Beware of Windows Update…

I have Windows XP running, among much else, Office 2003. However, for the last 72 hours Windows Update (WU) has been trying to foist upon me scores of MBs of updates for Office 2007, which I don’t have (or want, or need).

I don’t allow WU to operate automatically, but have it set to show me all updates, which gives me the opportunity reject those that are no use to me (wrong updates are not unusual), and, on this occasion, to reject all the useless Office 2007 crap.

I’ve no idea what would have happened if all these updates for apps I don’t have had been installed automatically but, apart from taking up disc space, I doubt the effects would have been good (even legitimate updates are capable of wreaking havoc on occasion).

As a side issue, most of the crap – apart from a couple of large service packs 2 days apart – were security updates, which suggests Office 2007security  must have been pretty poor to begin with.

Anyway, if you have WU set to update automatically, and you don’t have Office 2007 installed, be aware that any operational weirdness may be down to these misapplied updates. In addition, you may want to consider changing the settings for WU from automatic to “show me first” (do that in Accessories – System Tools – Security Centre). A caveat: unless you know 100% what you’re doing, take care when it comes to rejecting updates. Stuff like this, for apps you don’t have, is OK (and if you’re not sure what you’re seeing, there’s always a link to click to get more info), but never reject updates just because you don’t like the look of them! Don’t snigger – it happens.

Why is this happening? I don’t know, but a few days ago Microsoft featured my recent post about Windows 7 on their Windows 7 website (along with about 30 others and 2,000+ Tweets on the subject). Is there a link? Dunno, but unless it’s happening universally – which is the reason for this warning – that’s all I can think of.

Now I’m just waiting to see if the buggerdly thing starts offering me updates for Windows 7!