Microsoft hits a new low -- sneaks Windows 10 advertising into an Internet Explorer security patch
It seems there are no depths that Microsoft will not sink to in its relentless quest to get the world using Windows 10. It’s already made the new OS a 'recommended' update for Windows 7 and 8.x, which will see the update download and install automatically on some systems.
But the company's latest sneaky trick is beyond the pale. According to Microsoft’s own documentation, a new security patch for Internet Explorer also "adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10". In other words, as well as fixing vulnerabilities with Internet Explorer, the security patch will also advertise the new OS to customers. In what world is that acceptable?
The primary purpose of security update MS16-023 for Internet Explorer -- which was released just yesterday -- is, according to support document KB 3139929, to resolve "several reported vulnerabilities" in the browser, including one which "could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage in Internet Explorer".
However, it also states that the security update includes "several nonsecurity-related fixes for Internet Explorer".
Click that link and you’ll be shown some more KB article numbers, including KB 3146449. This is described as "Updated Internet Explorer 11 capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7" which naturally starts alarm bells ringing.
Clicking that link reveals that the update "adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10. Before you install this update, see the Prerequisites section. For more information about Windows 10, see Windows 10".
Because it’s part of a security patch you can’t even uninstall KB 3146449 separately. You can either remove security update MS16-023 and risk falling foul of the vulnerability it’s supposed to protect you from, or accept Windows 10 adverts when you use the browser.
Reporting on the new patch, Woody Leonhard at InfoWorld says he’s been told by a source that:
On non-domain joined machines this [KB 3146449] adds a blue banner when a user opens a "New Tab" saying "Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10".
What next Microsoft? Sneaking in more advertisements in other patches? Making Windows 10 a mandatory update?
Are you interested in keeping customers safe, or just shoving your new OS down everyone's throats without caring that it's making us gag?