Closed Bug 28321 (winupdate) Opened 20 years ago Closed 16 years ago
Support Windows Update
Platforms: Windows (Consumer) 98 and later, Windows (Server) 2000 and later If Mozilla is ever to be able to *completely* replace IE on Windows, it will need to be able to do the Windows Update thing. This will involve several tasks. * Replace the `Windows Update' IE hooks in the Start menu, Windows Help, and possibly other places, with Mozilla hooks. * Get Mozilla to pretend to be IE, whenever visiting the Windows Update site. * Reverse-engineer, and implement, whatever protocol is used to (a) determine what updates are available for a given OS installation, and (b) install them. * Constantly keep an eye on this feature, to catch up with whatever games Microsoft plays with the windowsupdate.microsoft.com server to try and prevent Mozilla from accessing it. This feature doesn't have to be built into the browser, however. A stand-alone Windows Update app, written in XUL and JS, could provide a better user interface then IE's Web version -- as well as having the ability to check for updates of itself (and Mozilla) at the same time as it checks for updates of Windows components. `An error has occurred in accessing the Windows Update server. This may be due to a change made by Microsoft to the server ... However, a new version of Mozilla Update is available, which may fix this problem. Would you like to download it now?' I'm going to mark this as helpwanted, because it's really a job for a committed volunteer or team of volunteers.
updating component so that people who know about these kinds of things can evaluate this enhancement suggestion.
Component: Browser-General → Installer
updating component owner
Assignee: cbegle → ssu
QA Contact: asadotzler → gbush
If nobody at Netscape has the cycles to spare, feel free to reassign this to email@example.com (rather than marking WONTFIX), because I'm pretty sure *someone* out there would enjoy the challenge.
Communicator 4.x has a "Netscape SmartUpdate" shortcut that takes the users to the Netcenter SmartUpdate pages (http://home.netscape.com/smartupdate/index.html?cp=start98) for product upgrades. This was not done by the installer (except for the shortcut). Mozilla.org needs to have such a similar page(s). I'm not sure who in mozilla.org this should fall under, so I'm setting the product to mozilla.org.
Assignee: ssu → mitchell
Component: Installer → Miscellaneous
Product: Browser → mozilla.org
Assignee: mitchell → nobody
Component: Miscellaneous → Browser-General
Product: mozilla.org → Browser
Product upgrades for Mozilla have practically nothing to do with getting Mozilla to support Windows Update. (Apart from the incidental issue of possible upgrades to Mozilla, needed to counteract any attempts by Microsoft to keep Mozilla out of the Windows Update site). Having a product upgrades page on Mozilla.org is a separate issue entirely, so it should be filed in a separate bug. Sending back to Browser-General.
Microsoft will not try to block Netscape from windowsupdate. MS argued for interoperability with AOL Instant Messenger, and I don't think it's taking its arguments back anytime soon. http://slashdot.org/articles/99/07/24/0110215.shtml
I think this would involve active-x support and possibly some secret microsoft loopholes in their api to allow a browser to install stuff. I'm not even sure if this is possible if it's not documented. CC'ing timeless to see what he thinks.
Currently this would need at least: Mozilla ActiveX control [available] ActiveScripting support - VBScript Useragent forging [supported], probably both script and http Help uses chm (compiled help markup?) i think there's a provider we could tap for this. there are a few foreign protocols which we might want to abuse, that would require writing a lot of wrapper code.
Adding [RFE] in summary.
Summary: Support Windows Update → [RFE] Support Windows Update
Adding myself to the cc list, and contributing the following link for anyone interested in working on the CHM part. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/htmlhelp/html/v sconHH1Start.asp
the guy who created HTML Help for Microsoft left and his new organisation provides an alternative (48KB) way of accessing that help using IE that negates having to download the MS HTML Help 1.3 update (779KB) the programs called KeyHH and is available from: http://www.keyworks.net/keyhh.htm perhaps this will be useful to someone who might work on this
This page displays blank for me in Mozilla 0.9.8 in Windows, but okay in Comm 4. Should I create a layout/evangelism bug, or is there a dupe I missed? (This was the only bug I found by URL search.)
this is quite difficult. because windows update uses ActiveX controls! & as much i know mozilla or netscape doesn't support ACtiveX there are few ActiveX plugins though. you can try them!
The plugin for ActiveX controls can be found at http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/plugin.htm
Tried the ActiveX support plugin suggested in comment #14 Result: Site displays page saying I need to use a compatible browser Tried User Agent Override sidebar (http://mozilla-evangelism.bclary.com/sidebars/) to impersonate IE 6 (ActiveX support plugin still installed) Result: Blank page
*** Bug 171725 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
It's been 2 months since the last comment. Mozilla's acceptance REALLY is going to hinge on a few things like whether Windows Update works in Mozilla.
