Samsung is in the spotlight – and not in a good way. Reports surfaced last week claiming that the company was automatically killing the Windows Update process on its Windows PCs.
Suspicion first arose when Microsoft researcher Patrick Barker discovered a program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe. The program, embedded in Samsung's software update process, was intended to prevent Windows Update from automatically installing feature upgrades and security fixes (Microsoft's recommended method).
Customers using Samsung PCs could manually update their devices to receive new security fixes. They could have also switched Windows Update back on, but Samsung's program was designed to disable it again after a reboot.
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Microsoft was, understandably, less than pleased and reported that it does not advise tampering with the Windows Update process. Doing so, it said, could expose customers to security risk.
Samsung initially denied all accusations of fishy business. "It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers," officials wrote. This sparked confusion, as Windows 8.1 updates had not specifically been mentioned in Barker's original complaint.
"I never implied [Samsung] specifically blocked a 'Windows 8.1 OS system update'," he claimed, "just that their SW Update software is preventing Windows Update from automatically installing updates."
Now it seems the two companies have had a chance to talk things over, and Samsung has had a change of heart. It provided an update in a statement to VentureBeat late last week:
"Samsung has a commitment to security and we continue to value our partnership with Microsoft," a spokesperson stated. "We will be issuing a patch through the Samsung Software Update notification process to revert back to the recommended automatic Windows Update settings within a few days."
Windows 10, which Microsoft will launch later this summer, won't give consumers the option of selecting the updates they want to install on their PCs. Rather, the new system will automatically download and install all updates and fixes by default.