My wife and I have a small home network consisting of two xp home computers used to share our single internet connection. We have microsoft anti spyware installed on each computer and have enabled automatic updating, While this is not our only spyware defence, microsoft antispyware is a usefull addition to our security toolbox. And Bill Gates is happy, our versions of XP are not pirated. Last night I noticed microsoft antispyware automatically updated on my computer, the client computer on the network. Checking the host computer this morning, I noticed my wife's copy of microsoft antispyware had not updated. So I attempted to update it manually. I got a message that it was unable to update because I was not connected to the internet when I was connected to the internet. (exactly the kind of reality denying stupid things only a computer can say when paired with stupid software) I first suspected my firewall and made sure microsoft antispyware had the correct permissions and tried again to manually update with the same results. I even went so far as to briefly disable my firewall with the same results. I then opened my microsoft internet explorer web browser( to see if I could find any hints on why this updating was not working) and noticed that when last used it was closed in the offline status condition. I should mention I try to be security aware and that means I use other web browsers for most of my web surfing and 100% of my e-mail on both computers. Setting the internet explorer( latest version ) to online again verified I was still connected to the internet. I then went back to imicrosoft antispyware and was able to manually update the spyware definitions with no problems. I think this proves the problem I was having with microsoft antispyware updating was in the fact that internet explorer was accidently set to offline. I do not know if getting microsoft security updates for the OS is similarly hooked to internet explorer being online. For now, I will assume its a bug but suspect its deliberate monpolistic behavoir. Microsoft has recently been forced by the EU to remove internet explorer from windows, I suspect that sooner or later microsoft will be busted in the US for antitrust violations, yet, there seems to be that kneejerk use our stuff or else from Microsoft. Microsoft just can't play well with others. Sorry for the rant but I do wish to report that problem with updating microsoft antispyware definitions. If it helps someone else get those updates, I am glad. I use other web browsers simply because they are both better and more secure. I sometimes use internet explorer, after all its better to have options rather than than only one way to do things, but to hook security updates to internet explorer being online is really bad for any company.