Is it possible Mozilla programmers could concentrate on creating their own version of Windows Update that gets info from Microsoft about what fixes there have been and scans the user's PC (maybe only take the last two MS operating systems, forget the old ones) to take inventory of what's already installed and then constructs a web page with links to all the necessary updates that the user should know to download? Hmmm, sounds complicated.
I'll be glad to do some research, maybe email/write Microsoft and see what their position is on this, who knows, maybe they would even give us some idea how it works. Would anyone be opposed to me doing some research/contacting MS?
Status: NEW → ASSIGNED
I'll assign this to me and try to see what I can figure out.
Assignee: nobody → nb84
Status: ASSIGNED → NEW
Well, maybe after some people chime in about how this effort is going and some details about it, then everyone could decide if contacting MS is a good thing or not. It is probably their wish to keep Update tied to Internet Explorer, so letting them know about the effort here immediately doesn't sound so attractive to me.
Could someone please try to find some people to contact at MS? It seems very difficult to find an email addy of a real live person. Also, anyone here who knows much about ActiveX and could help try to make a patch without Microsoft's help?
Target Milestone: --- → Future
I have filled out the contact form from windowsupdate.microsoft.com. Everyone cross your fingers and hope that they will give us some info.
Jay, I didn't mean to ignore your suggestion of waiting, but I talked with people in #mozilla, and the opinion was that if I wanted, I could go ahead and email Microsoft.
Could someone check into if it would be technically legal for us to redistribute Microsoft's patches? That would probably be the easiest way if we could put the patches on a site ourselves, rather then trying to make windows update work. Thanks!
>Could someone check into if it would be technically legal for us to redistribute >Microsoft's patches? Why would we _want_ to do that, even if we were allowed to? This is _so_ not mozilla.org's job.
I was thinking of something like comment 19 says.
Possibly this should be new bug but why not also create Windows Update alike interface for another systems - for example Linux distributions that supports update scheme (i.e. Debian). If speaking about windows only why not also take into account tied to MSIE update schemes provided by some brands (notably Sony that has special system for updates for notebooks [and possibly other models]). This comment is not to block this improvement but to force community to look at the problem wider.
I have just run Netcaptor, a 694 k program which invokes IE to do all browsing on the web...Of course a lot of that 694k code is frills like tab browsing. I ran Windows Update using Netcaptor and it worked perfectly to install a security update from beginning to end, to next visit to the site. So, somehow, Mozilla COULD definitely run some minimum guts of IE the same way Netcaptor does. Of course, Microsoft has said that IE is an integral part of the Windows operating system and can not and should not be separated from the Operating system. From that standpoint, we have permission to invoke the tools we need. Now, could it be done securely? I am wondering, Nicholas, what is the point of being so gung-ho to ask Microsoft about what we clearly have access to?
Good idea. I emailed MS because that was the only thing I could think of to do at that time. I have been trying the ActiveX and the UA Bar and can get it to go to the page, but when it says its checking to see if you have the latest version it stops doing anything. Does anyone have an idea about how we can do something like Netcaptor does? That is, actually tell it to talk to IE to do windows update. I know in Visual Basic there is the WebBrowser control which would possibly work, but I don't know about C++/JS/XUL Anyone have any ideas?
Received the following email from Microsoft today. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nicholas , hi… I’m Brian Valentine, Sr. VP, Windows Division. I own Windows and Windows and windows update. Bill forwarded me your email to response. I have a question about your question. Why do you want to Mozilla to work with Windows Update? Windows Update is used to continuously update Windows. We put updates out there for new/fixed drivers (be them ours or 3rd parties) and updates to the OS. So how does Mozilla relate to this? We don’t do application or other software (non-Windows) updates on Windows Update. Thanks, Brian -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Replied with the following -------------------------------------------------------------------------- We would like to make it so that users can use Mozilla to access windows update. Right now if you go to windows update in Mozilla, it says that you have to use IE. Sorry if I confused you with my initial email. Nicholas Bebout firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Brian, (Here's what I'd write him.) For the reason that we Netscape/Mozilla users don't want to see any of the products that you attempt to intertwine with the operating system and then defend as crucial and inseparable to the OS with absurd reasons. Hey, is anyone accountable over their to some general sense of business competition that still falls into the realm of decency? Windows and driver patching should be made simple enough so that any browser can perform them easily. Our question for you is, why wouldn't your company be thinking of trying to make it so that new non-enthusiast PC users can feel comfortable with their browser and not have to panic and think they need Internet Explorer when all these things are is just browsers (easily run on many operating systems to do simple software duties)? Frankly, to not respond with the details of how to enable the Windows Update page for other browsers would be another antitrust law violation of a company that takes paranoia and arrogance to new heights and tries to even rebrand them as Virtues.
re: comment #33 ... We're trying to get cooperation from Microsoft, and beating them up isn't going to encourage that. Even if they ARE guilty of various bad things, that isn't the point of this discussion -- we just want Mozilla users to be able to use Windows Update without having to dig out IE. I think the approach laid out in comment #30 is the right way to deal with this; all we need is some help from MS to get things working. Please, try asking *nicely* first. If they refuse to cooperate, then stronger words might be in order.
