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Microsoft’s updates for Windows 10 are compulsory; who’s to protect PCs from buggy updates
Microsoft forces Windows 10 updates for its Pro and Home users whether they like it or not, except for those who have Enterprise edition.
Microsoft is ready to release its much awaited latest preview build of Windows 10 and just a week before the final release Microsoft has published its Windows 10 End User License Agreement (EULA) which confirms its clause that : Windows 10 updates are mandatory for Home users.
The EULA reads:
“The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.”
This simply indicates the terms and conditions of Home versions of Windows 10 has been changed by Microsoft and now users will not get the choice to stop automatic updates.
For home users this is mandatory; however in case of Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 10, Microsoft has given some control to users over the installation of the updates.
This has its pros and cons. Let us check the Pros:
In the earlier versions including the latest Windows 8.1, Microsoft had always provided users with several options for updating their software to the extent that users were even able to completely turn off the updates and it was never mandatory.
This was one of the biggest problems faced by the Windows computers because the Operating System was not up-to-date in regards to security patches. Other problems could arise due to outdated software and drivers which become incompatible and thus users could face trouble. Microsoft has found a solution to this major issue and now Windows 10 can completely have control over the computer and with the automatic updation of OS these issues would not arise.
Users feel that updates to Windows are just to fix bugs and ensure the smooth operation of the Operating System (OS). However, it can now be seen clearly that updates play a very crucial role and it actually provides optimum security to the OS and in addition it also safeguards users against hackers and cybercriminals.
Now, in case of the Enterprise and Pro versions, users can opt to either be part of ‘Slow’ or ‘Fast’ groups. Thus these versions too cannot stop the updates for an indefinite period of time but can users have the option to delay it. It seems if users opt for ‘Slow’ group then the updates would wait for a month before updating their OS. On the contrary, if users choose ‘Fast’ group then the updates would be implemented the moment they become available.
Thus the most important advantage of this would be that all the Windows 10 versions would unanimously have the latest software with all its latest updates, thus protecting the end users from hackers. This is truly good news.
What are the Cons:
When it comes to updating Windows 10, users would be given only two options; one would be to download, install and automatically reboot the computer. The other option includes download, install and then ask the computer to reboot. Indicating, there is no choice left to users to turn off this installation.
Further, the forced automatic updates will not only cover security patches but it would include everything which Microsoft decides to add in your PC as part and parcel of Windows 10 and this could include new software and services that could change the core feature and functionality of your PC.
For instance: Microsoft might want to build some new media player or mapping software or cookbook and then user would be forced to install these applications even if user has no use of these. Thus whether user likes or does not like any update, it will be mandatory to get this update in their PC.
Now it is clear that automated update would help users to protect themselves from cyber crooks in the long run. However, it is for sure that users will not accept the automation with ease. Most of the home users and non regular users look upon the updates with suspicion because most of the time they have to face this unavoidable update screen whenever they have to do their work.
During the Windows 10 webinar held in April, senior Microsoft product marketing manager Helen Harmetz, specifically made it clear that for all those users who usually did not install the updates within allotted time then ‘they will not be able to see and consume the next security update.’ Thus it was made clear that the security of the users would be cut-off.
The biggest disadvantage of auto updates :
Microsoft doesnt enjoy a great degree of trust from users for delivering updates. Microsoft engineers are known to one hell of buggy patch releasers going from the past experience. One of the biggest cons of having auto updates would be that if Microsoft releases a buggy update and it is auto updated by Windows 1o, there is no stopping the Windows 10 machine from displaying a BSOD or going into a loopy reboot sequence, as has happened in past with its Windows 7 updates.
In such a case, users wont have any control to deny such buggy updates from being installed on the Windows 10 computer and will be left at the mercy of Microsoft service centre to bring the Win 10 PC back to life.
This may also be an excuse for Microsoft to push through for costly annual AMC plans for Windows 10.
Presently, users can stop the happening of any updates in case it affects or breaks some program on their computer and thus maintain the normal function. With the automated updates of Windows 10 it might lead to a situation where the updates would break some programs for instance a legacy program.
Furthermore, it is to be noted that most of the OS which we use in our day to day activities get updated by default and always present the latest version to its users. This includes Chrome, iOS, Android and Firefox. The only difference here is that with Chrome and Firefox, it is not a compulsion and users can disable the updates.
Microsoft should just make one change in the automatic Windows 10 update and that is to offer the ability to disable them under advanced options so that casual users and in general any user is not forced to use any update or forcibly made to install any app which they might never need.