Microsoft to push all-in-one Windows updates

Microsoft announced yesterday that it plans to change how patches for previous versions of the company's Windows operating system are made available.

The change affects all client and server versions of Windows prior to the release of Windows 10: Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 on the client side, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 on the server side. Vista, as usually, is not included in anything anymore.

Microsoft plans to release a monthly rollup patch that includes security and reliability patches in a single update. Additionally, the company plans to ship all security updates of a given month as a single update package as well.

Why Microsoft makes the change

cumulative windows patches

Microsoft started to distributed so-called Convenience Rollup updates for Windows 7 SP1, and monthly rollups for non-security updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 in May 2016.

Based on customer feedback, and Microsoft's own analysis of the update situation on Windows, the company decided to change the current model further.

According to Microsoft, this resolves several of the issues that customers and businesses face when dealing with updates for Windows machines.

Historically, we have released individual patches for these platforms, which allowed you to be selective with the updates you deployed. This resulted in fragmentation where different PCs could have a different set of updates installed leading to multiple potential problems:



  • Various combinations caused sync and dependency errors and lower update quality
  • Testing complexity increased for enterprises
  • Scan times increased
  • Finding and applying the right patches became challenging
  • Customers encountered issues where a patch was already released, but because it was in limited distribution it was hard to find and apply proactively

Microsoft aims to make the updating process on Windows "more consistent" by introducing the changes.

Windows Update changes in detail

windows update-security bulletins august 2016

Starting October 2016, Microsoft will release a single Monthly Rollup that includes security and reliability patches in a single update.

It will be pushed to Windows Update, WSUS, SCCM and the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Newer rollups supersede previous ones, as they include all the patches they contained. Microsoft notes that express packages will be used to keep download sizes small for devices that have these rollups installed from Windows Update or WSUS.

Read also:  Windows 10 Creators Update: No automatic restarts after updates anymore

The company plans to integrate other patches, released previously, to these Monthly Rollup patches. The goal is to include all patches at one point in time to bring all machines running Windows to the same patch level.

Single Security-only Updates

Also starting October 2016, Microsoft will push single Security-only updates to Windows devices. These updates contain all security patches of a given month, but they won't supersede previous security updates.

Microsoft will make them available via WSUS, SCCM and the Microsoft Update Catalog. However, it won't be made available via Windows Update.

This means that the latter change is directed to Enterprise customers and businesses only.

The security-only update will allow enterprises to download as small of an update as possible while still maintaining more secure devices.

Microsoft will update documentation for updates for previous versions of Windows similarly to how it documents the Windows 10 update history.

Closing Words

Patch rollups that contain all updates improve the updating process. All that needs to be done is download a single patch, or two in the case of Enterprise customers, to patch Windows machine fully.

The issue with this approach is that it is no longer possible to remove a faulty patch from a Windows machine. If you know that a certain KB patch is causing issues, you will no longer be able to remove it if rollup patches are installed.

The past has shown that patches may introduce all sorts of bugs, from minor things to systems not starting anymore.

Microsoft did not mention whether patches will still be available for download through other means. It seems likely that they will be made available on the Download Center or via the Microsoft Update Catalog.

This means however more work for users who want to install updates individually on their devices. Third-party software like WSUS may come to the rescue. (Thanks Joe for the tip)

Now You: What's your take on the announcement?

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Microsoft to push all-in-one Windows updates
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Microsoft announced yesterday that it plans to change how patches for previous versions of the company's Windows operating system are made available.
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Responses to Microsoft to push all-in-one Windows updates

  1. Marko August 16, 2016 at 11:10 am #

    Well, this is a welcome change. Now I won't have to wait for fifty thousand updates to install when I rollback/re-image some machine to a prior state.

  2. Kombo123 August 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    This is the easiest way to sneaking unwanted updates...

  3. Corky August 16, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    Have Microsoft considered there's a reason end users were being selective with the updates they deployed?

    Maybe if Microsoft didn't make such a pigs ear of patches their customers wouldn't need to constantly check if a patch was going to kill their systems, maybe if Microsoft could patch a single issue without the high probability of it effecting something totally unrelated, maybe if Microsoft didn't write spaghetti code they wouldn't have to be patching code leftover from 20 years ago.

    • anon August 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      >Have Microsoft considered there's a reason end users were being selective with the updates they deployed?
      They know that the enterprise world is a thing, yes. This change was based on user feedback and is a welcome change.

      >to constantly check if a patch was going to kill their systems
      These issues affect a tiny minority of users.

      >maybe if Microsoft could patch a single issue without the high probability of it effecting something totally unrelated
      Third-party devs are usually to blame for using undocumented APIs, etc. that they were never supposed to use.

      >maybe if Microsoft didn't write spaghetti code they wouldn't have to be patching code leftover from 20 years ago
      It's easy to criticize when you're not the one programming the OS.

      • Corky August 16, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

        @anon, Do you truly believe it was based on user feedback? How can it even be possible to be so gullible, if a company told you it was increasing prices based on user feedback would you swallow that?

        What's your proof that it only effects a tiny minority, what do you even consider to be a tiny minority, is a company with 5000 PC's a tiny minority because the company i work for isn't to happy with Microsoft for doing this, it's going to mean if we find an issue with one of these patches that we can't isolate the patch that's causing the problem from the ones that need to be applied, in effect Microsoft are putting my companies network at risk because given the choice stability wins out over security.