I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist having a little fun and venting at the same time.;-) Of course, I would not yet send any such message to them right now. I guarantee they will not be looking at this bug report so I'm not concerned. Yes, comment 30 was mine. I would think that Mozilla could run a very tiny transparent browsing tool to do the Windows Update if MS doesn't help, the whole idea being to avoid security issues with Mozilla (it would be discrete from Mozilla but not appear to be) and also to enable us to (despite what Asa thinks) dispense with IE for the ordinary average user. Why should we as Mozilla users have to put up with seeing IE if we don't want? It disrupts the flow and leaves too many ordinary stupid users using IE permanently. Windows is an OS that should be existing completely discrete and not have a middleware maze (trap) atop it. As a nonprogrammer, I cannot judge how simple or complex a product Netcaptor is, but if nothing else, maybe *they* could help developers here understand what's needed. Anyway, sorry, I just got carried away. I don't want to take anything away from Nicholas' helpful attempt so far.
I think what happened is he thought that I wanted to have mozilla updates on windows update. I think after my email I replied with, he will realize what I meant. That is, I hope so. I'll keep you posted when I get a response from him.
nb: i doubt our updates would ever work on windowsupdate. I filed Bug 51998 for our version of windows update. I recommend WONTFIX. I also don't feel its worth us supporting windows update for the following reasons: - Mozilla would have to work out OS-level priveleges... - Its something only for one operating system, which is a waste of our efforts... - Its something IE already does. A user can use Mozilla for everything but this. Should we also replace Redhat's up2date? - We don't even support a usable disk browsing... So the option of replacing IE and Explorer is nonexistant, why don't we work on those first?
Nicholas and Jay, this ain't a chat room, so please take all discussion of e-mailing/insulting/whatevering Microsoft out of this bug report. It's irrelevant to implementing the RFE, and it's making the bug report too long. Nicholas, if you want to do something useful, make a patch for Necko (#ifdef XP_WIN) which automatically uses MSIE's exact UA string when requesting anything from windowsupdate[.microsoft].com, or from any URI which that host redirects to. Attach the patch to this bug report. Then we can see what breaks next. (If you can't manage a patch that simple, which seems likely given the number of bugs you've fixed so far, please reassign back to email@example.com.)
OS: Windows XP → Windows 98
Brian, That "one operating system" happens to be THE monopoly in question...you know, the one *always* in question. No, we don't need to help update Redhat or anything else. Part of the effort going on here is obviously the modularization and defanging of Windows since that Windows is a continual colonializing system now, in effect, spreading out in all sectors of business including the media. We would like to help Microsoft be *just* an operating system or if nothing else, a true commodity in all industries it enters (as opposed to leveraging advantages through monopoly) and not interfere in everybody's business. Now, an RFE for Windows Update in Mozilla may be one of the most trivial concerns in the world or it may be a very marginal stepping stone to having Mozilla and other browsers be able to compete and helping to ensure the web's generic, open standards nature. I certainly wouldn't want to beat my chest and say that this deserves WONTFIX status. No one is going to be embarrassed talking about wanting Windows Update. I guarantee the dialog will continue. It's a perfectly sensible effort and we should encourage whoever can and wants to program Mozilla to achieve it. Basically, the effort is clearly to make Internet Explorer never have any need to be used or to abruptly pop up in a user's face and hope that has a more global effect. I agree with you that this bug should be returned to the original "nobody" owner for now, though, unless Nicholas is planning on something he hasn't mentioned yet.
*** Bug 109024 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Reassigning to firstname.lastname@example.org
Assignee: nb84 → nobody
Status: ASSIGNED → NEW
I have marked this as depending on 41274, which is a bug for adding VBScript.
No longer blocks: MS
Status: NEW → ASSIGNED
It would be good if installing Mozilla aded some info to Windows help im quite sure this is posible
Status: ASSIGNED → RESOLVED
Closed: 17 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
OOPS! ive discoverd a bug there myself (a bug in bugzilla) Sorry.
Status: RESOLVED → REOPENED
Resolution: WONTFIX → ---
Would it not be possible to use the corporate version of windows update? As no auto detection is needed. From what I can see you choose the updates you want yourself. Would this not get passed some of the issues?
Matt Cutlack, you (accidentally, I hope) removed all the cc's from this bug. Be careful, please.
Sorry Novice's mistake!
