At this time is the second Tuesday of February, and which means it ought to be Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday. It ought to be a giant Patch Tuesday, too. First, there’s an in-the-wild zero-day flaw in SMB, Microsoft’s file sharing protocol, that on the very least permits methods to be crashed, and the patch ought to be launched as we speak.
Second, Microsoft is constant to tune the best way updates are delivered to Home windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2. The corporate began shifting to a Home windows 10-like cumulative mannequin final yr in a bid to make sure that the configurations the corporate examined (all patches utilized, on a regular basis) matched the end-user expertise. Every working system is getting two packages a month: a “Month-to-month Rollup” and a “Safety Solely” replace.
The “Month-to-month Rollup” incorporates each safety fixes and common reliability enhancements, and it is a cumulative replace, incorporating each the present month’s fixes and historic updates. The intent is to make it simpler to get a freshly put in system updated; as an alternative of putting in tons of of particular person fixes, the newest Month-to-month Rollup ought to do the job.
The “Safety Solely” package deal is not cumulative, and it skips the final reliability enhancements.
Beginning this month, the Safety Solely package deal is altering somewhat. Beforehand, it contained each working system and Web Explorer fixes. Going ahead, nevertheless, the Safety Solely package deal will solely comprise non-Web Explorer fixes. A second package deal, the Cumulative Safety Replace for Web Explorer, will apply browser fixes. Just like the Month-to-month Rollup—and in contrast to the Safety Solely patch—the Web Explorer package deal will likely be cumulative, containing each new and historic patches. Microsoft says this variation is being made to cut back the scale of the Safety Solely package deal.
The deployment system can be being refined to make sure that neither the Safety Solely patch nor the Web Explorer patch will likely be put in on machines which have a present Month-to-month Rollup.
That is all nicely and good, besides it isn’t taking place. Because of a “last-minute challenge,” Microsoft has delayed this month’s updates, and at present, there isn’t any anticipated time of arrival. This delay could trace at one of many downsides of the mixed patching: previously, a person repair could be held again on account of a late-breaking downside, however different fixes may nonetheless be delivered on time as anticipated. With the whole lot bundled—and, critically, examined—collectively, the corporate could also be extra reluctant to punt a person repair to subsequent month.
Nonetheless, if the delay signifies that Microsoft is avoiding delivery a repair that breaks individuals’s computer systems, it is most likely for the very best.