I'm curious what other Windows users think about this type of scenario..

A few months ago, I had our entire office (25+ workstations) configured with a GFI's Vipre Internet Security. I'd been using GFI's solutions for Virus protection for nearly three years! Then they went and did something that annoyed the heck out of me because it broke a couple of software applications we use on a daily basis that for specific reasons, we did NOT want updated.

GFI added something I didn't catch when their program update came through.. A Software Update function which after a fresh install or upgrade of their product, was turned ON by default - no option to disable it during installation or upgrade process.

Thankfully, I use the Advanced version of Acronis Backup and Recovery 11.5 here to make incremental image back-ups to all workstations every night, but I did not appreciate the extra work that was involved in restoring images back to the 4 or 5 workstations that were affected before I became aware of the problem.

Annoyed by the extra work their stupidity caused me, I voted with our company wallet and decided that despite the fact that we still had several months left of free GFI updates, dumped Vipre from all of our workstations and purchased / deployed Avast Endpoint Security instead, along with their SOA module so that I could have the convenience of managing the entire office and deploying to new workstations from my main Windows 7 Admin box.

I then sent out a broadcast email to all my clients that I knew were using Vipre Internet Security advising what GFI had done so they were aware of it and advised them to be sure to disable the function immediately after an upgrade or fresh install of VIS if they did not want automatic updates of their software applications.

Fast forward a few months..

Recently, I started getting calls from a few clients, complaining about having problems with software because it suddenly updated itself without any warning or prompting. It didn't take long to figure out that they too got caught out, but not by GFI this time. Avast has jumped on the bandwagon and also included a software update monitor in the recently released Avast "Pro" Antivirus Version 8. I'm unsure at time of writing if other Avast end user protection versions also have this issue.

Fortunately Avast Endpoint Security has not had this idiotic software updater included yet and my hope is that if my emails to Avast do any good, it won't be in the near future - or at the very least, the updater will be set to OFF by default, rather than on, giving those who want to use it the choice to turn it on.

Why do software vendors insist on doing something as idiotic as this? What would be so hard in giving the end user a "prompt" to ask them if they would like a new feature enabled, rather than have it set to Automatically (and worse, silently) download and update any software "they" consider should be updated. Do we now need to study the details of every new release of our AV programs to ensure that changes won’t be made to our machines without our knowledge when the AV software updates itself?

One client of ours, who only purchased a copy of Avast Professional a few months ago is in the process of asking Avast to provide a full refund of the 2 year subscription he purchased due to his having to employ external IT support to revert the damage that was done by software upgrades he (like us with GFI's product) simply did not want. I don't blame him.

I find this type of behavior by software developers to be ludicrous.

I've no doubt some people love software updaters - personally, I do not and even consider them to be a form of Malware because they can often cause more problems than they solve.

Users should be given a choice of turning something like that ON during an install or upgrade process, not set to be on after a default install or upgrade and then go ahead and silently update software on its own. Malware does exactly that – if you get infected by Malware, it can often do things to your machine without your knowledge.

To all the developers out there - please use your heads and stick to what you're good at.

This idea of an Antivirus programs silently checking for and automatically updating software on machines is idiotic in many scenarios, particularly in the business sector.

From my own standpoint, if I want an automated software updater, I'll purchase one of my own choosing.

/end rant

There.. now I feel better!