Windows 7, 8.1 updates KB2952664 and KB2976978 are back

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Perhaps the most mysterious Windows updates are KB2952664 and KB2976978. To this day, we still don’t know what purpose these two updates serve, although many users agree that they are part of Microsoft’s spy tool kit.

Microsoft recently pushed KB2952664 and KB2976978 again to Windows 7 and 8.1 computers, to users’ despair. The good news is that these two updates are optional, which means they won’t automatically install on your computer.

As far as the official description on the support page is concerned, nothing has been changed. Most likely, February’s KB2952664 and KB2976978 roll out is similar to October’s batch.

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The diagnostics evaluate the compatibility status of the Windows ecosystem, and help Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates to Windows. There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.

KB2952664 and KB2976978: A covert purpose?

As stated above, many users strongly believe that Microsoft uses the two updates to spy on them. The reason for this suspicion is that KB2952664 and KB2976978 run a task called DoScheduledTelemetryRun. Following the telemetry revelations from last year, many users suggest that the two updates have covert purposes.

Other users suspect that KB2952664 and KB2976978’s role is to “help” them to upgrade to Windows 10.

Both suggestions remain simple hypothesis as no clear proof has been found to support either of them. User reluctance to install these updates is also fueled by Microsoft’s silence. Users have been waiting for a clear answer about this issue for a long time, but are tired of hearing the same fancy corporate-speak side-stepping that uses a lot of words to say nothing.

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