Last night when shutting down my computer (Dell XPS 400) with Windows XP, I noticed a new little appendage to the "Turn Off" button. It was the little shield-shaped icon that Windows uses to notify you that there are updates available to be downloaded and/or installed. Heretofore, a notice appeared in the System Tray area. Now, however, the geniuses at Microsoft have decided that if I did not elect to install the updates while the computer was on, then it would do it for me prior to allowing the computer to shut down. While doing the updates (10 of them in this case, taking about 10 minutes), it kept flashing a message warning me not to turn off the computer - that it would turn itself off automatically when completed. This is reminiscent of the old AOL software days, which is one of the many reasons I abandoned AOL a decade ago.
This REALLY sucks because I turn off my UPS right after the computer shuts down, so I had to stand around ad wait for all the
updates to finish installing. I can just imagine the outrage this new "feature" will cause when some poor unknowing schmuck is sitting in at the gate at an airport waiting until the last possible moment to turn off his notebook computer before boarding the airplane, when he (or she) gets this message warning not to turn off the computer while updates install.
I'm sure MS will catch a lot of well-deserved grief over this debacle. Hopefully, the next time my computer tells me to hang around and wait for the computer to turn off while it installs updates, one of the updates it is installing will be the undoing of this annoyance.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster