I hope I am not taking liberties in using a direct Email; but, I was curious about what you had written and thought you might be interested in my thoughts on your article entitled "Worm Exploits Weak Link: PC Users".
Microsoft is exactly analogous to the stereotypical image of a poorly run government. They have gotten so large and cumbersome; with no organized oversight or Q/C, that sometimes I wonder how any of their products still work and this concept is easily demonstrable if one looks closely.
If one downloads and installs a "WindowsUpdate" component manually, it is never listed as having been installed by the site! I reported this to them as a bug almost two years ago, and haven't seen it fixed or even the courtesy of a reply (other than an autoresponder).
Older users learned long ago that updates or newer versions didn't necessarilly work. I will go to great lengths not to install any update or version upgrade that I do not have stored locally on my drive. IE4, as an example, blew up many a computer and, when one called Microsoft, users were told to reinstall it, That was mighty hard to do when it was downloaded and installed via the internet, the download obliterated itself during installation, and IE no longer works
Anecdotal and aside; but illustrative, the most common problem with Windows 95 was that the CD would stop working and, when the user did what Microsoft suggested, they were merrily presented with " Insert the Windows 95 CD and press any key when ready".
And new users still suffer. Updates for one part of Windows break some other part. The HTML Help security patch broke one woman's computer such that she couldn't print from IE or her Email. Not so bad until she tells you that she gets her company's bank deposits via Email and has been printing a copy every day, for years.
IE6, which WindowsUpdate tries to ram down everybody's throat, breaks Windows 98 and ME ( some Win 2k's also) by installing files for WindowsXP. It's an insidious break, too; one that causes almost every application to blow up, seemingly at random and often eating whatever file the user is working on. Again, I know Microsoft knows about this ( I told them over a year ago, with technical details) and it is all over the net, if you look; but, you won't even get the faintest whisper at Support, Technet, or MSDN. Occam's razor, in fact, concludes that this is a deliberate conspiracy to force users to upgrade.
Even Microsoft's own presenter made a joke about WindowsUpdate problems during their presentation on Server 2003 and the features involving local updates wherein users get their updates from the local server after IT has tested them. Hmmmm?
So, yes, I encounter users who have tons of updates ready to install; but have never installed any of them, and users that got annoyed and turned it off altogether. I also encounter users that don't realize that the virus being reported on CNN has anything; whatsoever, to do with their computer.
There are also; though, millions of users that have been bit, sometimes quite hard, by Microsoft's updates and upgrades that are inclined to never upgrade, or, to wait a few months and let other folks be the guinea pigs.
Since our initial subject was virus related, I will close with the mention that good, current, antiviral software catches 95+% of the attacks attempting to exploit the security flaws and pursuing that end to the masses would result in a much safer computing environment for far less effort.
P.S. What do you think of this statement from the president of a local
competitor: "No, we don't check their computers. Viruses are good