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There's a pretty (in)famous post on Russian Microsoft Answers site (just search by UID to see it referenced in many news stories) where user asks how he can disable Windows Update through registry due to space constraints on his notebook. There are two responses from two different MVP/Moderators to it, both stating that doing so is illegal and thus question will be locked and OP will be banned from site for discussing illegal use of MS products.

Grand_Ross's response states that OP presumably breaks Articles 1229 "Exclusive Right" and 1235 "The Licence Contract" of Russian Civil Code (in English) and sternly recommends OP to brush up his knowledge of law because "ignorance is no excuse!"

Geks52 cites Windows 10 EULA's 6. Updates, and highlights this part: "By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice."

This looks very very wrong to me.

  • 1229 has absolutely nothing to do with usage of legally obtained product.
  • EULA clearly only require you to agree with updates without notice, but nowhere does it forbid you to disable them. Thus 1235 is not applicable.
  • Additionally, when you can disable WU through registry or policy, it obviously means that Microsoft explicitly programmed handling of those settings and thus activating them is intended use.

So, do those accusations and threats have any weight or is it some kind of little man syndrome, considering that MVP/Moderator is really just a glorified user himself and not an official Microsoft representative?

I'm interested in both answers according to Russian law and international practice - can such reasoning stand in US, EU, or pretty much anywhere?

  • I don't see how disabling updates could be enforced, if I want to disable the updates, I just have to disconnect my computer from the internet. Seems weird to say, but I design industrial systems with Windows 10 computers that never get connected to the internet, so that is pretty normal. – Ron Beyer Oct 18 '18 at 14:31
  • @RonBeyer I know Windows 8 periodically checks my non-Internet connected computers and periodically nags me with a pop-up message "We need your help. Windows has been unable to check for updates...". I don't know if there's a way to turn this off, or what Windows 10 does in a similar situation. In theory, it could even try to disable the operating system after some amount of time of failing to get updates. For this reaosn I distrust Windows 10 even more than previous editions. – Brandin Oct 18 '18 at 15:17
  • @Brandin The nag screens are easily disabled through registry settings published by Microsoft. We don't run industrial systems on Windows 8, but do with Windows 7 and 10. We can even replace the shell with a custom program to disable access to anything explorer.exe would run. – Ron Beyer Oct 18 '18 at 15:19
  • @bdb484, hahaha, very funny. :/ Please restore original title. – Oleg V. Volkov Nov 20 '18 at 21:15
  • Seemed a little catchier, but as you wish.... – bdb484 Nov 20 '18 at 21:17
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I don't know anything about Russian law, but from a U.S. perspective I'd say your analysis -- of both EULA interpretation and tiny-dick syndrome -- would be spot-on.

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