Protect your pockets, America

Everyone should read this. Yes, Microsoft is naughty.

Brian Livingston makes a very clear case.

Dump Windows Update, use alternatives
Only a few weeks after Microsoft started quietly auto-installing Windows Genuine Advantage to Windows machines, the software giant has back-pedaled.

We explain how you can skip Redmond
and use more reliable patch-management products.

For those in a hurry, here’s his 4-point elevator summary:

1. Turn off Automatic Updates in the Control Panel. Set it to merely notify you of new patches, not auto-install them.

2., an independent patch-download system, which I’ve been asked about by many readers, is a flawed alternative to Windows Update that I can’t recommend.

3. By contrast, patch-management software that’s well-supported, such as Shavlik’s NetChkPro ($25), provides an inexpensive and reliable solution that far exceeds Windows Update’s capabilities.

4. Once your alternative update mechanism is in place, follow the routine I describe to uninstall WGA and get it out of your system for good.

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