This month’s Windows and Office security patches: Bugs and solutions

This month’s Windows and Office security patches: Bugs and solutions

This month, Microsoft Patch Land looks like a stranger Stranger Things Upside Down, where Security-only patches carry loads of telemetry, Visual Studio patches appear for the wrong versions… and we still can’t figure out how to keep the Win10 1903 upgrade demogorgon from swallowing established drivers.

As we end the month, we’ve seen the second “optional” monthly cumulative updates for all Win10 versions — the 1903 patch was released, pulled, then re-released — and fixes for Visual Studio’s transgressions. There’s a kludge for getting the Win10 1903 upgrade to work. And BlueKeep still looms like a gorging Mind Flayer.

Win7 Security-only patch brings telemetry

Those of you who have been dodging Windows 7 telemetry by using the monthly Security-only patches — a process I described as “Group B” three years ago — have reached the end of the road. The July 2019 Win7 “Security-only” patch, KB4507456, includes a full array of telemetry/snooping, uh, enhancements.

We don’t know what information Microsoft’s collecting with the new patch, but if you’ve been hoping to minimize Microsoft snooping by staying on the increasingly difficult Security-only path, the jig is up. You have two options:

  • Install the July Security-only update and start sending your telemetry to Microsoft, or
  • Stop patching entirely (“Group W”), six months before Win7’s end of life

It’s not an easy choice.

In my opinion, if you want to continue to patch Win7, you’re better off paying the devil his due and installing the Win7 Monthly Rollup, KB4507449 (“Group A”). That’ll give you the full version of Win7 telemetry, along with many small bug fixes.


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