MeadCo's Neptune plugin seems to go a long way toward providing this enhancement. I suggest people try this and then decide whether to keep this bug open anymore. Furthermore, Windows Update per se is hardly needed anymore on current Windows.
I think this should be marked WONTFIX. <rant> I don't think it is Mozilla's responsibility to keep m$'s act together for them. Maybe m$ could make a standalone client for windowsupdate (making it a little bit lighter and faster in the process,) but we're talking about m$, so that's only really a pipe dream at this point. Maybe there could even be a day where you wouldn't have to update at all, where you wouldn't be vulnerable to attacks at any given time of day, where you won't have to install updates on a scheduled monthly basis, and you won't have to live with little annoyances like this. But no. m$ makes it's existing user base (those that haven't already moved to Linux,) wait a few years for an operating system that won't be worth shit. Just as insecure, just as slow, just as hyped, more expensive. </rant> Ok, there's my 2 cents, sorry for being off-topic, but I just had to rant :)
The one advantage about fixing this bug would be that Windows users could permanently remove IE from the systems. I think we should reavaluate this if bug 41274 ever gets fixed, but until then -- there is no one saying they plan on fixing this, and minimal interest, and the risk of Microsoft locking Mozilla out of WindowsUpdate if this is fixed is rather high. Therefore, I think we should reflect in the bug summary the general consensus that there is no immediate plan to ever fix this bug nor any expectations this bug will be tacked any time soon, if ever. WONTFIX
Status: REOPENED → RESOLVED
Closed: 17 years ago → 16 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
*** Bug 239010 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 246566 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I consider the ability to run ActiveX, vbscript, and updates-to-the-OS as three of the more serious security vulnerabilities of IE - kind makes me wish for a "vote against this bug" option in Bugzilla.
*** Bug 254122 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
crassius: I agree, though its concievable to do all of these securely, especially when you don't tie the things so deeply into the system like Microsoft does. I've been thinking about this, and I believe that all the things that are needed for this can be offered through a plugin or other such method. That means it can be done 3rd party. You can use IE for updates: As an administrator just go into IE's settings and block all sites except microsoft.com, and you are all set. Then they are forced to use Firefox for everything else.
*** Bug 258346 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 262860 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 269785 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 286272 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 295196 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Just to clarify - am I correct in interpreting the WONTFIX on this bug as saying that Firefox developers are advocating keeping Internet Explorer installed on a Windows PC since it is required for identifying and downloading updates to the OS?
Yes. ActiveX and Windowsupdate account for a large number of the IE bugs. The only concievable safe thing I believe we can do is to embed IE in a tabbrowser frame when someone goes to windowsupdate.microsoft.com, or open an IE browser window. This would have the advantage of allowing people to use Firefox for everything, but might give people the wrong idea that we embed IE, that any issues on the windowsupdate site are mozilla's fault if they don't realize that we embedded an IE control, and there are still security issues to consider, such as ways individuals might trick Firefox into embedding IE on more than just the windowsupdate site.
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED
I suppose tech evangelism to microsoft to make their windows update site work on other browsers would be out of the question ;-)
*** Bug 309346 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 286272 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
http://www.windizupdate.com/ is an alternative to Windows Update that you can use with Mozilla.
(In reply to comment #61) > Just to clarify - am I correct in interpreting the WONTFIX on this bug as > saying > that Firefox developers are advocating keeping Internet Explorer installed on a > Windows PC since it is required for identifying and downloading updates to the > OS? > Seeing as you can't uninstall Internet Explorer anyway (as it's part of explorer as well), you might as well. Also, I just have to say, the day Mozilla gets support for ActiveX merely to outrule Internet Explorer is the day I'm moving on to Konqueror. I can live with the other stuff that IMO should belong in an extension ("Live Bookmarks" anyone?), and even the stuff made for the "Oooh, what does this button do?" users (phising filter), but as many developers once have stated, ActiveX is the work of the devil himself, and it's one of the numerous things I do not want to support in any way.
(In reply to comment #67) > (In reply to comment #61) > > Just to clarify - am I correct in interpreting the WONTFIX on this bug as > > saying > > that Firefox developers are advocating keeping Internet Explorer installed on a > > Windows PC since it is required for identifying and downloading updates to the > > OS? > > > > Seeing as you can't uninstall Internet Explorer anyway (as it's part of > explorer as well), you might as well. > > Also, I just have to say, the day Mozilla gets support for ActiveX merely to > outrule Internet Explorer is the day I'm moving on to Konqueror. I can live > with the other stuff that IMO should belong in an extension ("Live Bookmarks" > anyone?), and even the stuff made for the "Oooh, what does this button do?" > users (phising filter), but as many developers once have stated, ActiveX is the > work of the devil himself, and it's one of the numerous things I do not want to > support in any way. > Actually, ignore this. I forgot to actually check the date of this bug... >.>
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