Update (29 June 2015): I was contacted by representatives of Sysnative over the weekend who stated this was more of a collaborative effort in discovering what Samsung was doing in this situation and involved other members who discovered the actual issue and Patrick Barker was the one to blog about it.
"...this issue was first identified by Sysnative Forums by a staff members Brian Drab and neimiro (Richard Burgess), and was analysed in conjunction with several staff members at our site. Patrick is also a staff member at Sysnative, and decided to make a blog post about the issue that Richard had identified. "
More background info is available at the Sysnative forums.
Original post follows...
The other day we told you about Samsung and the unauthorized software they were downloading to their customers Windows devices without consent.
That software was in turn disabling Windows Update on those devices.
Of course, Samsung claimed this was all in the name of customer support and stated they had no plans to change their process.
This all came to light because of the research of a Microsoft MVP named Patrick Barker as he was assisting someone with Windows Update issues on a Samsung machine.
First to respond in this fray was Microsoft who provided the following statement to VentureBeat:
“Windows Update remains a critical component of our security commitment to our customers. 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.”
Samsung then responded by stating they were not disabling Windows Update despite the evidence provided by Barker:
“It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers. 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.”
I seem to recall a very similar response from Lenovo earlier this year relating to Superfish.
Finally, on 26 June, Samsung provided VentureBeat with a new statement that indicated they will patch their software so that Windows Update will no longer be disabled:
“Samsung has a commitment to security and we continue to value our partnership with Microsoft. 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.”
Saying all the right things of course after blatantly claiming they were not disabling the Windows Update mechanism but waiting a few days to implement the patch.
If you wonder why Microsoft chooses to produce their own first party hardware like Surface and offer programs such as the Microsoft Store's Signature edition for new computers all you have to do is look at situations like this and it becomes much clearer.
After the mess around Lenovo earlier this year you would think every OEM out there would use that as an opportunity to look at their own processes and make sure they are not doing similar things.
I guess it is kind of like proofreading your own work - easy to overlook your mistakes.