Samsung Disables Windows Update on PCs, Microsoft Not Amused

Recently discovered Samsung software that automatically disables Windows Updates on some laptops also appears to be difficult for users to uninstall, according to an update from Patrick Barker, the independent Microsoft engineer who first highlighted the problem earlier this week on his blog.

The Samsung-signed program, named Disable_Windowsupdate.exe, was discovered after a user with a Samsung notebook reported on an online forum that he was having trouble with Windows Update settings on the device.

"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," a Microsoft spokesperson told us in a statement.

Samsung has not yet responded to our requests for comment. However, the company has reportedly told some news organizations, "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."

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"I never implied it specifically blocked a 'Windows 8.1 OS system update,' just that their SW Update software is preventing Windows Update from automatically installing updates, and forcing the user to have it set to 'let me choose whether to download and install,'" Barker said on his blog, responding to Samsung's comments.

Barker said that if you try to uninstall the Samsung software, the Windows Add/Remove tool doesn't appear to uninstall properly. However, he noted that a Samsung user with Windows 8.1 reported that "uninstalling SW Update traditionally has not stopped the forced changes to the way Windows Update's settings are configured...

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