Autopatcher shut down by Microsoft

By Rob Dunn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Autopatcher, a frequently updated project devoted to compiling all the Windows Updates into a single installation package (geared toward offline system updating and quick system rebuilds), has been shut down by Microsoft as of yesterday (08/29/07).

Citing security and intellectual property as reasons for the action, Microsoft contacted the site owners of Autopatcher and Neowin.net (which housed an Autopatcher support forum) with a legal takedown notice, demanding that the download and support pages be removed immediately. As a result (as if there could be any other outcome), downloads and support forums were taken down as of yesterday afternoon.

A note on SynergyMX‘s website reflects exactly what I was already thinking:

The security giant declined to explain the timing of decision, leaving critics to suggest that getting rid of a service that allowed users to obtain patches without Windows Genuine Advantage controls might be among the reasons behind the move.

While I can appreciate the reasoning behind the action (especially coming from a “security giant”), I don’t think that distributing MS patches is a criminal offense. If people want to download unauthorized patches, then let them do it. After all, they will be the ones to deal with support if anything breaks. With that said however, Autopatcher was very reputable, and had a huge fanbase, especially with those fed up with the love-it or hate-it Windows Update service.

Check out the Neowin forums for the ongoing discussion as some are trying to organize a ‘fight back’ campaign. I wish them the best, but my guess is that it will be a futile effort… Either way, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

***Update***

Potential news that the Autopatcher project could continue under Microsoft’s direction?  See here for details…

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19 Responses to Autopatcher shut down by Microsoft

  1. How much more will it take to convince you that using Windows is not in your best interests when options like Linux and MacOSX exist?

  2. How much more will it take to convince you that using Windows is not in your best interests when options like Linux and MacOSX exist?

  3. Your idea of 'best interests' is not the same as everyone else's…

    Which distribution of Linux should we use? Which packages should we download for optimum functionality? Which Linux book should I get for my 65 year old mother so she can figure out how to log on to AOL and email a picture? Does AOL even support Linux?

    The whole 'Linux and MacOSX vs. Windows' argument is tiresome…While I agree that Windows is definitely NOT the best OS for all purposes out there, it is the most prevalent; and honestly, it IS the best OS for folks like my mother.

    • And we're not even talking about SMB's who cannot be staffed by experimented IT people here..

      Don't take me wrong, I love linux, but for most folks, it just won't do.

  4. Your idea of ‘best interests’ is not the same as everyone else’s…

    Which distribution of Linux should we use? Which packages should we download for optimum functionality? Which Linux book should I get for my 65 year old mother so she can figure out how to log on to AOL and email a picture? Does AOL even support Linux?

    The whole ‘Linux and MacOSX vs. Windows’ argument is tiresome…While I agree that Windows is definitely NOT the best OS for all purposes out there, it is the most prevalent; and honestly, it IS the best OS for folks like my mother.

    • And we’re not even talking about SMB’s who cannot be staffed by experimented IT people here..

      Don’t take me wrong, I love linux, but for most folks, it just won’t do.

  5. I'm using Linux Mint, which is Ubuntu-based. I fix computers all the time and Linux Mint is now to the point where I am confident in installing it on pretty much everyone's computers, especially those who don't know a whole lot about computers.

    I mean, why would you want to give an OS that gets viruses and spyware, expiring antivirus software, non-stop pop-ups, is constantly plagued with security and performance problems and other crap to someone who doesn't know a lot about computers?

    When you switch from Windows to linux, pretty much all of those kinds of problems become non-existent. I don't even use antivirus software on my computer, because I have no use for it. I can go to all the virus-filled sex and pirate sites I want or whatever else I want and come out completely untouched.

    Microsoft is starting to crumble as linux is becoming the way of the future. If you haven't checked it out in a while, take another look. It's changed a lot in the last couple of years. Go to YouTube and check out "compiz" and "beryl" to see what I mean.

  6. I’m using Linux Mint, which is Ubuntu-based. I fix computers all the time and Linux Mint is now to the point where I am confident in installing it on pretty much everyone’s computers, especially those who don’t know a whole lot about computers.

    I mean, why would you want to give an OS that gets viruses and spyware, expiring antivirus software, non-stop pop-ups, is constantly plagued with security and performance problems and other crap to someone who doesn’t know a lot about computers?

    When you switch from Windows to linux, pretty much all of those kinds of problems become non-existent. I don’t even use antivirus software on my computer, because I have no use for it. I can go to all the virus-filled sex and pirate sites I want or whatever else I want and come out completely untouched.

    Microsoft is starting to crumble as linux is becoming the way of the future. If you haven’t checked it out in a while, take another look. It’s changed a lot in the last couple of years. Go to YouTube and check out “compiz” and “beryl” to see what I mean.

