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Is it a must to install all the Windows updates? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    There is a debate in our company about whether we should install the Windows updates.

    I have developed a few applications targeting.NET framework 3.5 client profile. They work fine on all the PCs which have Windows updates regularly installed. However, they wouldn't run on my boss's laptop, which is a Windows XP,  which he hasn't installed updates for years. He is running some application that had been there on his laptop for years, without any problem. He's point is that large organizations often don't install ALL windows updates - they selectively install some of them which are useful to them.

    My boss requires me to pin point which specific Windows update is missing to run the .NET 3.5 application. Is there a way to find out that? The exception message is thrown from deep in the OS and is usually meaningless. How am I going to give him a list of 35 or 127 Windows updates that is needed for a .NET application to run?

    My argument is: you are using Microsoft Windows OS. If you don't like Microsoft that's fair enough - use Linux or Apple. But if you use their product, you should listen to their recommendations. It is like buying a diesel car but insisting to use petrol.

    Do you guys have a stronger argument that I can use to persuade my boss to simply do the recommended Windows updates? He is even threatening to give up .NET and ask me to rewrite the huge application in Delphi or C++, just so it wouldn't require the Windows updates.

    Friday, April 20, 2012 6:20 AM

Answers

  • Hi

    It is essential that your Windows PC is up to date and current with the latest Windows Updates. Microsoft has done an excellent job in providing the user the ability to select which updates to install. (As can be seen from the screen shot below, Windows Update specifies which are important and which are optional) If your boss has a Windows XP machine, I would suggest that he upgrades to Windows 7. Support for Windows XP will soon expire and upgrading will ensure a continued great user experience. Windows 7 also offers excellent features that I am sure your boss will see the value in. (Support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) ended on July 13, 2010) 

    Then, also take note that rewriting an application in Delphi or C++ just in order to avoid a Windows Update is in my opinion a costly, unnecessary move. It will cost more to rewrite the app than it would to simply update your PC which is free. Anyway, rewriting the application in Delphi will not affect the status of the PC's updates. If it needs to be updated, it needs to be updated. End of story. Somewhere down the line, another application will require a component to be updated or installed anyway. So if it isn't your app, it will be some other app down the line. I guarantee you that.

    Then there is the case of security. Keeping your PC up to date is prudent from a security point of view. Microsoft continually patch vulnerabilities in the Operating System. Not applying these updates leaves your boss' PC (and sensitive data) open to attacks and virus infiltration's.

    Lastly, in order for a .NET 3.5 application to run, you must install the .NET Framework 3.5 on his Windows XP PC. If you have done this, please post the error message that he is seeing on this forum and let the community assist you.

    In my honest opinion, you must ensure that ALL important windows updates are installed. It is the best practice.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer. This helps us build a healthy and positive community. Happy programming!


    • Edited by DirkStrauss Friday, April 20, 2012 1:57 PM
    • Marked as answer by Silan Liu Sunday, April 22, 2012 10:26 PM
    Friday, April 20, 2012 1:47 PM
  • Updates are marked as important for a reason. If an update is deemed important for your PC, it means that there is an application or component of that application that needs patching. These are Security Updates for the .NET Framework, Definition Updates for Windows Defender etc. I somehow doubt that Windows Update will mark Definition Updates as available to you if you don't have Windows Defender installed. (Which begs the question, why don't you have Windows Defender installed.) The Update might suggest that you install Windows Defender as one of the important updates.

    Lastly, I know that if you are on a domain, then you can have the updates downloaded to a central server in your organization, and then the PC's connected to that domain get all the updates from that server (i.e. over the local network as opposed to everyone downloading it themselves from the Internet). But I am not a network admin, and wouldn't know where to start explaining how to achieve this.

    The bottom line is, installing important windows updates is a choice. You can choose to have a stable, safe and secure OS, or you can choose to sabotage your organization by not updating your copy of Windows with the latest security fixes. It all depends on how valuable your data is to you. Industrial Espionage isn't as far fetched as you might think. And I suspect that small companies are victims more times than they realize due to glaring weaknesses in the security of their network and PC's. (most times that not, the hack comes from someone inside the company) Anyway, the real question is this: will you assist viruses to infect your PC and network, or hand over the "keys" to your network to a hacker? Because if you aren't applying the required and important updates, you are doing just that.

