'AutoPatcher' Service for Windows Ordered Shut Down by Microsoft

A service designed to help Windows users download Microsoft's updates and install them in a faster manner was ordered shut down by Microsoft, in a cease and desist letter to the service's proprietors.

For the past few years the AutoPatcher service had been giving users what was believed to be a simpler and more intuitive front end and a monthly digest for downloading and installing updates. But it was redistributing Windows code - or, at the very least, distributing a new way to get to Windows code - and was an alternative to Microsoft Update, and as such, the company had no remaining patience for letting it stand.

AutoPatcher's Antonis Kaladis posted the disappointing news on his company's front page this morning: "Today we received an e-mail from Microsoft, requesting the immediate take-down of the download page, which of course means that AutoPatcher is probably history. As much as we disagree, we can do very little, and although the download page is merely a collection of mirrors, we took the download page down."

By early evening today, the entire company's Web site appeared to be offline.

The Windows news site Neowin was a co-sponsor of AutoPatcher, and it too received a cease-and-desist notice from Microsoft. As the site's Steven Parker reported this morning, "I have no explanation for why Microsoft allowed it to continue unchecked for four years before making this decision."

Though Neowin was also forced to remove the support forum it had been hosting for AutoPatcher, it received 171 comments by early evening today. Nearly all expressed regret at the decision, though some took Neowin to task for appearing to bend to Microsoft's will too early, and for not making a federal case out of this...quite literally.

But there was also this: "All the kiddies need to stop complaining and start thinking about why Neowin did this. Microsoft lawyers have billions at their disposal. Neowin has ad revenue. Geez, I wonder who would win?"

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