Samsung gave in to mounting public criticism by revealing that it will no longer disable Windows’ automatic updates on Samsung-manufactured PCs and laptops and assured customers that it will release a patch within a few days, according to a report in The Verge.
It was earlier this week when Patrick Barker, a debugger in the Microsoft community discovered that Samsung’s built-in Software (SW) update stopped Microsoft’s default update from functioning automatically. This was due to a patch originally released by Samsung for its computers, which made it necessary Windows users to manually check for updates. This weakened the computer’s cyber-security and is a lot less convenient to the user, compared to updates running automatically.
At the time, Samsung addressed the concern, saying: “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.”
Samsung’s proprietary updater
Samsung’s SW update is a program that updates drivers and features and comes pre-installed on Samsung PCs and laptops. 22 year old Patrick Barker discovered that the SW Update software downloaded a program that’s aptly named “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe,” which switched off Windows’ automatic update service.
When Barker contacted Samsung support, a representative from Samsung addressed the concern, noting that disabling service was required to prevent Windows Update from automatically installing default drivers. The support representative pointed to an example in saying features like USB 3.0 ports may stop working, due to Windows automatically updating its drivers.
Significantly, uninstalling the SW update doesn’t remove the “Disable_Windowsupdate” executable file which complicates matters. Understandably, Microsoft wasn’t too pleased.
“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.” said a Microsoft spokesperson.
In changing their earlier stance, Samsung confirmed that the hardware manufacturer will release a patch which will switch Windows’ automatic updates back on.
“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,” Samsung said.
Look out for the patch if you own a Samsung desktop or laptop with the Samsung SW software installed. Furthermore, automatic Windows updates are always recommended as a good practice in ensuring user privacy and the computer’s security.