    Good luck!


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer. This helps us build a healthy and positive community. Happy programming!

    • Marked as answer by Silan Liu Monday, April 23, 2012 11:44 PM
    Monday, April 23, 2012 7:01 AM

All replies

  • Hi

    It is essential that your Windows PC is up to date and current with the latest Windows Updates. Microsoft has done an excellent job in providing the user the ability to select which updates to install. (As can be seen from the screen shot below, Windows Update specifies which are important and which are optional) If your boss has a Windows XP machine, I would suggest that he upgrades to Windows 7. Support for Windows XP will soon expire and upgrading will ensure a continued great user experience. Windows 7 also offers excellent features that I am sure your boss will see the value in. (Support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) ended on July 13, 2010) 

    Then, also take note that rewriting an application in Delphi or C++ just in order to avoid a Windows Update is in my opinion a costly, unnecessary move. It will cost more to rewrite the app than it would to simply update your PC which is free. Anyway, rewriting the application in Delphi will not affect the status of the PC's updates. If it needs to be updated, it needs to be updated. End of story. Somewhere down the line, another application will require a component to be updated or installed anyway. So if it isn't your app, it will be some other app down the line. I guarantee you that.

    Then there is the case of security. Keeping your PC up to date is prudent from a security point of view. Microsoft continually patch vulnerabilities in the Operating System. Not applying these updates leaves your boss' PC (and sensitive data) open to attacks and virus infiltration's.

    Lastly, in order for a .NET 3.5 application to run, you must install the .NET Framework 3.5 on his Windows XP PC. If you have done this, please post the error message that he is seeing on this forum and let the community assist you.

    In my honest opinion, you must ensure that ALL important windows updates are installed. It is the best practice.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer. This helps us build a healthy and positive community. Happy programming!


    • Edited by DirkStrauss Friday, April 20, 2012 1:57 PM
    • Marked as answer by Silan Liu Sunday, April 22, 2012 10:26 PM
    Friday, April 20, 2012 1:47 PM
  • Thanks a lot DirkStrauss for your answer! May I clarify one thing please:

    Are you saying that ALL important updates must be installed?

    If an organization says

    "We only run X, Y and Z framework and application so we don't need ALL of the important updates - we will only selectively install some of the important updates and skip others",

    will you say

    "Well as long as you select correctly you are fine",

    or will you say

    "You MUST install ALL important  updates otherwise we can't guarantee your OS to work correctly"?

    Sunday, April 22, 2012 10:35 PM
  • Updates are marked as important for a reason. If an update is deemed important for your PC, it means that there is an application or component of that application that needs patching. These are Security Updates for the .NET Framework, Definition Updates for Windows Defender etc. I somehow doubt that Windows Update will mark Definition Updates as available to you if you don't have Windows Defender installed. (Which begs the question, why don't you have Windows Defender installed.) The Update might suggest that you install Windows Defender as one of the important updates.

    Lastly, I know that if you are on a domain, then you can have the updates downloaded to a central server in your organization, and then the PC's connected to that domain get all the updates from that server (i.e. over the local network as opposed to everyone downloading it themselves from the Internet). But I am not a network admin, and wouldn't know where to start explaining how to achieve this.

    The bottom line is, installing important windows updates is a choice. You can choose to have a stable, safe and secure OS, or you can choose to sabotage your organization by not updating your copy of Windows with the latest security fixes. It all depends on how valuable your data is to you. Industrial Espionage isn't as far fetched as you might think. And I suspect that small companies are victims more times than they realize due to glaring weaknesses in the security of their network and PC's. (most times that not, the hack comes from someone inside the company) Anyway, the real question is this: will you assist viruses to infect your PC and network, or hand over the "keys" to your network to a hacker? Because if you aren't applying the required and important updates, you are doing just that.

    Good luck!


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer. This helps us build a healthy and positive community. Happy programming!

    • Marked as answer by Silan Liu Monday, April 23, 2012 11:44 PM
    Monday, April 23, 2012 7:01 AM