Microsoft apologises for Desktop Search update error

The company has apologised to customers affected by an update package that installed Windows Desktop Search without approval

Microsoft has apologised for a Windows Server update that automatically installed the Windows Desktop Search tool on users' desktops without approval.

The mistake happened because Microsoft reused the same update package as when Windows Desktop Search (WDS) was first published in February as an optional update that was only applicable to systems with the search tool previously installed.

This meant organisations that had approved the February update package for a limited number of machines had this week's new update automatically install WDS on all clients because the Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) is set by default to automatically approve update revisions.

One IT manager affected by the update told "I came into the office this morning and found that every one of our desktops and servers which are on WSUS have had the WDS tool automatically installed. We were shocked as we do not automatically approve anything for our systems, unless we have already approved an old version of the same update. So Microsoft has decided to push this directly out, bypassing any approval opportunity we have set. To say the least we are not happy and we're currently reviewing what we are going to do."

In a post on Microsoft's WSUS blog Bobbie Harder, programme manager for WSUS, said: "We sincerely regret the inconvenience this has caused and extend a sincere apology to all impacted customers."

Microsoft said it is working to correct the issue and has temporarily suspended the distribution of the search tool through WSUS.

Harder said: "We will make a new package available for WSUS in the near future, but not as an update revision, so you can rely on predictable update behaviour with auto-approval settings. We are also working on improving our internal publishing processes to ensure this does not happen again."

Microsoft said customers wanting to uninstall the WDS update revision released this week can do so via the add/remove programs feature and by following the instructions on Microsoft's WSUS blog.