While the Internet's abuzz with questions about the Windows 10 advertisement that appeared Monday on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs, Microsoft's making hay while the sun shines. Yesterday saw the rollout of six optional patches, three of which are oldies re-cast numerous times, three of which are new.
Here's the scorecard on the re-released patches:
- KB 2952664 -- The compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7 "helps Microsoft make improvements to the current operating system in order to ease the upgrade experience to the latest version of Windows." This is the patch that was re-released numerous times in 2014, causing crashes and all sorts of mayhem. If I count things correctly, the compatibility update (which has nearly no official description) was released 10 times in 2014, and has been released six times so far in 2015.
- KB 2976978 -- The compatibility update for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 "performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program in order to determine whether compatibility issues may be encountered when the latest Windows operating system is installed." That surprised me a bit, because I didn't realize people who ran the Windows 10 compatibility scan were, in fact, opting in to the CEIP. This patch, too, has a long history: first released on July 8, 2014, re-released five times in 2014 and six times in 2015. I don't have any records of it causing problems.
- KB 2977759 -- The compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM "performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program in order to determine…" etc., etc. This one's a CEIP upgrade that's been around a long time. I don't have any record of it causing problems, although there were five releases in 2014 and six so far in 2015.
All of those have been around the block quite a few times. Microsoft appears to be refining its system scans in preparation for Windows 10, although the relationship between the scans and CEIP confuses me.
Here are the new patches:
- KB 3050265 -- The Windows Update Client for Windows 7: June 2015 patch "addresses an issue in which the Windows Update Client displays an out-of-memory error during the scan operation (0x8007000E) on systems that have small amounts of physical RAM. General improvements are made to support upgrades to a later version of Windows." (The KB article says this is "Revision 2," but there is no record of version 1 being pushed out via Windows Update.)
- KB 3050267 -- Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1: June 2015 makes "General improvements to support upgrades to a later version of Windows." Again, the KB article says this is Revision 2, but there's no record of another version being sent out Windows Update.
- KB 3068708 -- An update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry. "This kind of update helps the overall application experience on Windows by improving the current operating system for upgrade to the latest version of Windows." There's open speculation -- by gator2013 on eightforums, among others -- that KB 3068708 is just our old foul friend KB 3022345. You may recall that KB 3022345 triggers (incorrect) errors in the Microsoft SFC system scan routine. It also has a long history of other problems. Microsoft promised that KB 3022345 would have "an upcoming version that will be a compatible upgrade to either version" of KB 3022345. Could this be an attempt to get 3022345 installed on systems that have the ill-fated update hidden?
A little bit of patching transparency would go a long way, especially with people who have to cope with the flying fur -- and users who think the Windows 10 ad is malware.
If it quacks like a duck...