        Saying third party devs are to blame is utter BS, it's Microsoft who makes the API and the environment that third party software runs on, if they didn't want people using "undocumented APIs" then they shouldn't be making them available, that's like putting a door in a house that's not meant to be used.

        It's also got nothing to do with whose writing the code, the spaghetti code within Windows is caused by managerial decisions, or do you really think the code within something as complex as an OS can be managed by a single developer.

      • anon August 16, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

        >Do you truly believe it was based on user feedback?
        People have been complaining for years that they have hundreds, if not thousands, of individual updates to install every time they clean install Windows 7 and/or 8.1. So yes, it was actually based on user feedback. They could always slipstream them but most Windows users do not have the technical knowledge to do that, nor should they have to.

        >What's your proof that it only effects a tiny minority
        Where is your proof that it affects the majority? Someone will always have an issue with something, that hardly makes them the majority.

        >Saying third party devs are to blame is utter BS
        No, it isn't. Undocumented APIs are unsupported by definition, so if you end up using them for your own software, you are on your own and have no right to complain when something breaks. Microsoft is under no legal obligation to help you in such a situation either.

        Raymond Chen has good articles about this, like these three:
        https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20031224-00/?p=41363

        https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20150922-00/?p=91541

        https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20160308-00/?p=93123

        >or do you really think the code within something as complex as an OS can be managed by a single developer
        You're the one making that assumption, not me.

      • Corky August 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

        @anon, The reason people have been complaining is because Microsoft refused to release more than a single service pack, it's a problem of Microsoft's own choices, one that now seems to be biting them in the ass, if Microsoft were getting complaints from customers who have to install hundreds of patches then they should release a service pack.

        Your attempt to shift the burden of proof isn't going to work, you're the one that made the claim of problems only effecting a tiny majority now it's up to you to provide proof of that claim, something i think you'll find rather difficult to do as you've yet to even define what you consider a "tiny minority"

        Also saying third party devs are to blame is still BS, yes a third party program may stop working but we're not talking about third party programs, we're talking about problems with WINDOWS and the updates that Microsoft issue, maybe a program that was making use of an undocumented API call that shouldn't even have been there in the first place, maybe that program will no longer work after an update, but that shouldn't have any bearing on the stability of the operating system itself, you only have to take the recent example of an Windows 10 update causing the OS the freeze, that's got nothing to do with third party devs using undocumented API calls, that's entirely down to Microsoft.

        Finally I'm not making any assumptions on the state of Windows code or how a large development project is managed, if you could use Google you'd know it's not an assumption, however let me supply you with some links, unlike yourself, to backup that claims.
        http://uk.pcmag.com/opinion/15915/microsoft-offices-spaghetti-code-mess
        http://www.vexite.com/2005/ending-microsofts-cowboy-spaghetti-code-culture/
        https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/4tfil9/exmicrosoft_employee_talks_about_how_shitty_their/

      • anon August 16, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

        >The reason people have been complaining is because Microsoft refused to release more than a single service pack
        Because service packs are a thing of the past.

        >Your attempt to shift the burden of proof isn't going to work
        Neither is yours. Where exactly are users complaining about these problems that proves how widespread they are?

        >we're talking about problems with WINDOWS and the updates that Microsoft issue
        If we're talking about problems within the OS, then yes, that's up to Microsoft to fix them. But when you said that it could impact something unrelated, then third-party software does come into play.

        >however let me supply you with some links, unlike yourself, to backup that claims
        Those links neither prove anything nor are they particularly trustworthy.

        I know I'm probably whistling into the wind here but being an anti-Microsoft zealot based on some vague and unsourced claims hardly helps your case. Alas, I rest mine since this is an exercise in futility.

      • Corky August 17, 2016 at 11:20 am #

        @Anon, Service packs are only a thing of the past because that's a choice made by Microsoft, they've caused this mess through the choices they've made, they refused to release more service packs and caused the 500+ update mess that people have been complaining about and now you're saying these cumulative updates are to fix a problem of Microsoft's own making.

        If you want to know where people are complaining about these updates then i suggest you either use Google, browse Microsoft's own forums, or read some of these...
        http://www.infoworld.com/article/2889295/microsoft-windows/20-epic-microsoft-windows-auto-update-meltdowns.html

        RE Something unrelated: That wasn't in reference to third party software, that was in reference to Microsoft issuing a patch for something like a change to the Russian ruble causing BSOD, or fixing a hole in the Jet Database Engine that caused problems with parts of the OS that have nothing to do with the Jet Database Engine, or the patching of IE causing BSOD, it was in reference to Microsoft trying to patch one thing within the OS and that causing problems with another unrelated part of the OS.

        As for the proof of spaghetti code what exactly would you consider reliable proof, because if you're waiting for an ex-Microsoft employe to spill the beans you're going to have a long wait as they all sign non disclosure agreements, however the following article may give you some incite.
        https://ahmetalpbalkan.com/blog/8-months-microsoft/

        Although i suspect even that won't be enough for you as you'll just throw out the catch all statement that it doesn't prove anything or isn't trustworthy.

