According to new reports, Samsung has been actively disabling Windows Update on some of its PCs and angering Microsoft in the process.
On Tuesday, Microsoft MVP Patrick Barker discovered a small program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe that can be downloaded from Samsung's SW Update tool. The program does not ship with Samsung PCs out of the box but is downloaded and installed by the program. When it is installed, the program prevents Windows Update from automatically running in the background on PCs, potentially leaving them vulnerable. In a statement to Barker, a Samsung representative said, "When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates."
Samsung's official responses to Barker's findings have varied. On Wednesday, Samsung said it was investigating "Mr. Barker's claim regarding Windows 8.1 updates on our computers" and "working with Microsoft to address this matter." Later that same day, Samsung changed its statement, saying, ""It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers. As part of our commitment to consumer satisfaction, we are providing our users with the option to choose if and when they want to update the Windows software on their products." Barker's findings were not related to a Windows 8.1 update - Samsung has yet to give a clearer response to the matter. In its own statement, Microsoft said, "Windows Update remains a critical component of our security commitment to our customers. We do not recommend disabling or modifying Windows Update in any way as this could expose a customer to increased security risks. We are in contact with Samsung to address this issue."
Photo: © Creative Commons - Flickr: vernieman.