This post addresses some of the changes that’s made to increase customer confidence when using their media and devices with Windows, specifically in the AutoPlay area. Currently, disabling AutoPlay completely is the only solution for consumers and enterprises to gain confidence with the use of USB flash devices on their computer. Guidance on disabling AutoPlay is available here.
Windows 7 introduces key changes to AutoPlay that keep you from being exposed inadvertently to malware like Conficker when doing your common scenarios with devices (e.g., get to the files on your USB flash drive, download pictures from an SD card, etc.). In particular, Windows will no longer display the AutoRun task in the AutoPlay dialog for devices that are not removable optical media (CD/DVD.) because there is no way to identify the origin of these entries. Was it put there by the IHV, a person, or a piece of malware? Removing this AutoRun task will block the current propagation method abused by malware and help customers stay protected. People will still be able to access all of the other AutoPlay tasks that are installed on their computer.