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InfoWorld takes misguided jabs at Microsoft over MSE updates

Microsoft has received an awful lot of positive feedback about Security Essentials. It's easily one of the best options Windows users have -- paid or free -- for malware and virus protection.

InfoWorld thinks, however, that Security Essentials has a rather irritating and serious flaw: its update mechanism.

The post I'm talking about takes issue with MSE "taking liberties" with users' Windows Update preferences. If you've previously set your updates to either 1) download and install later or 2) notify but don't download, MSE will flip the switch and turn on full-blown, install-when-it-chooses Windows updates.

That's bull, says InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard. If you've set your settings, MSE should bloody well leave them alone. "Why does the installer take it upon itself to change the setting? Only Redmond knows."

Well... not quite.

Microsoft has made it clear that MSE updates itself via the Windows Update service. In fact, they call it out very clearly on the Security Essentials website. It's right there on the Resources tab, and here's what it says:

Microsoft Update

What this feature does:
Microsoft Security Essentials turns on automatic updating from Windows Update and Microsoft Update to help keep your computer current with updates to Windows and other Microsoft software. Microsoft Update is essential to providing you with the latest malware threat definition updates for Microsoft Security Essentials.

If you choose to install MSE, you're choosing to play by those rules. If MSE can't update itself, you're not being fully protected. Out-of-date is not a good thing for any anti-malware or anti-virus program. Heck, part of what make MSE an excellent program is its small footprint -- which is due in no small part to the fact that it takes advantage of features already built in to Windows like Windows Update.

On top of that, you're gambling with your security if you don't have Updates running at home anyway. It's common for network administrators to turn off the service in an enterprise environment, but MSE isn't licensed for use at work anyway.

It's for use at home.

And at home, if you value your security and privacy, you should be running an up-to-date operating system and anti-malware program!

I suppose, however, it's more fun for some people to rip into Microsoft and throw about words like trampled and hijacked than it is to acknowledge that MSE is simply working exactly the way Microsoft intends it to.

Tags: complaint, essentials, fud, microsoft, mse, security, virus