Does Microsoft care about security?

On one of my computers, I have Windows Vista.  I mostly use that computer for linux, but I do occasionally use Windows.  For anti-virus, I have MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials).

At present, the computer is telling me that the virus tables are 6 days old.

Although I would prefer to use that computer with linux, on Wednesday, I left it running Windows for around 12 hours.  It failed to update the AV definitions.  On Thursday, I left it running Windows for 14 hours.  Again, it failed to update the AV definitions.  On Friday, I left it running Windows for 16 hours. And, again, it failed to update the AV definitions.  Today (it is still Saturday local time), it has been running Windows for over 10 hours, and has failed to update the AV definitions.

On Wednesday, I also booted my laptop to Windows.  I had not used the laptop for several days, so the AV definitions were three days old.  It updated after around 3 hours.  But the Vista system still has not updated.

This is the third consecutive month when I have had problems with updating MSE, at around the time of patch Tuesday.  The previous two months, I attempted to manually update.  On the manual update, it did a search for virus updates, then seemed to hang there forever not actually downloading.  It did eventually update, after repeating this for two days.  This month, I decided to allow it to update without manual intervention, with the results described above.

It seems pretty obvious that, recently, Microsoft has worsened the priority for updates to Windows 7 and to Vista.  The priority worsening is greater for Vista than for Windows 7.  It affects monthly patches as well as MSE virus table updates.

The message to malware producers is loud and clear.  Malware producers should distribute their malware on patch Tuesday, and Microsoft will give them a free run for several days.

About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

3 responses to “Does Microsoft care about security?”

  1. Benno says :

    i had a similar problem with setting up my mothers w7-pc (personally i use linux and i’m unable to learn or really understand MS-windows-OS, everything HKLM, maybe “similar-OS-function” as YaST2 > /etc/sysconfig)

    MS first offered this “free of charge” w10-Upgrade-option for w7-owner. Maybe to push user to update. Later were conflicts with the integrated “MS-Update-Application”, another problem seems to be: use either MS-Security-Essentials-Update-option or Update MS-Sec.-Essen. with the w7-OS-Update-Appl., but not both Update possibilities at same time. (this is old, it seems that MS had cleaned up by an update kb the old w10-Upgrade-Files. I solved it with help of:

    i’m learning linux as a individual non-IT-being.
    information which you give here, on your website is great! Thank you very much.


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