How Not to Resolve a Programming Issue

samsungIt’s true that Apple users have a grudge against Samsung. The company did completely rip off Apple’s iPhone while manufacturing the iPhone for Apple. The cases, charges and counter charges rattled around in the courts for some years. WC tried to count up the number of cases world-wide, but it seems to be impossible. More than 50, anyway. In the United States cases, in the latest appeal by Samsung from a $930 million verdict in favor of Apple, Samsung won a kind of pyrrhic victory, and gets a new trial on the trademark aspects of the case.

WC, of course, is an admitted Apple fan-boy, going back to 1978.

So take this new story with suitable levels of skepticism.

It turns out that Samsung intentionally turned off the ability of its products to support Windows Update, the suite of tools that Microsoft uses to update its operating system. It turns out that SW Update, a Samsung-owned and deployed bloatware suite,[^1] includes a package of “tools.”. One of the “tools” in the suite is the Microsoft Update-disabling culprit, and Samsung will have a difficult time with the “we didn’t know” excuse this time. The tool’s file name, believe it or not, is “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe.”

According to industry sources, Samsung’s code that lets its pirated hardware “talk” to the world, the drivers,[^2] weren’t working reliably with Microsoft Update.

An honest company would hold the products, debug the problems with the driver software, and only then ship.

Samsung, however, is once again revealed to be a dishonest company. Samsung’s solution was to disable user access to Microsoft Update, and ship its products with the crappy, unreliable drivers. So users can’t get updates to fix Microsoft bugs or the patches for Microsoft’s security holes.

Let’s take this idea out of technogeekery and translate it into something easier to comprehend: let’s assume someone drowned in water. Samsung’s solution is to take away all access to water so they can die of thirst instead. A classic “baby with the bath” solution.

Now Samsung PR is in full-blown fire drill mode, which means turning off their phones, ignoring their bosses’ ALL CAPS emails, weeping uncontrollably, readying resumes, and spending all night snarfing pizza and Mountain Dew to come up with a terse statement that won’t make the company look like the callous, short-sighted, customer-kicking predator it is.

– Robert X. Cringely, Alleged Columnist

Samsung reveals itself to not only be a crook but a stupid crook. Did it really think no one would figure out what it had done? Are their engineers so lazy they’ll ship a kludge as well as steal?


Any Apple fan boy could have warned you.


^[1]: There are reports that in its products shipped to China, you can’t even remove the useless, memory-choking, storage clogging adware and bloatware that ships from Samsung.

^[2]:Technically, Samsung’s drivers for the USB 3.0 ports.