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back to article MS misses restart button on desktop auto-updates

Microsoft has been forced to halt automatic updates to Vista service pack one (SP1) because of glitches with its Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS), which has already laid waste to XP SP3. The Dynamics RMS bug delivered a nasty shiner to the software giant late Tuesday. Now it’s emerged that Vista SP1’s auto distribution …

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Paris Hilton

Oh, dear.

Microsoft aren't having much luck lately are they?

Paris, because she also has experience of pulling out at the last possible second.

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu Linux doesn't have these problems.

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The advantage of a closed shop?

If the problem were with a 3rd party app, the release would have gone ahead and the response would have been "not our problem".

Surely this is another case of taking advantage of their monopoly? :)

And before anyone screams too loud, this isn't a totally serious point, although it is almost...

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@AC

Yeah, of course Ubuntu doesn't have these problems. It must never have updates - only way it could never breaks other apps.

If it's anything like the Red Hat installs I know some financial services use, it's about 5 years old and never touched because IBM says "Oooh, we've not okayed any of those updates with DB2, so we can't support you". Result, they stick with a bunch of 5 year old, unpatched servers running out of date software simply because you "don't fix what isn't broken" (by broken they mean it's currently doing the job it was asked to do and hasn't yet been hacked). They could upgrade to the latest and greatest OS and DB2 etc - but "it isn't broken" and would require a huge amount of money for new hardware (and new DB2 licenses etc) for testing and rollout.

As Graham said, at least staying with 1 supplier helps avoid situations where you must update the OS, but you can't update the database and the OS upgrade breaks something. In general, MS server service packs roll out quite smoothly and play nicely toghether.

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Linux

Ubuntu

"Ubuntu Linux doesn't have these problems."

Yes it does - it was rather difficult to get it to update from Feisty to Gutsy. Gutsy to Hardy worked fine for me, though.

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Retail

I knew there was a good reason why so many retailers use AS/400 kit

(Shrunk from 1/2 size of room, it now looks like a tower PC).

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Stop

RE: Ubuntu

RE: Anonymous - Ubuntu

Whilst a Ubuntu fan myself an a strong advocate of GNU/Linux, it is not technically true that this sort of thing would not happen on Ubuntu. Case in point:

http://www.linux.com/articles/56643

http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/54

Jonathan

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@AC/Ubuntu

Er...yes it does.

Many many times my system has been totalled by a dodgy update or updates which fix some minor thing I've never used and break something else quite major.

Kudos to MS for actually stopping this going out, you'd be complaining a lot more if you ran a business on this POS software and found it completely dead.

Not that i'd use an MS product to rely on in my business you understand....

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Flame

Ubuntu...

Hey, anonymous. I'm an Ubuntu (actually Kubuntu) user, fan, and evangelist, and even I'm not that naive. I'm currently preparing to upgrade all my home systems to 8.04.

Basically, I have backed up everything I can, burned a copy of System Rescue CD, and metaphorically put on a world-war-two home-guard-style tin hat ready for the time when I finally screw up my courage and hit the "upgrade" button.

(Cue scottish accent and choruses of "We're doomed!" from the wife.)

On the other hand, I suspect it's still rather easier than an 'upgrade' to Vista.

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Coat

Will they finally...

put the "I own this f**** machine and I'll do whatever I f****ing want with it" button?

Geez, every time I change something on the control panel (or anywhere for that matter) it asks me if I am sure... lucky me the Vista-infected laptop belongs to my dad, not me. I will stick with XP until they fix Vista for good.

Vista is the new Millenium Edition. It was so crappy that everybody I know jumped straight from Win 98 to Win XP. Perhaps it will happen again.

Another thing, why the hell should they change the position of everything concerning setup? I felt as lost as the first day I touched KDE on a Linux.

Good luck fixing the bugs M$.

Mine is the one in the back, AND I AM SURE OF IT.

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Ru
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Kernel updates

on linux are always fun. They have represented an exciting set of moving goalposts for various bits of hardware development, after all.

Personally, I'm not sure I'd use ubuntu in this circumstance anyway. I'd be somewhat happier using debian-stable, for example.

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Black Helicopters

So what's the REAL reason?

There's no way Microsoft would hold up these two service packs for 38,000 retail systems. That's just a cover story. There must be some deeper, darker flaw they discovered. Probably something awful and awfully embarrassing. Just a guess.

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Gates Halo

Does this set a precedent?

Does this mean Redmond has set a precedent for themselves?

So, if any SP in the future breaks compatibility with any application with a worldwide install base of more than 38000 seats they are now duty bound to halt the SP and fix the bug?

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Coat

"POS application"

"POS" is pretty much how I'd describe /every/ M$ application...

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@AC

Unbuntu may or may not have these problems, but nor does it have a competent POS solution, so I hope that you aren't advocating it as an alternative...

