File this one under: The Ignorance of the Press
.Microsoft Abandons Windows 8.1: Take Immediate Action Or Be Cut Off Like Windows XP
...But when it comes to Windows 8, it seems the company has a permanently loaded pistol aimed squarely at its feet.
So it fits that just one week on from the launch of ‘Windows 8.1 Update 1’ (the smart upgrade mouse and keyboard users have long awaited) stupidity would strike once again.
“Windows 8.1 Update is a cumulative update to Windows 8.1,” said Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Ben Hunter in an apparently innocuous blog post aimed at IT professionals. Then came the clanger: “It also becomes the new servicing baseline for Windows 8.1, so next month’s security updates (on May 13th, the next ‘Patch Tuesday’) will be dependent on Windows 8.1 Update.”
In English: If you have not installed Update 1 by 13 May then Windows 8.1 will no longer receive security updates until you do. This is your 4 week countdown warning.
That's normal. There is nothing wrong with that. It's consistent with past Microsoft policies. XP users had to upgrade from service pack one (SP1) to service pack two (SP2) in order to receive future updates.
In English, service pack 2 was a prerequisite for all future updates. That's how it works.
And I have no idea what Gordon Kelly is complaining about here. These updates will be automatically installed with the routine Patch Tuesday updates, which Windows users are supposed to install as part of their regular Windows maintenance schedule.
As a Linux user, I install updates in Mint 13 as soon as they become available. As Garfield would say, big fat hair deal!
For many it is no big deal. Just update and be quick about it. But for anyone who chooses not to install every Microsoft update the moment it appears, like mainstream users or – let me think – most businesses around the world who have lengthy validation processes… it is another matter entirely.
That's NOT Microsoft's problem. That's the stupidity of someone's IT department. If you refuse to install security updates, on your own head be it.
You don't get the option of selectively deciding which updates to install or not. You chose Windows. You agreeded to their licensing agreement and policies. You paid for this privileged. Live with it!
Furthermore Microsoft’s decision has terrible timing. It is announced against the backdrop of Heartbleed, a security bug which this month exposed user details on 17% of the world’s supposedly secure web servers. Heartbleed has hit headlines around the globe and made users paranoid about security. Microsoft could not see it coming, but in refusing to give Windows 8.1 users more time in its wake the company looks antagonistic.
It's NOT Microsoft's fault that you can't read and keep up with two stories at the same time. And 4 weeks isn't enough time for you to do one little automatic update? Seriously? Holy crap! What the hell are you doing for 28 days that would prevent you from doing one update?
It gets worse because Microsoft recognises Windows 8.1 Update 1 has problems. In a TechNet post Senior Microsoft Consultant Steve Thomas confirms there is “an issue regarding Windows 8.1 Update preventing interaction with WSUS 3.2 over SSL connections” and until it is fixed the deployment of Update 1 will be suspended to affected machines.
For affected users who have already downloaded Windows 8.1 Update 1 Thomas says “we recommend that you suspend deployment of this update in your organization until we release the update that resolves this issue.”
Still not a problem for the majority of Windows users. But is there a solution to this problem? Yes
. You have three options:
Windows update Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 update
There is currently an issue with Windows 8.1 Update preventing interactions with WSUS 3.2 over SSL connections. If you run a local WSUS server you can:
* Disable https
* Enable TLS1.2 on the server
* Wait for an update from Microsoft
I found that information in matter of two minutes.
See also: Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355) prevents interaction with WSUS 3.2 over SSL
Or you could just download the update directly
from Microsoft as a stand-alone file and bypass the problem entirely.
But wait! There's been an update to this story:
In an official blog post Microsoft has announced it will be changing the deployment timescale for Windows 8.1 Update 1 for business users. It is scrapping the 30 day window we criticised in this post and extending eligibility for security updates to a more reasonable 120 days.
“As we’ve been monitoring the release [of Update 1], we’ve been actively discussing this new approach to servicing with enterprise customers and listening to their feedback regarding managing the deployment timeline,” said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Marketing Communications Manager. “As a result, we’ve decided to extend the timeframe for enterprise customers to deploy these new product updates from 30 to 120 days. In order to receive future updates, all customers managing updates using WSUS, Windows Intune, or System Center Configuration Manager have until August 12th to apply the new updates. For those that decide to defer installation, separate security updates will be published during the 120-day window.”
This is a significant advance and while I’d like to see the same courtesy extended to consumers (regardless of automatic Windows updates) I commend Microsoft on recognising its mistake and making this change.
Looks like Mr. Kelly needs to take a tip from Emily Litella and just say: