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Who should decide what's good for your network?

Should a private firm be allowed to install or modify its software on your machine without your permission?

If your answer is “no”, then tough luck, as that’s exactly what Microsoft seems to have done (opens in new tab)with its WMF (Windows Metafile) patch last week.

I did notice that my laptop had restarted a few days back when I had actually put it on hibernation mode. At the time, I thought that my Toshiba was having one of its frequent hiccups.

Having such a patching strategy can cause concern, although I’m sure most people did not even notice the update had taken place. The fact, though, that there is always an End User License Agreement (EULA) condition that allows for such an operation to take place sends shivers down my spine.

Big corporations like Microsoft or Sony seem to think they know better than anyone else what’s best for their customers. The silver lining this time around, however, is that Microsoft is REALLY beefing up its security process in the interest of its users.

Microsoft’s initiative bypasses IT staff who might jeopardise the patching process in one way or another. Whether you like it or not, it does have the one advantage of decreasing the total cost of ownership as human intervention is removed.

I guess that most of the computers online were patched within 24 hours of Microsoft actually launching the patching process, rather than taking a week or longer if relying on users.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.