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In a big crop of Windows fixes, Patch Tuesday includes a few surprises In a big crop of Windows fixes, Patch Tuesday includes a few surprises
I haven’t seen any explanation for last month’s burp — Microsoft isn’t saying why or how it missed a month of patches. But they... In a big crop of Windows fixes, Patch Tuesday includes a few surprises

I haven’t seen any explanation for last month’s burp — Microsoft isn’t saying why or how it missed a month of patches. But they came rolling back with a vengeance yesterday, plugging the best-known major security holes (the SMB bug and two zero-days reported by Google’s Project Zero), answering many open questions, and posing a few new ones.

Among the surprises: After promising, in November, that it would discontinue the antiquated Security Bulletin system, we got a heap of new security bulletins, along with new Software Update Summary entries (the searchable database of KB numbers, with 64 new entries) and a new Security Update Guide (detailed list of KB numbers broken out by product and platform, with 230 new entries).

Topping it all off, Nathan Mercer at Microsoft published details of another documentation effort called Unified Windows update history for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. That project will convert the current skeleton update listings for Win7 and 8.1 (see screenshot for the latest Win7 page) and add information about the individual KB patches.

updates for win7IDG

Assuming Security Bulletins will be discontinued at some point, the new Update History pages will give a more focused method to check the latest fixes. Those of us who follow these matters closely used to wail about the dearth of information. Now we’re drowning in it — a welcome change.

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