  7. My next corporate PC is an Intel iMac with emulation/dual boot XP. Most of the people in the pilot test do 80% of their daily activities from the OS X side. This included sales and R&D folks!

  8. My next corporate PC is an Intel iMac with emulation/dual boot XP. Most of the people in the pilot test do 80% of their daily activities from the OS X side. This included sales and R&D folks!

  9. I started out with DOS and used Desqview to multitask. When Windows 286 (the first really usable version) came out I thought it was prettier, but I was also trying out OS/2 at the same time. Desqview was much better at multitasking (unlike Windows, it didn't suspend apps in the background) but since most apps were still character-mode, it didn't seem to matter too much.

    While MS Windows became the dominant UI and OS, it got progressively 'prettier' but less stable. I didn't really get the whole 'Mac' thing and kept blowing it off.

    It only took me about 20 years to come to my senses and realize that I'm tired of building PCs (I don't really have the time to worry about what components to use, compatability, etc) and I now make enough money that when I need to buy a new computer every three years, I can just find a good deal online for something that gets good reviews and just buy it.

    It also only took me to about 15 years to come to my senses and realize that Windows really does suck and it doesn't do what I want (easy to use, stable, reliable, good support) and that if I keep 'feeding the beast', there won't be any good alternatives and I'll never find out if there even are any.

    About 5 years ago I tried out Linux. My, my, my has much changed in the last 5 years. Why have there been so many advances in Linux, so many improvements, and it's still 'open source' and Windows is still substantially expense and still sucks? I couldn't commit to Linux because it didn't have the tools I needed and there were still hardware issues and I still needed something that would 'just work.' I still hadn't gone Mac, and I don't know why.

    Last year I loaded Ubuntu on my Dell Latitude D500 in an effort to escape Windows. It worked great, but the lack of support made me continue to look elsewhere (I know there are support corps out there but I wanted better support for my OS from other vendors as well.)

    Three weeks ago I bought a MBP (the newer 15.4") and I couldn't be happier. I'm sure that there wil be things I don't like about it (I need to find a compatible portable USB scanner) — I'm still in the whole newlywed phase — but (a)things mostly 'just work', (b)no BSOD or reboots as of yet, (c)Bootcamp allows me to run games not supported [well] in OS X, (d)VMWare takes care of the rest. The hardware and software have subtle features that sometimes are not obviously noticed but make a big difference — the same way that if you don't drive a Mercedes you might think they are _just_ a more expensive car and not a _better_ car.

    Now I've got my 'Mercedes'.

  10. I started out with DOS and used Desqview to multitask. When Windows 286 (the first really usable version) came out I thought it was prettier, but I was also trying out OS/2 at the same time. Desqview was much better at multitasking (unlike Windows, it didn’t suspend apps in the background) but since most apps were still character-mode, it didn’t seem to matter too much.

    While MS Windows became the dominant UI and OS, it got progressively ‘prettier’ but less stable. I didn’t really get the whole ‘Mac’ thing and kept blowing it off.

    It only took me about 20 years to come to my senses and realize that I’m tired of building PCs (I don’t really have the time to worry about what components to use, compatability, etc) and I now make enough money that when I need to buy a new computer every three years, I can just find a good deal online for something that gets good reviews and just buy it.

    It also only took me to about 15 years to come to my senses and realize that Windows really does suck and it doesn’t do what I want (easy to use, stable, reliable, good support) and that if I keep ‘feeding the beast’, there won’t be any good alternatives and I’ll never find out if there even are any.

    About 5 years ago I tried out Linux. My, my, my has much changed in the last 5 years. Why have there been so many advances in Linux, so many improvements, and it’s still ‘open source’ and Windows is still substantially expense and still sucks? I couldn’t commit to Linux because it didn’t have the tools I needed and there were still hardware issues and I still needed something that would ‘just work.’ I still hadn’t gone Mac, and I don’t know why.

    Last year I loaded Ubuntu on my Dell Latitude D500 in an effort to escape Windows. It worked great, but the lack of support made me continue to look elsewhere (I know there are support corps out there but I wanted better support for my OS from other vendors as well.)

    Three weeks ago I bought a MBP (the newer 15.4″) and I couldn’t be happier. I’m sure that there wil be things I don’t like about it (I need to find a compatible portable USB scanner) — I’m still in the whole newlywed phase — but (a)things mostly ‘just work’, (b)no BSOD or reboots as of yet, (c)Bootcamp allows me to run games not supported [well] in OS X, (d)VMWare takes care of the rest. The hardware and software have subtle features that sometimes are not obviously noticed but make a big difference — the same way that if you don’t drive a Mercedes you might think they are _just_ a more expensive car and not a _better_ car.

    Now I’ve got my ‘Mercedes’.

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