Windows Media Player 11 just broke my Internets (at VitalSecurity.org)

My main desktop machine just got hold of the WMP11 / IE7 install through automatic updates, and as soon as they went in and that stupid WGA thing ran, all Hell broke loose. First the desktop crashed, then it flickered for a bit, then came back to life with a vaguely disconcerting grunt or two. Then my CD Tray started making blaaaargh, the pain style noises before dying a death. A few reboots later, and it was completely knackered. Not only could I get the tray open, I kept seeing messages telling me “Your Media device is not working. Please contact your manufacturer”.

Yeah, thanks for that Microsoft. Awesome job you just did TRASHING MY PC.

Now, this isn’t even Vista – this was likely a Windows XP variant since it comes with IE6 and an earlier version of WiMP (Windows Media Player). This story by Chris Boyd aka paperghost a trusted security researcher should wake some folks up.

The problems with Microsoft Windows didn’t just magically start happening with Vista.

In all fairness, I have updated a lot of computers to IE7 and WiMP 11 and rarely had the types of problems with the updates like paperghost did, but there have been weirdnesses along the way in some cases that were inexplicable despite the majority of upgrades going fine. It’s the strangest thing really. And I have ended up reinstalling on some computers and just not doing some upgrades because they break things with certain hardware.

Personally, I don’t have to worry about all that strangeness myself any longer since I gave away my retail version of WinXP Pro and am using Win2K (no WiMP 11 or IE7 to worry about), Mac OS X Tiger, and Ubuntu (Edgy) Linux for my operating systems…and use alternative browsers and email clients on all of them. But not everyone is so lucky with DRM (Digital Rights Management, aka Digital Restrictions Mismanagement) related problems alone: WMP 11 DRM problems, WinXP DRM problems and general issues related to Internet Explorer 7 problems.

It’s a real catch 22. You need the latest versions of Microsoft products to be safer in Windows XP but if you get them, you may have other types of problems.

Thankfully, for most folks, the problems they encounter will not be has disastrous as paperghost’s during Microsoft Updates.

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