered users the option of changing AU settings." But, adds CW, "It does not."

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