        Lastly I'm still waiting for you to define what a "tiny minority" is and provide proof that bad patches only effect however you choose to define that, that's if you can continue this discussion with having to resort to ad hominem attacks.

      • Anthony August 17, 2016 at 11:25 am #

        "It's easy to criticize when you're not the one programming the OS"

        In fact the original code Bill stole from IBM when he was working there and made it his innovative operative system, and let me mention another code (among many) Bill stole from the programmer of Winzip whose poor person had no money to sue Bill. Same thing did Apple by stealing the original code and making it its own.

        "being an anti-Microsoft zealot based on some vague and unsourced claims"

        It appears clear that you party for Microsoft.

      • A different Martin August 17, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

        @ Anthony:

        You wrote: "In fact the original code Bill stole from IBM when he was working there..."

        I'm not an expert on the history of Microsoft and my recollection of what I once knew (or thought I knew) is beginning to fade, but I think you might have gotten some of your details wrong. Microsoft got the code for PC-DOS/MS-DOS from Seattle Computer Products' 86-DOS, previously known as QDOS. Seattle Computer Products later claimed that Microsoft had cheated them in licensing/purchasing negotiations, and Digital Research's Gary Kildall, creator of CP/M, claimed that QDOS, 86-DOS, PC-DOS, and MS-DOS were ripoffs of CP/M. Seattle Computer Products, a shoestring operation, settled for $1 million, and Gary Kildall got IBM to offer a CP/M-86 version of its PC in exchange for dropping his claims.

        At any rate, it's possible that Microsoft used code from the subsequent OS/2 project, which Microsoft and IBM were developing jointly in its initial stages, but any alleged "theft" would seem to be by Seattle Computer Products from Digital Research, and by Microsoft from Seattle Computer Products, not by Microsoft from IBM. I'm happy to be corrected.

        As for Microsoft's honesty and trustworthiness in general, I think Thomas Penfield Jackson, the first judge in the United States v. Microsoft Corp. antitrust case, had them pretty accurately pegged at the time. (See the Wikipedia articles on United States v. Microsoft Corp. and Thomas Penfield Jackson for salient excerpts.) If Jackson were alive today to witness the tactics Microsoft has used to promote exclusive use of Windows 10 -- which arguably include the all-in-one updates discussed here -- I think he'd feel vindicated.

    • angry windows fan August 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

      > Have Microsoft considered there's a reason end users were being selective with the updates they deployed?

      This is the main reason MSFT does this, they noticed that too many ppl refused patch kb30...... aka GWX.
      With this new method this would become impossible or they won't get any updates at all.

      @Anon, yeah for SOME users this is a welcome change, for others this is a BAD change.
      why bad ?
      * GWX and all the update sneaky tricks they pulled.
      * MS thinks that their drivers are newer than de Suppliers drivers.
      * to me it's complete BS that the combined package with all cumulative updates would be smaller then just the latest patches. OR that would mean they put in way to much overhead in each update.
      * I'm refusing patches meant for Kazakhstan and Brasil, coz I never go their and don't do business with them so why would I need that to me useless patches?
      * I don't use Skype , don't have it installed, so I don't need patches for it.

      Let's be clear about this, they did not implement this coz some users asked it.
      they did this coz they can sneak in more of their shit and use the users who asked this a their scapegoats.

  4. Henk van Setten August 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    I feel this is terrible news. Really terrible. I am the end user of some previous Windows versions, systems that I fully paid for and that therefore are fully owned by myself. Therefore I feel I do have the basic, fundamental right to determine exactly what changes I make (or allow Microsoft to make) to my own systems.

    With Windows 10, Microsoft took away that basic consumer's right. With Windows 10 it's like you "own" a home, but the Microsoft Housing Authority can force you to replace your wooden floorboards with a concrete floor, because they deem it "safer". Apparently many users (who would never accept this kind of intrusive meddling with their homes) do accept this when it comes to their computer system. But to me, this was one of several reasons why I categorically refused to "upgrade" my computers to Windows 10.

    So now they want to retroactively push this same kind of nonsense to my Windows 7 and 8.1 systems? To me, this is unacceptable. For one thing, this may also open the door for them to sneakily inject in those systems the same horrible, systematic user data harvesting ( "telemetry", in plain words, spying) that until now was fully present in Windows 10 only.

    If this actually goes through, then I will have no choice but to disable Windows Update completely and permanently. Of course in that case I would need to install some extra third-party security software, to compensate for any unplugged security holes.

    And in the long run... Well, it's just that I'm not really happy with Linux yet. Having tried Linux Mint for quite some time, I still find it not always very user-friendly to tinker with, and it still lacks an adequate choice of software. But news like this certainly makes the urge stronger to just accept such disadvantages, and actually switch to Linux.

    • nothenk August 16, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

      "Based on customer feedback"

      Hey everyone wanted this!

      • A or B, not C. August 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

        @ nothenk ....... Was that sarcasm.? ... Many Windows n ex-Windows users do not believe n trust M$ anymore.

    • Danny August 16, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

      It is mainly because of this 'mission creep' that I've decided to get the new MacBook Pro (when that comes out later this year) and switch to Mac. I know Apple isn't perfect by any means, but I despair of Microsoft's new direction. At least on a Mac I'll have some peace and quiet to do the work I need and the stuff I want.

