Microsoft as Chicken Little

I just got this notification from Microsoft on one of my Windows XP machines:

Microsoft Evil

Naturally I installed it, only to find out that now Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) never goes green. It goes orange – the color that it uses to alert the user of a problem. What’s worse, on every boot, it nags me about XP going out of support on April 8th – even though MSE will be supported until July 2015.

Given that Microsoft last month released an “urgent-but-pointless” update to XP to remind users that Windows XP is about to be “End-Of-Lifed”, this update is completely unnecessary. To make matters worse, they made this “update” impossible to install by itself.

Sickening

The only good news is that it is fairly simple to uninstall and reinstall MSE, which does not (yet) include this update.

As the go-to- guy for my friends and family, I am sick and tired of having to deal with Microsoft’s fearmongering. While Windows 7 is reputedly more secure than XP (though most exploits are common to all versions of Windows), the fact is that most ten-year-old computers are not man enough to run Windows, and until users can afford a machine that is, my advice is simple:

  • Keep your system patched
  • Don’t install anything you didn’t go looking for.
  • Don’t go surfing for porn, warez, illicit MP3s or stuff like that.
  • Keep good backups and fear no evil.

Now I have to add “Don’t install KB2949787” to the list.

Microsoft, you have crossed the line with this one.You have scared users without needing to – and worse, you have pissed me off.

I view this as a mean-spirited, cynical, dishonest and borderline evil move by Microsoft to scare people into upgrading to Windows 7 or 8. Apparently I am not the only person who feels this way.

Just Say No.

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