Well, here's a Development You Should Know About: Microsoft has started cramming spyware into their automatic "security" updates, and concerned users now have a great, free alternative to Windows Update:
In my last issue, I reported that Microsoft's in-house Windows Update routine is now likely to download marketing gimmicks such as Windows Genuine Advantage to your PC. I advised all Windows users, other than novices, to turn off Automatic Updates.Free Windows Update alternative is released (Windows Secrets)
Because promptly patching Windows is vitally important to your security, however, I recommended a trusted, third-party replacement: Shavlik Technologies' HFNetChkPro, which supports a much wider variety of programs than does Windows Update. The only downside is that the HFNetChkPro software, while priced reasonably at $25 USD per PC, requires a license for a minimum of 5 PCs.
After that newsletter appeared, Shavlik released a stunning improvement on this frustrating situation. The company's NetChk Protect — which offers antispyware scanning in addition to patch-management — is now completely free for 1 to 10 PCs for one year.