The first version of the Windows Update web site (usually referred to as "v3") did not require any personally-identifiable information to be sent to Microsoft.
In order for the v3 Active X control to determine what updates were needed, the entire list of available software on Windows Update was downloaded to the user's computer when they visited the Windows Update web site.
As the number of updates offered by Windows Update grew, this resulted in performance concerns.
Arie Slob, writing for the newsletter in March 2003, noted that the size of the update list had exceeded 400KB, which caused delays of more than a minute for dial-up users.
Read this answer in context Your above posted system details show outdated plugin(s) with known security and stability risks.
# Shockwave Flash 10.0 r32 # Next Generation Java Plug-in 1.6.0_14 for Mozilla browsers Update the Java plugin to the latest version. I am trying other browsers now and will switch out soon. This new (version) updates from firefox is really really annoying. But know, version 7 is in fact either 3.4.2 or 4.0.0 which is stupid.The initial focus of Windows Update was on free add-ons and new technologies for Windows; security fixes for Outlook Express, Internet Explorer and other applications appeared later, as did access to beta versions of upcoming Microsoft software, most notably Internet Explorer 5.Fixes to Windows 98 to resolve the Year 2000 problem were distributed using Windows Update in December 1998.]]