In the case uncovered by Windows Secrets, the fixes were downloaded and installed automatically, without notification, even in cases where users sought to exercise that greater control.
Microsoft Corp., graciously sorta apologized after being outed by the tattletale newsletter, Windows Secrets. Seems that the Windows Update would be able to do this convenient spiffy trick for individual computers and not for large enterprises. Gosh, if only they had left a note so we could thank them for taking action on update concerns we small singular computer users did not know we had. How to thank them for such proactive customer service will keep me up tonight waiting and watching the screen for the smallest flicker of inspiration on stealthy next steps.
The twist is that the "silent" updates in question were for the Windows Update program itself.
That made these updates different from other types, contended Microsoft's Nate Clinton, Windows Update program manager, in an online post. Because they involved the Windows Update program, he wrote that it was important to download and install the updates automatically, even if users had opted for more control over the process.
"Had we failed to update the service automatically, users would not have been able to successfully check for updates and, in turn, users would not have had updates installed automatically or received expected notifications," Clinton wrote.
Curl up next to your newly triple reinforced firewall in front of your 24/7 guarded laptop and read Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire by James Wallace and Jim Erickson. You'll feel much better, more, um, silently secure.