Samsung will reinstate Windows updates on laptops

Samsung will shortly stop preventing automatic Windows updates on its laptops, after it initially denied it was blocking the service.

The company plans to issue a patch through the Samsung Software Update service that will reinstate automatic updates to Microsoft's operating system in the next few days.

It added in a statement: "Samsung has a commitment to security and we continue to value our partnership with Microsoft. Samsung remains committed to providing a trustworthy user experience."

The news follows a discovery last week by an independent Microsoft engineer, Patrick Barker, that Samsung had turned off the updates for users of its Notebooks.

Samsung allegedly used an executbale file, Disable_Windowsupdate.exe, in order to prevent conflicts with the systems that control its hardware, anddenied claims it was undermining critical security features by doing so.

Barker was told by a Samsung customer services representative: "When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates."

However, when IT Pro contacted Samsung, a spokesperson initially denied that it was blocking Windows updates.

"It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers," said the spokesperson. "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 0330 726 7864."

IT Pro asked for further clarification regarding Disable_Windowsupdate.exe in other versions of Windows identified by Barker, as well as the file's actual function, but did not receive an adequate reply.

In a statement last week, Microsoft said: "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."

Image by Jung Jinho

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.