    • ilev August 16, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

      I have disabled Windows 7 SP1 updates 2 years ago and I missed nothing.

  5. Xi August 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    The worst idea/strategy. If there is/are any botched update(s) included in the roll-up, we are doomed just like Win 10 users struggling with cumulative updates.

    Also, there will be no option to block telemetry updates and no way of uninstalling botched updates or telemetry updates.

    This is the reaction of MS since many Win 7/8/8.1 users blocked botched/telemetry/updates related to Win 10. By using these kind of roll-ups, MS can hide most of their sneaky stuff since they can remove it from support info of roll-up.

    I hope there will be soon another class-action lawsuits, survey and opinion polls for getting back to single updates.

  6. Bobo August 16, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Come October, install Solus everybody! Get back YOUR computer and a headache-free life. Yes, Windows 7 is good, but won't be for much longer. It's like an old dog that gets sicker and sicker every second Tuesday of the month, let's put the poor old fella out of his misery and get a new puppy instead.

  7. Sickofit August 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    I think Microsoft is extremely determined to take away as much control as possible from the enduser. They want to rule and to decide if the user gets bread and water or nothing. A highly questionable attitude which seems to be the norm these days. The customer in handcuffs and blindfolded. A product to be milked until unconscious. A product that buys/uses their silly products because they have changed a square button to a round one and sell it as the reincarnation of the wheel. Big brother, please do the thinking for us while we keep busy touching our so colorful screens like trained monkeys.

    For myself I have already decided that Win 8, my current program, will be my last connection with Microsoft. And I was lucky enough to do this without getting the permission from MS. Only God knows what other sick ideas they may be hatching out. I do not want to be a part of it. Or the victim, .... another name for customer/enduser. This is just my personal opinion and I could be wrong. For more information please read my 48 pages policy.

  8. Straspey August 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    Back in the early 1960's there was a science fiction show called "The Outer Limits". Still in its relative infancy, the American television audience was not prepared for the now-famous opening introduction to the show - and it caused quite a stir.

    I am reminded of "The Outer Limits" by the news in this article - and here's why:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCcdr4O-3gE

    As someone who has experienced "Update Hell" from a faulty patch - and, as someone who rejected and hid the infamous KB3035583 Windows 10 patch over FIFTEEN TIMES during the past year - I find this news to be not only distressing - but yet another attempt by Microsoft to take control of every Windows PC on the planet.

    • Tom Hawack August 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

      What a pertinent comparison! Replace "The Outer Limits" by "Microsoft" in the video you mention and it'll fit! (but Microsoft would never admit it).

      I remember the TV series back in the sixties. "The Outer Limits" and "Twilight Zone" were my favorites. Not to mention, with totally different concerns, "The Beverly Hillbillies", "The Patty Duke Show", "Petticoat Junctions", "Father Knows Best" and so many others ... Another era. So far from modern quests, values. "C'est la vie".

      Nice break when recalling those good old times. Hmm, back to reality.

      • Mike S. August 21, 2016 at 12:27 am #

        Damn Tom, you're (almost) as old as I am.

        LOL

      • Tom Hawack August 21, 2016 at 9:45 am #

        @Mike S. I can't remember if it's my dad or my uncle who described those TV series of the sixties, at my age I sometimes forget things :)

        The four levels of memory loss when getting older?
        1- We forget proper nouns
        2- We forget common nouns
        3- We forget to close our zipper
        4- We forget to open our zipper

        Now that I think of it, must have been me who watched them... some fifty years ago :)

  9. kktkkr August 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    "The past has shown that patches may introduce all sorts of bugs"
    Such as, you know, installing a new version of your operating system without prompting. There's no way they didn't consider how bad this would look after the whole incident with "recommended" GWX updates and blocking tools.

  10. andy August 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    Glad I dumped all of my home windows OS installs and went Linux!

    I hope this does not roll into us using WSUS in a corporate environment as well. They really need to think about what they are doing here. I am going to be missing on more and more patches because one component of it breaks some software my enterprise depends on.

    • Al August 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Totally agree. Got tired of the windows nonsense and put Manjaro on a separate HD on my computer--I thought the learning curve would be steep and wanted a fallback. It took maybe 2 weeks tops to feel totally comfortable. Now I'm moving all the computers on my family to Linux. I can do everything I need to do on linux, with no drama. If you have enough savvy to have avoided Windows 10, then you definitely have enough to run Manjaro.

  11. Tom Hawack August 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    When you realize what Win7/8.1 users have been enduring in terms of Windows Update since May 2015 the doctor's medicine may be welcomed even if the doctor is the guilty. Would Microsoft have deliberately planned problematic Updates in order to offer a Windows Update à la Windows 10 as the remedy that it wouldn't have proceeded differently.

    I just don't know. Imaginings don't take such dimensions when you have faith in a company. The company's policy and practices to push Windows 10 the way it did is relevant of such dishonesty that many users have lost confidence.

