Feeds

MS lawyers take out AutoPatcher

Redmond cracks down on Windows Update alternative

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft has forced the effective shut down of the AutoPatcher download service.

AutoPatcher offered an alternative to Windows Update by providing an up-to-date collection of security patches and tweaks in a single file for each supported version of Windows. Sys admins could save time and bandwidth by updating machines from a single file obtained from the service rather than downloading everything for Windows Update.

The unofficial service had been ticking along happily for four years until early this week, when a legal nastygram from Microsoft forced AutoPatcher to pull the plug.

"We received an e-mail from Microsoft, requesting the immediate take-down of the download page, which of course means that AutoPatcher is probably history. As much as we disagree, we can do very little, and although the download page is merely a collection of mirrors, we took the download page down," a statement from AutoPatcher explains.

"We would like to thank you for your support. For the past four years, it has been a blast. Unfortunately, it seems like it's the end of AutoPatcher as we know it."

Windows news site Neowin, a co-sponsor of AutoPatcher, also received a cease-and-desist notice from Microsoft. Neowin stopped hosting the AutoPatcher support forum after receiving the notice.

Microsoft cited the security risks of allowing third party distribution of patches in explaining its decision to force the closure of AutoPatcher.

"It is Microsoft policy that the distribution of supplemental code such as hotfixes, security updates, and service packs is discouraged. This policy is in place due to concern for the safety and security of our customers, as we can only guarantee the download’s contents when it comes from a Microsoft Web site. Distribution of these materials without permission is also an infringement of our copyright," Microsoft said in a statement.

"We contacted AutoPatcher earlier today {Wednesday] to request that they stop redistributing our Microsoft intellectual property. As of this afternoon, it is our understanding that they no longer offer the Microsoft updates from their site."

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

In related news, Firefox users running pre-Vista versions of Windows can download patches directly from Windows Update, following changes to the service by Microsoft.

®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?