Microsoft established a fairly predictable schedule over the last decade of precisely when it issues the most important Windows updates. Known as Patch Tuesday, the second day of each month is when individuals and organization IT departments can usually plan to apply security and other updates to keep their Windows machines humming.
Every now and then, something happens to interrupt that regular schedule, usually due to some show-stopper bug that would mean an update would cause more problems than it solves. February 2017 is just such an occasion, and it’s more than just a delay of days or even weeks, as Ars Technical reports.
This time around, Microsoft is essentially cancelling Patch Tuesday completely. The company first delayed the update indefinitely, and now it’s official — the next Patch Tuesday update will arrive on March 14, 2017.
The month-long delay is particularly troublesome for anyone suffering from an SMB file sharing bug that causes crashes, along with any security updates that would have helped users avoid other issues. Microsoft had planned to implement changes to patching methodology that would have applied Windows 10’s cumulative update concept to Windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2. Those changes won’t happen until March 2017 as well.
Microsoft hasn’t provided any specific reasons for the delay, but the changes to the update process mean that all updates are delivered and tested together. And so, if one update causes issues, the company can no longer hold back just that update and deliver the rest. It’s now more of an all or nothing affair.
Ultimately, it’s better that Microsoft hold off on delivering an update rather than cause widespread issues. IT departments in particular might find the delay inconvenient, given that they typically plan around the updates to avoid user interruptions. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for Microsoft to fix that pesky SMB crashing bug, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.
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