Microsoft dismantles its update naming scheme again, leaves unanswered questions

Microsoft dismantles its update naming scheme again, leaves unanswered questions

With the announcement Thursday that Microsoft will no longer use the “Semi-Annual Channel Targeted” mumbo-jumbo, we’re left with dozens of key questions, terminology be damned. Just when are we supposed to believe a new version of...

02/15/19

It's time to block Windows Automatic Updating

It's time to block Windows Automatic Updating

Patch Tuesday’s tomorrow, which means today offers an excellent opportunity to make sure your machine is braced for impact. Here’s your step-by-step guide to blocking patches as they come out the chute, so you can install them...

02/11/19

Microsoft: Watch out for zero days; deferred patches, not so much

Microsoft: Watch out for zero days; deferred patches, not so much

Yesterday’s Blue Hat IL presentation from MSRC shows that, in 2017-18, the threat from zero days far exceeds the threat of delaying patches by 30 days. Moreover, the vast majority of zero days are used in targeted attacks, not in...

02/08/19

The January Windows and Office patches are good to go

The January Windows and Office patches are good to go

There are some rather obscure issues, but by and large, now’s a very good time to get Windows and Office caught up on patching. If you want to avoid Win10 1809 for now, block it. Watch out for the, uh, edge cases, and patch away.

02/01/19

Microsoft Patch Alert: January patches include a reprisal of KB 4023057 and a swarm of lesser bugs

Microsoft Patch Alert: January patches include a reprisal of KB 4023057 and a swarm of lesser bugs

Patches are crawling out of the woodwork, and bugs follow as night unto day. Be particularly cautious if you’re running a turn-of-the-century database application; and if you don’t want to be forced to Win10 1809, get your shields up. ...

01/30/19

There’s a newly acknowledged Edge local IP networking bug in Win10

There’s a newly acknowledged Edge local IP networking bug in Win10

Responding to complaints, Microsoft acknowledges that all of this month’s Win10 Patch Tuesday cumulative updates make it impossible to access certain local pages from Edge.

01/18/19

Microsoft starts its 'phased rollout' of Win10 1809, now controlled by a next-generation machine-learning model

Microsoft starts its 'phased rollout' of Win10 1809, now controlled by a next-generation machine-learning model

It’s official. In the mind-bending (and internally inconsistent) quagmire that has become Windows updating terminology, Win10 version 1809 is now in 'phased rollout' but not yet in 'Semi-Annual Channel (not Targeted).' If you don’t...

01/17/19

MS releases KB 4476976, a test Win10 1809 cumulative update, to the Insider Preview Ring. Bravo!

MS releases KB 4476976, a test Win10 1809 cumulative update, to the Insider Preview Ring. Bravo!

In the three years since Microsoft defined its Insider Rings, we’d seen it use them in the way they were intended only once. Now we’re up to twice. At last, more signs of intelligence in Redmond.

01/11/19

Microsoft is yanking patches already. Make sure automatic update is disabled.

Microsoft is yanking patches already. Make sure automatic update is disabled.

The year is yet young, and Microsoft has already issued, then plucked, four bad patches. Do yourself a favor and let the cannon fodder test the patches before you put them on your machine.

01/07/19

Be of good cheer: The Windows/Office December patching minefield looks clear

Be of good cheer: The Windows/Office December patching minefield looks clear

There’s still a great deal of uncertainty about the way-out-of-band “emergency” Internet Explorer patch last week and its changing workaround instructions. Server 2016’s known bugs list runs more than a page. Still, now’s a reasonably...

12/24/18

It’s official: Win10 ‘seekers’ will get the ill-fated version 1809. You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

It’s official: Win10 ‘seekers’ will get the ill-fated version 1809. You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

Yesterday Microsoft announced that, with a few notable exceptions, anyone running Windows 10 who clicks “Check for updates” may well end up with the new Win10 September-October-November-December 2018 Update, version 1809.

12/18/18

Patch Tuesday breaks records — some good, most bad — and ‘Check for Updates’ still stings

Patch Tuesday breaks records — some good, most bad — and ‘Check for Updates’ still stings

A rather light Patch Tuesday this month brought security fixes for every version of Windows and every version of Office. Edge’s ChakraCore takes another one on the chin. Only one known zero-day, and it’s not directed at garden-variety...

12/12/18

Patch Tuesday’s coming; make sure you have Windows Update shut off and stop seeking!

Patch Tuesday’s coming; make sure you have Windows Update shut off and stop seeking!

If you enjoy drinking out of a toxic fire hydrant, by all means, keep Windows Update enabled. But if you’re a bit skeptical about Windows patches, here are the easy steps to set and verify that the wolves are barred from the door....

12/10/18

Patching waters finally look calm; now is a good time to install the November Windows and Office patches

Patching waters finally look calm; now is a good time to install the November Windows and Office patches

With the buggy Win10 version 1803 cumulative update officially yanked, two bad Office patches pulled, and the Win10 1809 forced upgrade momentarily defanged, the coast is clear to install November’s patches. Here’s what you need to...

12/07/18

Nine weeks later, Microsoft resumes its ill-fated Win10 1809 rollout — but only for seekers

Nine weeks later, Microsoft resumes its ill-fated Win10 1809 rollout — but only for seekers

The worst version of Windows in recent memory, Windows 10 SOND 2018 Update, just received its first cumulative update in more than three weeks. The fifth version of the “non-security” update, KB 4469342, was released late yesterday....

12/06/18

Microsoft, acknowledging Win10 1803 update blue screens, offers limited remediation

Microsoft, acknowledging Win10 1803 update blue screens, offers limited remediation

The cumulative update turns the Surface Book 2 into a quivering pile of blue screen mush. A week after pushing the patch, Microsoft acknowledges the problem, tells blue screen beneficiaries to pull the patch, and promises it won't...

12/05/18

Win10 version 1809 gets yet another jolt, fourth KB 4469342 now runs build 17763.168

Win10 version 1809 gets yet another jolt, fourth KB 4469342 now runs build 17763.168

While Win10 1809 is back in the garage getting fixed, we have news of yet another cumulative update, which brings the test build number up to 17763.168. Other than a new acknowledged bug in 1809, we have no documentation, but Win10...

12/04/18

New cumulative updates for Win10 1803 and 1709 — and a taste of what might be right in 1809

New cumulative updates for Win10 1803 and 1709 — and a taste of what might be right in 1809

Yesterday saw the usual Fourth Tuesday barrage of Win10 cumulative updates, with all currently supported versions getting a jab, except Win10 version 1809. With 1809 we got a look at expected fixes, while the testing pot still...

11/28/18

New beta-test version of Win10 1809 arrives, and — mirabile dictu! — it’s in the Release Preview ring

New beta-test version of Win10 1809 arrives, and — mirabile dictu! — it’s in the Release Preview ring

Once again, Microsoft brings hope to avid Windows watchers as it uses the correct, defined method to test build 17763.167 of Win10 1809. Remains to be seen if this is a fly-by-night fix for a hastily pushed patch, or a sign that the...

11/27/18

Heads up: A ‘critical’ Win7/Server 2008 patch coming in February/March that’s really critical

Heads up: A ‘critical’ Win7/Server 2008 patch coming in February/March that’s really critical

Microsoft is changing its method for electronically signing patches from an old approach known as SHA-1 to the much more secure SHA-2. If you want to continue to get Win7, Server 2008 and WSUS security patches, you need to install a...

11/20/18

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