Microsoft changes computer files without asking

Even if you have updates turned off, it seems that Microsoft feels it can change the system files on your PC whenever it feels like it. PC World reports:

Microsoft Corp. has started updating files on computers running Windows XP and Vista, even when users have explicitly disabled the operating systems’ automatic update feature, researchers said today.

At ZDnet, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes:

I can now confirm that the stealth Windows Update that I blogged about yesterday actually exists – because I’ve detected its presence on a machine at the PC Doc HQ.

He isn’t happy and states:

These updates without notification is a slippery slope. I just don’t like the idea of having updates foisted upon systems without being aware that they are coming in and having the option to postpone them. Why? Simple. IT’S MY PC!!! If a user chooses not to have updates installed automatically, Microsoft needs to respect this decision. Period. If this is not possible, notifications should be made after the update has been installed clearly identifying the updates, describing what it does and giving users a way to roll back the system if they want to.

Update: Here are comments on the subject from a Microsoft blog. Also here.

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