    Concerning this new Windows Update protocol announced for October 2016, I'm likely to give it a try but I'd be dishonest not to mention that what may prevail here is a definitive stop of Windows Update, wuauserv included. As many others the coming years will likely be those of sharing a roof with one we know is bound to move off. I really don't believe I'll carry on with Windows 10 after January 2020. I don't like the company anymore, I no longer stand its lack of communication, its approximations, its lies, its total lack of courtesy for the users.

  12. Dowe August 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

    I would go Linux but it is too geeky for me. If the Linux guys only would realize what big chance this windows desaster could be for them they would create a site which is dead simple and explains the basics of Linux. And would give doable advice on partitioning a harddrive. Not this geeky halfdone crap they are offering right now. For me it seems they always leave some steps out in their explanations.

    The Distro site for me is chaotic, too technical, too geeky. Ok, maybe it's just me. But for some reason I believe many computer uneducated morons would like to change from Windows to Linux if they would get somebody to hold their hands. Not everybody is a techwizz. So, no offense intended, dear Linuxians. But think about it, please.

    • The Flash August 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

      Have you even tried linux? It's actually pretty easy to use and I really suggest you try out Linux Mint.

      • talis August 16, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

        I have tried it numerous times over the years and it is not ready for the average user.

      • Dowe August 17, 2016 at 3:29 am #

        Yes I tried Mint on an USB stick but failed to set up a dual boot on my machine. I tried to follow instructions for the dual boot but stopped because there were one or more missing links (or I did not understand the geekolorus) and I wasn't going to jeopardize my entire system.

        You are right about Linux Mint. But I would like a dual boot and the Linux sites I visited were not much help for me at all.

      • A or B, not C. August 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

        @ Dowe ....... From what I understand, for noobs to Linux OS, to dual-boot with Windows OS, they should select "Install Linux Mint alongside Windows OS" during the installation process n Linux Mint will automatically allocate itself about 12GB(= minimal) from the free or unused disk space of Windows for the LM install partition n then automatically create the dual-boot system, boot, root, home n swap partitions for the noobs.
        .
        A custom install of a dual-boot system for Linux on Windows OS is a bit more complicated, eg for a custom 50GB Linux system in a 500GB hard drive containing Windows.
        ....... I think u hv to first create the 50GB free space partition/volume in yr Windows OS's hard drive for the intended LM system by using the onboard Windows Disk Management utility, ie shrink a volume/partition to create a new volume/partition that's free or unused = free space.
        ....... Then proceed with the LM install by using a Live install media. Select "Something Else" for the installation process. Click on the 50GB free space/partition/volume that u had just created. U need to select n customize yr root(= for system files), home(= for data files) n swap(= for virtual memory if u hv limited RAM of 2GB or less) partitions by clicking "+" or Add. Google Search on how to actually do this. U need to make sure that the boot partition/system is installed on the same internal hard drive for Windows(= usually it's dev/sda), n not on the DVD or USB Flashdrive. Then continue with the install as usual.

    • zund August 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      try ubuntu MATE (https://ubuntu-mate.org/), installs in 5 minutes with all relevant applications (libreoffice, thunderbird, firefox etc.)

      i would disadvise linux mint because they're holding back some kernel-patches and have a whole different repository then ubuntu.

      • The Flash August 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

        That whole thing with kernel patches being held pack is so overblown. I understand the Linux Mint team has to be cautious as a kernel patch could break something on a user's system.

  13. P August 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    MS makes the decision to switch to an alternative OS easier everyday. For instance this weekend I'm installing Openelec on my NUC HTPC.

  14. A or B, not C. August 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    B4 March 2016, Win 7 SP1 cptr users who needed to do a clean reinstall of their OS could easily n successfully update their OS with 200+ pending security updates thru Windows Update. There were 200+ updates bc Win 7 SP1 was released sometime around 2011.
    .......After March 2016, they could not do so anymore, unless they first install KB3172605, which is the Update Client that installs all the Win 10-style Telemetry Data Collection Tools or "NSA Spyware".

    Personally, since the launch of Win 10 in July 2015, I perused every security update n had hidden all the Win 10 upgrade nagware KB updates, esp GWX KB3035583, from MY Win 7 SP1 cptr.
    .......Since around Oct 2015 I hv also hidden all the Update Client or Telemetry KB updates n after March 2016 I could no longer d/load n install security updates thru Windows Update. Had to do it manually n one-by-one thru M$'s support website. Soon after, M$ moved all the manual KB's to the IE-only M$ Update Catalog site.
    ....... This Roll-up of security updates is very likely M$'s way of forcing Win 7/8.1 users to install the Win 10-style Telemetry Data Collection Tools or "NSA Spyware" n other KB updates that benefit only M$, eg for the display of ads on Win 7/8.1 cptrs, ... bc tech-savvy users will no longer be able to peruse n hide individual KB security updates that r unwanted or problematic.
    ....... Hence, I'm posting this comment using Linux Mint 17.3 n keeping my un-update'able Win 7 cptr as a spare OS, like a spare tire.

    Hopefully, Google's future Fuchsia OS will dethrone M$'s Windows OS by 2020, ie the EOL of Win 7.

    • anon August 16, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      The Windows Update Agent or Windows Update Client is what allows Windows Update to work. You only fail to install updates after March 2016 because you intentionally locked yourself out of them, which is hardly Microsoft's fault. Not to mention that the free Windows 10 upgrade offer has already ended.

      The Microsoft Update Catalog site is old, which is why it requires Internet Explorer and ActiveX. They're currently working on an overhaul that does not require plug-ins and will work with any browser.

      • A or B, not C. August 17, 2016 at 5:13 am #

        @ anon ....... Also, in March 2016, M$ hid the GWX KB3035583 update inside the security update for IE 11 n quietly changed the UI for the clicking of the red "X" in the GWX nagware window for Win 7/8.1 cptrs.
        .......Many tech savvy Win 7/8.1 users who had hidden the GWX KB3035583 "security" update, got tricked into being auto-updated to Win 10 when they installed the security update for IE 11 n clicked the red "X". B4 that, the clicking of the red "X" served to cancel the scheduled Win 10 upgrade. After March 2016, it served to approve the scheduled Win 10 upgrade.

        The requirement for installing KB3172605 + KB3020369 n Patch Roll-Ups follow the same sneaky pattern, ie these "security" or "important" updates n bundled security updates hide the Win 10-style Telemetry Data Collection Tools or "NSA spyware" n/or other M$-benefiting updates.
        ....... Seems, M$ like to play hide-n-seek with some of their "security" updates.

      • Anthony August 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

        @anon stop blaming users only because your business benefits from Microsoft.
        Since your first comment it's always users' fault, you blame for this and for that.
        Do you work for Microsoft?

  15. 420 August 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    It is like they sit over there and think of new ways to really piss everyone off. Great strategy for the future, annoy and confound everyone on a continuous basis. And just when you think they could not possibly do something more stupid and underhanded, they always come up with something better. Also when something is marketed as a convenience rollup you can bet the only convenience is how much easier it will be in the future to screw you.

  16. RobertW August 16, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    >>>> "I could no longer d/load n install security updates thru Windows Update."

    Me too ! Thanks for that clear explanation!

    -- "Windows-Update" will no longer update any of my Win7 PC's (after Feb 2016)... it just goes into an endless "scan" cycle with no error codes or hint of what the problem is. Tried the Microsoft "Fixit" program for Windows Update Troubleshooting... but it consistently crashes when initially talking to the MS servers.

    Thought I must have really damaged something in my Win7 configurations somehow-- but now I see it is enemy-action/sabotage from MS.

    • Xircal August 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      @RobertW, you need to install the April 2015 Servicing Stack for Win 7: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3020369

      Servicing Stacks make changes to the files Windows uses to service an image. If you try to install updates which were released after a new Servicing Stack became available, but haven't installed the latter, the installation will fail.

  17. Anonymous August 16, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    Next step: .Net Framework update > at the request of the majority of our customers, note that this update is incompatible with W7 ;)

  18. Rotten Scoundrel August 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    Or, do as I do and block all of your windows PCs from Internet access at the router. They still function fine internally o the network but with no Internet access either in or out, they are immune to security threats so no updates needed. I only select Security Updates for install since losing trust in msoft a year or more back sneaking in their win-10 crap.

    I use Ubuntu within VMWare and anything you like in that. I have win2000, XP etc all running in VMs that are backed up daily and full imaged weekly. At any point I could roll back to override the msoft crap had I been crazy enough to allow it in.

    Is it just me or does "anon" above sound like a msoft programmer? "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." LOL

  19. A different Martin August 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    No analogy is ever perfect, but I remember back in high school, during the cooking portion of my "bachelor homemaking" class, being taught to submerge eggs in water before cracking them open. If an egg lay flat, it was still fresh and probably good; if it stood upright on the bottom, it was older but probably still safe to eat; if it floated, it was too old and should be tossed. Next, we were taught to open the eggs and dump them into a small bowl or teacup one at a time so as to be able to sniff them and throw out any bad ones before adding them to the other opened eggs in a big collective bowl. That way, one bad egg wouldn't spoil the lot. Now say you're making an omelet. Some of the people you're cooking for might be allergic to peanuts, some might be allergic to tomatoes, and some might hate mushrooms. Depending on whom you're cooking for, you wouldn't use peanut oil, or tomatoes, or mushrooms. So, to make the analogy explicit, by firing half of its testing and quality assurance staff, Microsoft has cut way back on its egg-float testing, and by putting all updates into a single rollup, it is dumping all of its eggs and the peanut oil and the tomatoes and the mushrooms directly into the big collective bowl. [In the analogy, individual diners' allergies and preferences correspond to peculiar hardware configurations, software environments, and use cases.] Enjoy your omelet, folks!

    Other commenters have already pointed out that this is a way to make it more difficult (or impossible) for Windows 7/8.1 users to opt out of telemetry and GWX updates. [In the above analogy, let's call these updates "fresh eggs infected with salmonella."] Given that the rollup approach is going to make it more difficult for users and Microsoft itself to identify exactly which individual update component in the rollup is causing problems in "minority" hardware configurations and software environments, I suspect that that is the true goal behind this move. Careful users are still going to have to vet rollups before applying them; it will just take longer before system problems caused by them are identified and fixed. And of course, if it transpires that the rollups include components that the user considers to be malware, that's a strong reason to switch to a different OS before Windows 7/8.1's end of life. In this connection, isn't Linux Mint 18.1, with Flatpak and Snap support, due out sometime around October 2016?

    Back in spring/summer of 2015, a Windows 10 readiness diagnostics update literally killed my Windows 7 laptop. When my computer started shutting down to protect itself from overheating, I discovered that the diagnostics update had been running one core of my dual-core CPU at 100% for at least a couple of hours every day at 3 in the morning. It literally melted out all of the thermal compound between the CPU and the heat sink and it wore out the ventilation fan. The repair was relatively cheap in terms of money (thanks, Lenovo!), but it was quite difficult and time-consuming (thanks, Lenovo!). I learned two things from the experience: (1) place a heavy weight on user-serviceability when choosing a laptop; and (2) avoid Microsoft updates that you don't have good reason to apply. By bundling critical security updates with potentially buggy or unwanted non-critical updates, Microsoft is making item (2) a lot more difficult.

    Anyway, I'd already decided that Windows 7 would be my last Microsoft OS, and given my experience over the past year and a half -- avoiding buggy and intrusive updates, avoiding GWX, and seeing Windows 7 support curtailed on Skylake chipsets and denied on Kaby Lake chipsets -- I'd already accepted that I might need to move to Linux before Windows 7's formal end of life in January 2020. Depending on what Microsoft bundles into its new comprehensive rollups, and whether they can be circumvented via something like WSUS, it looks like that move may come even sooner than I expected.

  20. SCBright August 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    Microsoft being Microsoft, that's all.

  21. meepmeep August 16, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

    Does anyone know if microstiff can get it's tentacles past a disabled windows update service and disabled BITS in win7?

    • Tom Hawack August 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

      I don't think so. Out of Patch Tuesday I disable both services and haven't noticed an invasive breakthrough. To be frank even both services set to automatic (default) I doubt any intrusion would bypass blocking Automatic Windows Update itself. More is adding emotion to reality, IMO.

  22. meepmeep August 16, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    @Tom Hawack, Thanks for the reply. It's just a matter of trying to keep a step or two ahead. They seem to be getting
    more aggressive in their tactics. Even though for me, this is all pretty low level stuff, (mine is a gaming machine) still,
    there are principles involved here. I learned some of them from watching "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver".
    I wonder where micro**** learned theirs, watching "The Untouchables"?

    • Tom Hawack August 16, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

      :)
      To be or not to be untouchable, that is less the question than to know what is behind. I doubt Microsoft executives compare to Elliott Ness (I always forget if Elliott takes one or two "t" with Ness!).

      Same as you, meepmeep, I try to do my best to get the computer going as I decide. For non-techies it's sometimes hard, tough ... but the Web, if it shows hatred also demonstrates brotherhood.

      "Leave it to Beaver", yeah! ... "My Three Sons" featuring Fred McMurray.... "Car 54" (the cop's wife at her window crying "America, my husband is nuts!", "The Three Stooges" (I'd laugh so hard with them three was I later told!) ... "The Real McCoys" ... the sixties, B&W TV series made my (TV) youth :)

      OK- Life goes on!

      P.S. "The Flintstones" as well. LOL!

  23. tree August 16, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    What is your recommendation? Should we keep the GWX Contol panel or is it safe to uninstall it? What about this KB3172605?

  24. Tony August 16, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

    This is a horrible idea for Microsoft customers. My opinion is that this is deception by Microsoft to make it easier for them to install nagware, telemetry, and other types of spyware onto Windows systems.

    The failure of their new plan is already evident before they even fully implement it. Take a close look at the July 2016 rollup. It's now the only way on Windows Update to easily get some patches. Yet if you install it, it will likely break bluetooth on your system (see Issue #1 in the MSKB at https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3172605 ). There is no current way to fix the known problems it causes. That's the type of "Microsoft Experience" that we can all look forward to if Microsoft implements their new foolish plan.

    There is no valid reason for rollups: it's just a way for Microsoft to force updates on customers that they don't want.

    This nonsense, if Microsoft goes through with it, might finally be enough to shift many tech savvy customers away from Microsoft products. And after the tech savvy customers depart Microsoft, the less savvy customers will follow shortly.

    • Anthony August 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

      @Tony

      "if Microsoft goes through with it, might finally be enough to shift many tech savvy customers away from Microsoft products"

      I want to add that non business tech savvy users will relay more and more on offline packages downloads to avoid Microsoft's invasion and arrogance.

    • Mike O August 17, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

      It did break Bluetooth on my system but reinstalling my BT driver package fixed it.

  25. meepmeep August 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

    One "t" in Eliot and two esses in Ness, but don't pronounce second "s", it is silent. :o)

  26. fsr August 16, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    This is going to create even more problems with buggy and 'undesired' updates, it should be optional!

  27. LD August 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    At the end of September I will be turning off windows update on my W7 systems as I will be only downloading the security-only rollup each month from the Windows Update Catalog site. No point being a botnet by not installing security updates. The other rollup (not the NET one) is just secretly buried MS IEDs that a stable business system can do without.

    • justakiwi August 17, 2016 at 8:32 am #

      my wife uses Vista home - last updated 2002. i use win7 ultimate - last update2013. only thing we both update is firefox browser/and its plugins and malwarebytes - premium

  28. Yuliya August 17, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    I'll just use Simplix' Update pack ^^ tyvm

  29. Xircal August 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

    This is Windows 10 by the backdoor. Your current version of Windows 7 or 8.1 will look the same, but you won't be able to decide whether to install telemetry updates anymore. Similarly, expect to see ads appearing on your desktop or lockscreen in the not too distant future.