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Paris Hilton

@AC/Ubuntu

Just about every Linux (SUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu) distro I've tried has cocked up quite badly at some point or another either with an upgrade or something screwy has happened with the package manager. No complex piece of software is immune to the unforeseen. I agree with AC2 and find that MS's updates are generally quite an agreeable experience provided you watch out for 3rd party drivers which I usually grab direct from source.

Paris, because helps me pull it off now and again.

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Flame

How many Microsoft customers...

are being left with (more) insecure desktops because of these 38,000 customers with this POS* installed? Surely the right thing to do would be to make the install check for the existence of this POS* and simply not install in that one case (although surely the right thing to do would have been to test the install on a system with this POS* to begin with.) That shouldn't take more than 1 hour to code. Then the update could go out as planned, just not install on the POS* systems.

* Guess which expansion of POS I mean.

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Stop

heh... Ubuntu

yeah... just installed Kubuntu 8.04 and behold... no touchpad control app. it's back to the stone age for configuring your touchpad. edit your conf files the hard way. It's a wonder linux is as popular as it is since normal users don't have a prayer of using it without someone that knows how to tweak it by their side holding their hand. All you windows naysayers should get it through your thick heads that until linux has a gui front end for all functions, it doesn't stand a chance of being mainstream. It'll remain a niche player in the desktop world for geeks and nerds who understand the concepts of conf files and text editors.

(I did get my touchpad configured enough to work, but I'll have to spend a lot more time working out the X/Y limits and finding the vert/horiz scroll bars again. Something I DON'T have to do in windows.)

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Linux

Updating software can keep you legal

"Vista is the new Millenium Edition. It was so crappy that everybody I know jumped straight from Win 98 to Win XP. Perhaps it will happen again."

I jumped from Win 98 to Win ME, and stopped. Worked well until I tried to update Internet Explorer and was left wondering if I would ever see the internet again. Fortunately I had a roll back application and undid the change.

"If it's anything like the Red Hat installs I know some financial services use, it's about 5 years old and never touched because IBM says "Oooh, we've not okayed any of those updates with DB2, so we can't support you". Result, they stick with a bunch of 5 year old, unpatched servers running out of date software simply because you "don't fix what isn't broken" "

Obviously not British then. If the FSA find you are running out of date unpatched software, you loose your licence. This is a bigger no-no then posting all the tax payers on the internet (surprised the italian servers stayed up long enough for people to check their details).

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Dear Editor,

Can we have a competition, please, to explore the full range of topics which correspondents can manage to twist round to a discussion about Linux?

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonymous Coward

Rubbish.

-- If you run bleeding edge software then expect to get problems with existing apps / databases etc. This is why we have _enterprise_ linux.

RHEL code base stays the same, the updates (kernels/apps etc etc) contain nothing but backported, tested (community testing -- fedora) bug fixes.

There are no new features in enterprise linux.

If you want new shiney code, then you must upgrade to the next release of RHEL.

e.g.: AS2.1, RHEL3, RHEL4, RHEL5 etc etc.

This is the point of enterprise linux.

Ubuntu is not enterprise linux.

Does DB2 have kernel drivers? no. Does Oracle? no.

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All Uk Financial Services comapnies run fully patched/updated servers.

in your dreams...

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Coat

@AC re POS

"Unbuntu may or may not have these problems, but nor does it have a competent POS solution, so I hope that you aren't advocating it as an alternative..."

I would suspect not, as most competent POS apps are written to run on suitably configured versions of Linux, Unix or whatever, *without* the huge overhead of running hulking great window manager (or Windows Super Elite Fancy Edition or whatever) underneath. You see, most people running POS want to be able to run a POS and *nothing else*.

There is no Ubuntu Branded POS software because Ubuntu isn't aimed at the POS market. There is POS software that will run on Ubuntu, just like it'll run on any other suitably configured linux distro, but why would you want to use a desktop/server oriented OS for POS applications?

And, for that matter, why would you want to use windows?

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J
Linux

Ubuntu upgrade

Well, off topic, but since y'all started it...

"I'm currently preparing to upgrade all my home systems to 8.04."

Brace yourself, anything might happen. I did do this upgrade (from 7.10) on my two machines, one running Ubuntu and the other Kubuntu. I had trouble with both. Nothing major for me, but a beginner would be in much bigger trouble.

The Ubuntu machine was seemingly fine until I activated the "restricted driver" for the video card. Then there was no X, no graphical part at all. When there was, it was a horrible mess of random lines and colors, nothing to see of the OS. I don't know whether Ubuntu would have been smart enough to notice the trouble and drop me to a safer setting, because before it had the chance to do that I changed my xorg.conf from 24 to 16 bit depth in one of the consoles (ctr-alt-Fn, where n < 7), as a guess. So in the next try Ubuntu went to a low resolution state, which was usable. I just rebooted instead, and now it came back fine, with the correct high resolution and the "restricted driver" disabled.

The Kubuntu machine was much less trouble, but it has some annoying sound issues. In general, it works just fine. But some apps (e.g. aMSN) lost the capability of playing sound when other apps are playing at the same time -- and that also depends on which they are. Most seem not to have this problem, but again, depends on which other program is playing. Annoying indeed. I wonder if reinstalling it from scratch instead of upgrading presents these problems... Otherwise, back to Gutsy. By the way, I haven't tested whether the Ubuntu machine has this sound problem yet.

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Who needs MS? :-)

"Well, off topic, but since y'all started it...

"I'm currently preparing to upgrade all my home systems to 8.04."

Brace yourself, anything might happen. I did do this upgrade (from 7.10) on my two machines, one running Ubuntu and the other Kubuntu. I had trouble with both. Nothing major for me, but a beginner would be in much bigger trouble."

Hehe, I had a whole *wolrd* of fun when my latop stopped working with Kernel Panics after an 8.04 beta upgrade [yes, I know, Beta etc, fookoff]

long story short, after three weeks of trying to fix it on and off, I traced the problem back to dodgy RAM [after a DCHP/TFTP boot gave kernel panics too].

Having spent a large part of the last few weeks evenings gurning about Linux, I am now happy, although only having 256mb of RAM, I'm a bit slow now.

Thing is, as my lappy doesn't boot from CD any more [god knows...] had this been a windows platform, without Server 2000/2003 and a RIS/WDS server [for the record, WDS is fucking brilliant, try it], I'd be truly, truly fucked. Thank god for open source and free TFTP/DHCP network booting :-)

<Drunken rant mode=TRUE>

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I upgraded

But I didn't inhale

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Just goes to show

Just goes to show "Idiocracy happens" when the legal tard's took down "Autopatcher" , they were not looking all that far in the future and all appear to have had their heads mostly inside their posteriors of what seemed like a good idea at the time turned out to be a total disaster !

So M$ is not very strong on forward planning since Bill's departure or so it would seem with these types of fiascos one after the other in linear fashion that is for sure .

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Linux

Ubuntu?

Psh, you have all sorts of issues with Ubuntu. But with Gentoo, you never ever have these kinds of problems. So long as you use glsa-check, followed by revdep-rebuild, and etc-update, and even rebuilding the entire system if necessary. =P

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@Updating software can keep you legal

I'm with david gomm on this one. While the FSA may require (for want of a better word) systems to be fully up-to-date and patched, this does not actually make it so in the real world.

Otherwise I'd either be spending every weekend patching/upgrading or trying to sort out stuff that broke after patching/upgrading...

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WTF!?

WTF is the Fundamentaly Stupid Authority doing worrying about software?

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@FSA

WTF? The FSA couldn't give a crap how well patched your software is. Your auditors might but that has sod all to do with the FSA. I work for a bank and we have software that hasn't been patched since the 80's for fear of breaking it. Last I checked the FSA hadn't "taken away" our license.

As for Ubuntu, it's a lovely hobbyist OS, but for those in the real world looking to get stuff done, rather than just "do computers" we need an OS that has some software available for it. Linux is great if your hobby is PC/Graphics/Music related. Anything outside of that you need windows.

And yes, my PC dual boots Vista AND Kubuntu 8.04.

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Happy

This is funny

It quickly turned from a Windows is Crap by Linux bods, into a version of Linux is crap by Linux fans.

What a refreshing change.....

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Anyone else ...

... not reading "Microsoft's POS software" as "Point Of Sale"?

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More ...MS ...BS

I just cannot get over the mess that "MS" is making of, well, just everything these days.

They want Yahoo, NOW, maybe, if the price is right, maybe.

They will take Yahoo, NOW, maybe, er, if Yahoo is nice about it.

Now this upgrade mess. Can't they do ... anything... right?

I guess not.

en

Desk PC, laptop Mac.

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How many?

In crude orders of magnitude, MS are currently holding back updates for about a billion users of Windows, in order to to protect 38,000 installs of their PoS. That's probably fewer than the number of XP/Vista machines running inside MS...

And what fantastic market penetration that PoS has! How many Point-of-Sale systems in small businesses world-wide? 380K? 3.8M? That admission must have hurt.

Mark

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Joke

Linux POS

Windows is really good software produced by an open company who want to share and work with others.

The software they produce is enables the users to get on with their tasks without any interference from the software, leaving them fully focussed on their tasks.

I think the reason they gave for pulling the release of that service pack because a minority of users with their niche software is entirely believable given the compassion of Microsoft and it's close relationship with the end users.

By contrast, the people behind Linux are a bunch of selfish mean spirited freaks who wouldn't lift a finger to help anyone.

If there is any problem in Linux software, well, you are on your own.

I wish there was a some good software which would enable me to browse around for problems other people have fixed, but alas everywhere you look in the Linux environment people are always demanding money for things.

And as for updates, well, they are so few and far between, you might as well give up checking.

I think anyone who could even try to depend on any Linux based system for, for example, running a web server or firewall is really asking to be infected as soon as it boots up.

I've heard some small company who is attempting to make this work.

I think I recall the name.

Yes, Google.

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