Microsoft Patch Alert: January 2020 patches look relatively benign

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:17:00 -0800

The big patching problems this month fell at the feet of admins who had to deal with an unholy mess of pressing exposures: Fixing the holes in Microsoft’s RD Gateway (CVE-2020-0610; see Susan Bradley’s Patch Watch, paywalled); dealing with Server 2008 R2 systems that booted to Recovery mode after installing the January patches; scrambling to pick up after breaches in Citrix networking products; or the 334 Oracle security patches. They all took a toll.

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Microsoft to Windows 7: Beat it, you bum

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2020 12:36:00 -0800

Microsoft today figuratively told Window 7 – which ended support with a final security update – not to let the door hit it on the way out.

“Ten-year-old tech just can’t keep up,” Jared Spataro, an executive on the Microsoft 365 team, wrote in a post to a company blog. “As we end support for Windows 7, I encourage you to transition to these newer options right away.”

Not surprisingly, Spataro named those newer options as Windows 10 to replace Windows 7, and Office 365 to fill in for the retiring-in-October Office 2010. Combined, they make up the bulk of Microsoft 365, the business subscription plan Microsoft wants all customers to adopt.

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Seven high points of Windows 7

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2020 04:16:00 -0800

Today Microsoft issues its final free security update for Windows 7, putting an end to that operating system’s decade.

To remember that service – a retirement party but without the cloyingly-sweet cake and cheap gold watch – Computerworld selected seven highlights of Windows 7. While the seven do not pretend to trace Windows 7’s history, they illustrate the influence and impact of the OS.

Here’s to Windows 7. Raise a glass, for cryin’ out loud.

It salvaged Microsoft’s reputation after the Vista debacle

The numbers say it all.

Windows Vista, the 2006 replacement for Windows XP, topped out at 20% of all Windows versions in October 2009. Even though the OS it followed was long in the tooth – XP was nearly twice the age of a typical version when it was supplanted – Vista struggled to put a dent in its forerunner’s share.

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FAQ: Last-minute answers about Windows 7's post-retirement patches

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2020 04:53:00 -0800

A week from now, Microsoft will serve customers with the last for-free Windows 7 security update, in effect retiring the 2009 operating system.

However, hundreds of millions of personal computers will still power up thanks to Windows 7 on Jan. 14, and for an indeterminate timespan after that date. Windows 7 may be retiring, but it’s not disappearing.

Microsoft admitted as much more than a year ago when it announced Extended Security Updates (ESU), a program for commercial customers who needed more time to ditch Windows 7. ESU would provide patches for some security vulnerabilities for as long as three years. For a fee.

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(Insider Story)

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Microsoft Patch Alert: December patches hang Win7 Pro endpoints and force Server 2012 reboots

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2020 09:55:00 -0800

It was the kind of month admins dread: Mysterious problems on hundreds of machines, with no apparent cause or cure. Toss in the holidays, and we had a whole lot of Mr. and Ms. Grinches in the industry.

Fortunately, it looks like the problems have been sorted out at this point. Individual users had many fewer problems. Microsoft’s left and right hands still aren’t talking on the 1909 team, but what else is new…

Win7 hang on ‘Preparing to configure Windows’

Microsoft dropped a new Servicing Stack Update for Windows 7 on Dec. 10, and it gummed up the works for many. Here’s a good summary on Reddit from poster Djaesthetic:

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Microsoft Patch Alert: November patches behave themselves – with a few exceptions

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2019 10:29:00 -0800

What a relief. The only major patching problem for November came from Office, not Windows. We had a handful of completely inscrutable patches – including two .NET non-security previews that apparently did nothing – but that’s the worst of it.

November saw the last security patch for Win10 version 1803. Win10 version 1909 got released, gently. We also had a much-hyped “exploited” zero-day security hole in Internet Explorer (again) that didn’t amount to a hill of beans (again).

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With a few exceptions, all’s clear to install Microsoft’s October patches

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2019 09:54:00 -0700

If you had automatic update turned on at the beginning of October, you got clobbered with a bug-infested, out-of-band update for an IE-related zero-day that never appeared in real life. Later in the month, those with automatic update turned on were treated to a wide assortment of bugs (Start and Search fails, RDP redlines, older Visual Basic program blasts) – only some of which were solved with the month’s final, optional, non-security patches.

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Microsoft Patch Alert: October updates bring problems with Start, RDP, Ethernet, older VB programs

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2019 12:18:00 -0700

October started out on an extraordinarily low note. On Oct. 3, Microsoft released an “out of band” security update to protect all Windows users from an Internet Explorer scripting engine bug, CVE-2019-1367, once thought to be an imminent danger to all things (and all versions) Windows.

It was the third attempt to fix that security hole and each of the versions brought its own set of bugs.

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