Monday , 16 July 2018
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Get the March patches for your Windows machines installed, but watch out for Win7

The quality of March’s patches set new lows, even by Windows’ tarnished standards. The Win10 patches flew fast and furious, with new Microsoft-induced bugs introduced and swatted multiple times over the month. The Word 2016 security patch demands that you first install the Word 2016 non-security patch, or Word refuses to open files. That bug hasn’t been fixed. Windows 8.1/Server 2012R2 escaped relatively unscathed. Server 2008 got a fix for its buggy patch, KB 4090450, on April 3. But Windows 7… ah, that’s a dying horse of a completely different color.

The fur’s flying so fast and thick that it’s hard to pick an auspicious point in time to get patched up, but now seems as opportune a moment as any. Except for Win7. If you’re still using Win7 — and about half of the Windows world is — you have a difficult choice to make.

The Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 nightmare

You can read some of the historic details here, but the short version goes like this:

As of this moment, EVERY Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 64-bit patch released this year opens a gaping security hole commonly called “Total Meltdown.” In addition, recent patches have a healthy collection of bugs that range from blue screens (STOP messages), to blocking Internet Explorer 11, to a particularly debilitating bug for folks running servers that leads to lockups due to SMB leaks.

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