This month’s hotch-potch of patches has a surprise payload that has people raising their eyebrows and tutting as a precursor to potential moral outrage.
The supposed ‘security’ patches also include something that really shouldn’t be in a roll-up of security patches – it’s added some telemetry for Windows 7 users.
It’s called ‘Compatibility Appraiser’ and has a code of KB2952664. It’s designed for checking if your system is capable of updating to Windows 7.
That’s fair enough, we guess, but there are two issues at play here.
The first is the fact that Microsoft made a big song and dance about how it had split updates on Windows 7 and its ugly little sister Windows 8.1 down so people could just install the bare necessities, and that means just the security patches. Telemetry should be optional, by the company’s own reasoning.
The excuse is obvious – failure to update Windows 7 will constitute a security risk if it’s not done in the next six months before the operating system reaches end-of-life.
The second is that anyone who remembers GWX and Updategate will recall that Microsoft’s reputation for leaving users alone when there’s a new product to peddle is, let’s just say, less than stellar.
Therefore, there’s only one word to describe this sneaky addition – contemptuous. Microsoft has broken its own rules here and been flippin’ sneaky about it – which suggests to these tired eyes that there’s going to be a return to pop-up reminders about why you should upgrade ad nauseum for the next six months.
Technically, Microsoft will justify this seven-ways-from-Sunday and there’s not a lot we can do about it. But once again, we’re reminded that any impression that we. the users own Windows-as-a-Service is an illusion – Microsoft can and will keep bending the rules to suit itself.
Pray it doesn’t become another Updategate.