On Tuesday night, news broke that Samsung’s SW Update software was disabling Windows Update on at least some computers. The update tool was grabbing and running a file named “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe,” which, as its name implies, was preventing Windows Update from automatically downloading and installing updates. We reached out to Samsung multiple times this week, and the latest statement shows the Korean company has finally decided to stop the questionable practice.
“Samsung has a commitment to security and we continue to value our partnership with Microsoft,” a Samsung spokesperson told VentureBeat. “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 remains committed to providing a trustworthy user experience and we encourage customers with product questions or concerns to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”
Samsung’s support team had previously implied Microsoft’s default drivers were causing problems for Samsung’s laptop components. Samsung decided to stop this from happening by disabling all Windows updates.
Windows Update is responsible for more than just updates to the operating system, software, drivers, and so on. Most importantly of all, it handles all security updates. We pointed out that inhibiting Windows Update from doing its job is obviously the wrong way to go about ensuring your Windows machines function as intended, and that Samsung should be working with Microsoft, not against it, to make sure drivers in Windows Update are not breaking the functionality of its computers.
This might seem like the obvious way to go about fixing the problem. And yet today is Friday, meaning it took Samsung more than two days to figure this out.
Here’s the timeline of updates we received from Samsung on Wednesday:
Update on June 24 at 2:10 PM PST: Samsung has still not commented on this story. Microsoft has, however, voiced its displeasure and said it is talking to Samsung.
“Windows Update remains a critical component of our security commitment to our customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “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.”
Update on June 24 at 2:55 PM PST: Samsung has confirmed it is investigating. “We are aware of Mr. Barker’s claim regarding Windows 8.1 updates on our computers,” a Samsung spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We take security concerns very seriously and we are working with Microsoft to address this matter.”
Update on June 24 at 7:20PM PST: Samsung has updated its statement. The company is trying to deny the claims in a very roundabout way.
“It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers,” a Samsung spokesperson told VentureBeat. “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. We take product security very seriously and we encourage any Samsung customer with product questions or concerns to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”
We told Samsung that this last statement didn’t address the issue. The tool disables Windows Update; it doesn’t block “a Windows 8.1 operating system update.”
Now the problem is finally on its way to resolution.