    It doesn't surprise me that Microsoft has gone this route since there was considerable resistance from many Win 7 and 8.1 users who simply don't want to install an OS which peers over their shoulder every time they use their PC.

    Windows 10 updates are mandatory for that OS and includes drivers, spyware and the ability to delete certain options in the Group Policy editor if you happen to have the Pro version among other dubious updates. So expect the same treatment for Win 7 and 8.1 come October.

  30. Dowe August 17, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    @A or B, not C

    Thank you for your reply. I will definitely try to find out if your suggestions may work for me.

  31. Xircal August 17, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    I'm looking at a Linux flavour called Zorin OS now. According to their site, Windows applications can be run on this operating system and the UI looks a bit like Windows 7. http://zorinos.com/tour.html

    There's a video of it on Youtube if you want to see a preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzDKo4cLlMM

    The download link takes you to version 9 for some reason, but the link to the latest version which is 11 can be found here: http://www.open-source-feed.com/2016/02/zorin-os-11-core-ultimate-editions.html

  32. tittyhead August 17, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    @Corky ,you wiped the floor but "anon" has a problem accepting it :P

  33. tittyhead August 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    I have a feeling they gonna sneak in forced telemetry and other such nasties locked into dlls and hope we'll throw our hands in the air and download win10.

  34. tittyhead August 17, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

    New version, ReactOS 0.4.2 :)

    The ReactOS project is an open source operating system which attempts to be binary compatible with Microsoft Windows. The ReactOS project has released a new version, ReactOS 0.4.2. The new release improves compatibility with Windows applications via WINE and includes the ability to read and write with several Unix/Linux/BSD file systems, including ext, ReiserFS and UFS. "Beyond the usual updates to external dependencies such as Wine and UniATA, much work has gone into refining the experience of using ReactOS, especially with respect to the graphical shell and the file explorer. Perhaps the most user visible change however is the ability now to read from and write to several Unix file systems, namely ext family, ReiserFS, and UFS. Native built-in support for these file systems should make for considerably easier interoperability than the current out-of-box experience provided by Windows, and there is more to come in the future.

  35. A or B, not C. August 18, 2016 at 12:58 am #

    @ Dowe ....... Also, u may need to unmount or make inactive the 50GB partition/volume b4 u can install LM on it.

    • A or B, not C. August 18, 2016 at 5:19 am #

      @ Dowe ....... U can also install LM onto a USB external hard-drive or flashdrive with a Live DVD or Live USB flashdrive.

      • A or B, not C. August 19, 2016 at 7:05 am #

        @ Dowe ....... Seems, it is not optimal to install n run Linux OS from a USB Flashdrive bc Linux OS will do a lot of writing on the Flashdrive storage, which will wear out the drive quite fast. Running a Linux Live USB Flashdrive with persistent storage is OK bc it is a read-only operation.
        .......It is best to run an OS from a HDD/SSD, either internal or external/USB. NAND Flash storage for smartphones has wear-levelling micro-controllers in them = is like an SSD.

        We can also run the minimal Tahrpup or Knoppix from a CD/DVD, which can save session file changes onto the open CD/DVD during every shutdown = save yr configurations/settings/bookmarks. This Linux distro is about a 300MB iso file n the OS is booted n first loaded onto RAM memory(minimum 512MB RAM memory required) during use = no need any HDD/SSD. In comparison, LM17.3 is a 1.4GB iso file.

  36. Xircal August 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    Hot off the Press! Microsoft has confirmed that security-only packages can be downloaded from Microsoft Update Catalog site by both Home and Pro users of Windows 7 and 8.1: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Thanks.aspx?id=140

    Confirmation of that can be seen by scrolling down to the bottom of the original announcement and reading the question posted by 'Terence' and Nathan Mercer's (the author) reply to it. https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/08/15/further-simplifying-servicing-model-for-windows-7-and-windows-8-1/#comment-9245

    Microsoft intends to remove the ActiveX control as well so that any browser can be used to download packages. At the moment though, you'll still have to use IE.

    • A different Martin August 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

      Well, this is potentially auspicious news. Hopefully, Microsoft won't bundle unwanted stuff in with the bona fide security patches. We'll have to wait and see.

    • Corky August 19, 2016 at 5:31 am #

      Something that's mentioned in Martins article, either way going on past behavior from Microsoft being able to download just a security related package is of little comfort, especially when you consider Windows 7 is meant to be in extended support and receiving ONLY security related updates already.

      Apparently Microsoft's idea of security updates include such things as adding telemetry gathering capabilities, installing addware, and downloading 3-5GB worth of setup files, all of that's really besides the point though as the real problem is what happens when the inevitable happens and one of these cumulative updates causes problems.

      Previously someone could remove the single patch that caused problems and leave the good patches in place, under this new model both the good and bad patches would have to be removed potentially putting customers at risk, hackers who can now reverse engineer what's just been released can target everyone whose been forced to remove both the good and the bad for what could be months while Microsoft get around to fixing things.

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