Microsoft botches still more patches in latest Automatic Update

It must be Wretched Wednesday -- the day after Black Tuesday. Watch out for automatic patches KB 2817630, KB 2810009, KB 2760411, KB 2760588, and KB 2760583

No sooner did Microsoft release the latest round of Black Tuesday patches, than screams of agony began sounding all over the Internet. At this point, I've seen verified problems with KB 2817630, KB 2810009, KB 2760411, KB 2760588, and KB 2760583. Here's what we know at this point.

KB 2817630 is not a security patch, it's a gratuitously delivered functionality patch for Office 2013, and man has it had an impact on functionality. I've seen dozens of reports that installing this patch, possibly in conjunction with the KB 2810009 patch that is part of MS13-074, causes the folder pane in Outlook 2013 to disappear. An anonymous poster on the SANS Internet Storm Center offers this picture of the effect.

[ For more Patch Tuesday hell, see 17 epic Windows Auto Update meltdowns. ]

Thirteen hours after the first posts complaining about the problem appeared on the Microsoft TechNet forum, Microsoft still hasn't done anything. As of 00:15 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, Sept. 11, the patches are still available, still marked for automatic installation, and the KB articles have not been updated to reflect the screw-up.

It appears as if uninstalling both patches will bring the folders back, although there's a more substantive workaround offered by one of the posters on the TechNet forum:

This behaviour seems to be caused by using the latest version of the shared Office library mso.dll 15.0.4535.1002 from KB2817630 in combination with an outdated version of Outlook. Try installing KB2817503 to update Outlook to the matching version 15.0.4535.1004. I don't have the issue with the missing folder pane in this constellation. Updating Outlook with the August 2013 hotfix (KB2817503) restored the reading pane on multiple machines.

KB 2760411, KB 2760588, and KB 2760583 are parts of the MS13-072 and MS13-073 security patches for Office 2007. There are many reports of the patches being offered and re-offered and re-re- ... you get the idea. On sevenforums, poster harin35 says:

No error messages. Windows Update appears to install them; but the updates have not been installed. These are 'important' updates.When I run Windows Update again, these three updates reappear as 'important' updates.

No guidance for handling the problem is on offer in the usual forums, because the people moderating the forums haven't a clue what went wrong and Microsoft isn't saying a thing.

Again, as of 00:15 am PDT on Wednesday, Microsoft hadn't pulled any of the patches, nor had it updated the KB articles, posted any recommendations on the usual fora, issued a press release, or made one iota of effort to help its customers. 

Does this make you feel warm and fuzzy about automatic app updates in Windows 8.1? Terry Myerson, are you listening?

t/h SB

This story, "Microsoft botches still more patches in latest Automatic Update," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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